Using KDiff3 with Visual Studio 2010

For a long time I’ve hated the built in compare/merge tool in Visual Studio. If the changes are just somewhat complex, the compared result is really confusing and I have to spend alot of time trying to see what has changed.

I’m an big fan of the Windows Explorer (+ much more) replacement Total Commander and love it’s compare tool. But since it doesn’t work within Visual Studio I had to export the files from TFS and to the compare using Total Commander.

I started to investigate for a better solution…

The result was the free tool KDiff3 and some Visual Studio configuration:

  1. Download and install KDiff3
  2. In Visual Studio:
  • Tools > Options
  • Source Control > Visual Studio Team Foundation Server
  • Click button Configure User Tools
  • Click button Add, and fill in:
  • Extension: .*
  • Operation:Compare
  • Command: [browse to kdiff3.exe]
  • Arguments: %1 %2 -L1 %6 -L2 %7 -o %2

I have found similar posts about configuring KDiff3 in VS, but they’ve used different arguments. But I didn’t like those. If you want to try yourself, you can read this blogpost.

Thank God for Windows Home Server!

This week was the first in my new job in Bouvet ASA in Oslo. On the first day I was handed a Lenovo ThinkPad W500 with Windows 7. I installed SharePoint 2007, Visual Studio 2008 and all the dozens of applications and utilities I can’t develop without. After a couple of days I was told it was very likely I would start on a SharePoint 2010 project. Cool! Since the machine only had 4 GB of RAM it was out of the question to run SharePoint 2010 in a virtual machine. I decided to make a VHD with Windows Server 2008 R2, SharePoint 2010 and Visual Studio 2010 and boot from it. At the end of the week I had two complete and separate development environments for both SharePoint versions on my machine. I had even started to prepare for the potential 2010 project by making a test project to investigate some ideas I had.

On Saturday I booted into Windows 7 and read news as usual while eating breakfast. After that I rebooted into Windows 2008 R2 and wanted to work some on my test-project. After the boot load screen I got an bluescreen. Booted into Safe Mode, but again got an bluescreen. Tried to boot into Windows 7 but that bluescreened as well! WTF happened?!?

I would normally boot with a bootable utility CD to be able to fix problem or rescue files, but I thought this was an excellent opportunity to test a restore from my Windows Home Server backup.Luckily I had installed the WHS client on the Windows 7 machine and a full backup, including the VHD, was done Friday night. After 30 minutes downloading and burning the Restore CD and put network drivers on a USB stick – and then 1,5 hour restore time my machine was in perfect state.

Thank God for Windows Home Server!