Visual Studio solution files that refuse to open

I just came across an issue with Visual Studio 2010 solutions not opening directly from the filesystem. When you hover over the icon the tooltip indicates that the version is unrecognised and double clicking / pressing enter results in nothing happening – no error message, nothing. This is despite the fact that 2010 is the only version of Visual Studio that I have on the machine.

Turns out the solution had LF line endings rather than CR/LF (thanks to a mixup with Git’s autocrlf “feature”) and the Visual Studio version selector (which .sln files are mapped to in order to ensure they open in the correct version of the IDE) chokes on this apparently.

Simple bug you might think – easy enough to fix for the next release… except this was first reported back in 2006 (3.5 years and 2 versions ago!) and is deemed by Microsoft as not worth fixing! I know small bugs can sometimes be complicated to resolve, and they also have to take their place in the priority list, but still… Feel free to pop over to the bug report and add your vote for Microsoft to do something about it!

In the meantime, one solution (pardon the pun) is to skip the version selector and map .sln files to devenv.exe directly. Felt a bit hacky to me though, so I manually cleaned up the file by converting the line endings to CR/LF and removing blank whitespace at the top (not sure why it was there or why it mattered but it was and it did!). This resulted in the version selector correctly opening the solution in the IDE.

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