Wednesday, March 31, 2004

.Net: Playing with the GAC 

Finally the time came when had to use the GAC. I was playing around with adding an Explorer Bar while working in .Net. I started with searching in Google and found very excellent work done by Pavel Zolnikov at CodeProject.

This is what I learnt from that article and otherwise while working on this till now.
1. Since this project involves adding/removing things in Explorer, it will not use a new GAC file until restarted. This means lots of explorer closing and starting when working/testing/debugging. He says setting 'Launch folder windows in separate process' setting in Folder Options helps but I have not been able to verify that.
2. Left automatically Visual Studio increments the version number of assembly. Everybody who has opened the AssemblyInfo files would have seen [assembly: AssemblyVersion("1.0.*")], in that file. If left like that, one can have multiple versions of same assembly in the GAC. And happy debugging then!!
3. GAC folder in Windows is a different kind of beast all together. I hate explorer treating certaing things *special*. In case you are wondering it is located at %Windows%\Assembly. Try looking at that folder in the explorer window in Details view and try to add another Column in the details. I could not find a way to do that and let me know if you can! Also look at the same window in Command window and you will be able to see all the folders and files and everything *properly*.
4. .Net Provide gacutil.exe tool for handling additiong removal of files from GAC(of course!). It is located in %Windows%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.1.4322. You can use it from anywhere by adding it to your PATH environment variable. Makes it easier to use.

Well that is it till now regarding this. Wait for a follow-up.


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