Tuesday, April 08, 2008

VS 2005 Intellisense in web.config files stop work

Now one annoying gotcha:

There is one gotcha to be aware of, though, that can sometimes cause intellisense for the web.config file to stop working in the IDE. This happens when a default namespace is added to the root <configuration> element. For example, like so:

<configuration xmlns=

This doesn’t cause any runtime problems – but it does stop intellisense completion happening for the built-in .NET XML elements in the web.config file.

The bad news is that the built-in web admin tool (launched via the WebSite->ASP.NET Configuration menu item in VS 2005 and Visual Web Developer) always adds this xmlns namespace when it launches – so if you use this tool to manage users/roles you’ll end up having it added to your web.config file for you.

How to fix this gotcha:

To get intellisense back when you are editing the web.config file in the IDE, just delete the xmlns reference and have the root configuration element look like so:


Everything will then work fine again.


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