No intellisense and color-coding for classic ASP in VS2008 Beta 2 - by Jesper Høy

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ID 290845 Comments
Status Closed Workarounds
Type Bug Repros 37
Opened 8/3/2007 9:29:17 AM
Access Restriction Public


We still maintain many classic ASP web-sites, and the intellisense (VBScript) and color-coding in VS2005 was really nice.
I hope this is not being dropped in VS2008?
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Posted by khaosjag on 7/7/2009 at 12:08 AM
I really think MS is loosing lots of devs by doing things like this. I mean, nowadays you have lots of tools to develop "old" languages like ASP and with decisions like this one they are just pushing people to stop using their tools.

People get encouraged to move one when you are helped to do so, making things eaiser. With this way of working they are just making it harder for the developers.

Hope they re-think about this.
Posted by Joacim Andersson [MVP] on 9/26/2008 at 8:04 AM
I can live without the code completion but keeping color coding would have been nice.
Posted by MikeGale on 9/1/2008 at 4:38 PM
I really can't figure out what is going on.

I decided to use VS 2008 to extend a years old ASP driven page. I found some references to how to attach the debugger (a bit clunky) and got started.

Basic message is what a mess. I sometimes get colour highlighting, <script... seems to work <% seems not to, but the debugging seems to fail. Attachment of the debugger to processes is a mysterious process, that seems to be somewhat persistent and irreversible (can't detach). I repeat, what a mess.

In other words a great big waste of time. Then I find this which seems to say there is no support. (That's not entirely true.)

In the old days Microsoft looked after it's developers and was a worthwhile partner (Raymond Chen etc.). Now we get this hostile, evil decision. This is not I hope what Microsoft has become. The guilty parties for this decision should be identified, reprimanded and eliminated.

If Microsoft wants to destroy developer goodwill this is a great plan.

I'm going to spend another four hours on this, if it doesn't work...
Posted by thonnythc on 7/9/2008 at 3:46 PM
A pergunta é uma só.
Temos a conciêcia de que este fato existe para forcar-nos a migrar nossas aplicações se quisermos usar a ferramenta.
Mas tb existem CLIENTES que não o querem fazer.
Desta forma, preciso saber se vai o impecilhio, ou seremos obrigado a trabalhar com ferramentas antigas?

Posted by Dino Brasi on 6/18/2008 at 7:05 AM
LAME!!! This is the STUPIDEST thing I've ever heard of. My projects are mixed. There are ASP pages and .NET pages. Not all of us are Uber Nerds and can spend endless cycles converting our asp to AND some of us are not allowed to use .NET for our whole projects. Put this back in, you clueless code snobs!!
Posted by MrDolphin on 5/25/2008 at 9:14 AM
I'm curious to hear what the rational was behind removing the highlighting. I actually was using VWD2005 to edit my Windows Script Hosting files. Wow was I suprised when I loaded my scripts. It looks like there may be an update, or not. I am probably going back to VWD2005.
Posted by Tom McLeod on 4/29/2008 at 1:04 PM
Note that as of 2/18/2008 they plan to enable it for the next update:

"We have enabled VBScript intellisense and colorization and it will be supported with the next roll-up patch/SP.
Posted by Microsoft on 2/15/2008"
Posted by Voast Dev on 4/22/2008 at 8:03 AM
This is really getting ridiculas. Not only did you remove VB Scripting you also do not support BI in vs 2008 at this time. Come on Microsoft! These are comomonly used tools and we need them and soon or vs2008 will never take hold.
Posted by gomezo on 4/15/2008 at 1:52 AM
Shame shame shame... that's the only word i have in mind when i open my new VS 2008 installed on my laptop...
Posted by concept99 on 3/6/2008 at 7:07 AM
Shame on you.
Posted by Too Many Paul Joneses on 2/27/2008 at 2:15 PM
This is low, MS, even for you.

We are currently reviewing several different IDE's (one being VS2008) to move our entire developer base to. The lack of support for vbscript in VS2008 has eliminated it from the running, as we have MANY sites coded in classic ASP using vbscript. Seeing as we retain an MSDN subscription primarily to support Visual Studio, we may be able to cancel that as well.
Posted by abcwebmaster on 2/24/2008 at 10:26 AM
I can't believe that Microsoft would drop support for classic asp in Visual Studio 2008. If anyone is out there who cares and can make a difference...Please do the right thing and provide an update to allow support for vbscript in VS 2008. There are way too many customers out here who still use these technologies in their production environments.
Posted by David A Nelson on 2/13/2008 at 12:48 PM
According to Scott Guthrie (, VB syntax highlighting will be "re-enabled" in a future Service Pack for Visual Studio 2008. What I want to know is, given high serious an issue it is for a large part of their customer base, why hasn't Microsoft announced this in some more official format than a comment in a blog post?
Posted by tachikoma on 2/6/2008 at 12:58 PM
No debugging, I can work around but removing Intellisense and color-coding makes it a very expensive and bloated version of notepad when editing classic asp.
Posted by SandroR on 2/4/2008 at 5:16 AM
Like others dev here, I find ridicolous to keep two IDE for this issue... We don't ask coloring syntax or intellisense with java or php, we ask it for a MICROSOFT technology that is obvious not still dead!

please do it something in SP1
Posted by Microsoft on 2/1/2008 at 1:02 PM
Please have a look at, it tracks VS 2008 SP1 work.

Posted by Clark_in_Charlotte on 1/30/2008 at 11:57 AM
Many of us in North Carolina went to the Microsoft events to get a free copy of VS2008, but its not much good if half our sites use classic asp. Like others here that develop projects for Small Businesses, I'm really upset to find out that classic ASP is not supported in VS2008. Many customers (Small Businesses) still have legacy applications written in classic asp and

     ****do not have resources to convert them into .net***,

but are required to maintain support. Having two different development environments only to have classic asp support is ridiculous. Microsoft managers and decision makers, please do the right thing and put it back in. Thank you.
Posted by Lance May on 1/30/2008 at 10:00 AM
Of all the strides that Microsoft has made in backward-compatibility, I am absolutely astounded that this is "broken by design."

Microsoft, listen to your users. Supporting an active language of your own creation is not a daunting task. Add the functionality back and simply chock one up to the "well, we gave it a shot" category of feature deprecation.
Posted by Antoniz on 1/26/2008 at 6:30 AM
PLEASE add in VS2008     syntax highlighting and intellisense for VBscript
Posted by yanivll on 1/23/2008 at 4:35 PM

Guys, please encourage ALL your co-workers / friends to write more feedback and so Microsoft might release a fix or service pack or something!... We manage so many old asp systems - it's not like it's a 20 year old technology that nobody uses anymore!! So what, half of our development still needs to be done on 2005? So why did we spend all that money on 2008? Just to use it half the time?

How screwed up is this???
Posted by lildanbassman on 1/22/2008 at 1:27 PM
How unbelievably asinine of Microsoft. We have over 25 different legacy programs that I will not be able to use with VS 2008.

PLEASE roll out a service pack soon!
Posted by markhoward002 on 1/14/2008 at 3:17 PM
I am very disappointed in Microsoft on this. I develop lots of various types of web applications and I prefer to stick to VBScript and IE rather than JavaScript. I choose VBScript and IE solutions where I can because it cuts down significantly on development time because you don't have to spend lots of time double-checking and fixing small bugs to make the solutions work with other browsers. I swear by Internet Explorer because I believe that it is the best browser. Also, the companies that I develop for generally only use IE.

I don't use Classic ASP but I code in a sort of classic ASP Style with lots of inline scripting rather than building strings in a code-behind file to output to the client. This makes code easier on the eyes and more structured.

Also, I choose VBScript for other reasons over Javascript because...
- Debugging VBScript in IE is more intelligent than Javascript debugging.
- VBScript is NOT CASE-SENSITIVE so you're not left wondering why a perfectly written statement isn't working because you didn't Capitalize one letter.
- Development time is reduced for these reasons.

All I'm asking for back is client-side VBScript Keyword Coloring to be put back in.

Please, please Microsoft, do this for me in the next VS 2008 Service Pack.
Posted by scH4MMER on 12/21/2007 at 8:17 AM
This will certainly delay the adoption of VS2008 at one company I work for, since they are still heavily dependent on ASP/vbscript apps, and they migrate those apps to .NET as time permits. Anything that makes the process more complicated will stifle that migration, so even though they have VS2008 licenses through MSDN I'll recommend they stick with VS2005 for now.
Posted by StoneyM on 12/21/2007 at 6:51 AM
Looks like it's still a no go with the RTM.

This is awful. I could not believe when I read this that they expect you to keep both IDE's installed. It shows a complete disconnect with the reality of thier developer base and what the real world still depends on. We develop everything here from vb6 and classic asp to .net 2.0, and 3.5. Wouldn't it be lovely for us to be able to standardize on one IDE. No longer I guess. SHAME ON YOU MICROSOFT!
Posted by DanneB on 12/20/2007 at 3:23 PM
Was hoping for an extended development tool for both my new and old projects but what a disgrace to remove syntax highlighting, ok it is not added as standard but why not provide it as a third party solution? It is available in VS 2005 and to refer to install both VS2005 and VS2008 is ridiculous. Way to go Microsoft will have to go for Dreamweaver which still support ASP even if it is not "their" language.
Posted by sbeeler on 12/13/2007 at 2:34 PM
I am absolutely disgusted by Microsoft's position on this.
Posted by jedatu on 12/11/2007 at 9:22 AM
Maybe if I was an insider I would be able to make sense of this, but from where I stand this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Visual Studio is extensible to the extreme. There has to be a dll or xml file that could be dropped in to support syntax highlighting for classic ASP. Even products like Notepad++ and other basic editors have language files which allow users to create their own syntax highlighting. In Visual Studio you can create a random XSD schema file and get Intellisense, but I guess for now, the race car that is VS won't be able take me to the corner store.
Posted by Chrilith on 12/10/2007 at 3:18 AM
Same here. Lots of classic ASP websites and VBScript code. After Installing VS2008 my VS2005 simply doesn't work well failing to load lots of modules and losing ASP syntax hilite.
Posted by Dave Neely on 12/5/2007 at 11:43 AM
This is ridiculous. Our company has a large legacy classic ASP code base. There is simply no reason to not add that support in VS2008. I was just about to tell my developers to uninstall VS2005 and install 2008, now we will have to keep both versions, not to mention VS2003 because we have some 1.1 apps also. Thanks Microsoft, way to dampen enthusiasm for your new IDE...
Posted by andreww on 12/5/2007 at 5:32 AM
Poor. vbScript is use by plenty of sysadmins for server management. We use it loads (and no, MS, we aren't going to migrate them all over to PowerShell).

Why take a well-established feature out ? It's not like it was a huge hassle to just leave it in there.

Posted by Rberenguer on 12/3/2007 at 10:09 AM
In my company we still have many projects in classic ASP. Well back to the old and good VWD 2005.
Posted by GlenH001 on 11/29/2007 at 9:42 PM
Just an FYI for those like me that fell into the trap of uninstalling VS2005 before they found this post...

If you follow the "workaround" and install VWD 2005, you will get syntax highlighting but will NOT be able to debug ASP scripts. However, if you add a "stop" statement in the script, you can attach the VS2008 debugger. This is awkward, at best. Note that although you can load and edit the site in VS2008, you cannot set a breakpoint in the editor and must use the "stop" work-around.

Another major annoyance with the VWD 2005 "workaround" is that installing VWD 2005 after VS2008 steals all the file associations away from VS2008. Major pain. I haven't tried doing a repair on VS2008 (yet), but I'm hoping that will fix it.

The upside of VWD 2005 is that the install is pretty minimal in regards to both time and disk-space, but I could not register the product so I'll have to uninstall anyway. The key I got from the registration process was bogus. Apparently this is a very common problem. Google it or see ( ).

So, your choices are...
1. Deal with the lack of syntax highlighting by using an alternate editor like PsPad and use the "stop" method to attach the VS2008 debugger. (recommended)

2. Install VWD 2005 and VWD 2005 SP1 just to get syntax highlighting. Then repair VS2008 to (hopefully) get your associations back. Hope the registration process works for you.

3. Re-install the full VS2005 product, and VS2005 SP1 and lose at least a day and multiple GB of disk space. Repair VS2008...

It's quite apparent that the VS2008 editor is capable of providing intellisense, syntax highlighting and debugging support for ASP, but that MS intentionally disabled it. I really hate when MS pull B.S. stunts like this.... the removal of vbscript support is obviously a transparent and childish attempt to "force" us to port all of our legacy ASP applications in .NET. It just makes me tired.
Posted by vlad_1 on 11/28/2007 at 3:53 PM
The support for Classic ASP is still in high demand, because a number of plug ins will not work properly in 2 or 3.5. Aside from that, many developers still have legacy applications written in classic asp and do not have resources to convert them into .net, but are required to maintain support. Having two different development environments only to have classic asp support is ridiculous.
Posted by Beric Holt on 10/29/2007 at 3:08 PM
That is such a shame. Our dev shop has various older projects which we have to maintain written in classic asp. It will be frustrating having to use older tools, as well as the requirement of having multiple IDEs installed..
Posted by theteofscuba on 10/15/2007 at 8:43 PM
Most of my clients use ASP classic. this is not good news.
Posted by Microsoft on 8/10/2007 at 5:45 PM
Thank you for this feedback. We are depcrecting VB Script colorization and intellisense support in Visual Studio 2008. We recommend to customers to use VS 2005 or VWD 2005 to edit VB Script. Those products can be installed on the same machine as VS 2008 without any issues.

- Visual Web Developer Team
Posted by Microsoft on 8/6/2007 at 12:59 AM
Thanks for your feedback. We have reproduced this bug on Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2, and we are sending this bug to the appropriate group within the VisualStudio Product Team for triage and resolution.

Thank you,
Visual Studio Product Team.
Posted by Microsoft on 8/5/2007 at 5:00 PM
Thank you for your feedback. We are currently investigating. If this issue is urgent, please call support directly (see

Thank you,
Visual Studio Product Team