Compile can not resolve System.Net.Http in currently targeted framework

<assembly> could not be resolved because it has an indirect dependency on the framework assembly "System.Net.Http, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a" which could not be resolved in the currently targeted framework. ".NETFramework,Version=v4.0"

On my machine I have .NET v4.5 installed along with VS2012 which has mostly been working fine. Out of the blue I started getting the above error despite the build server passing. A quick google search reveals that the assemblies in question are actually missing from the v4.0 folder for some reason.

I installed ASP.NET MVC 4 using the web platform installer to try and get the assemblies put into the correct folder however they were still only in the v4.5 folder!

The fix for me was unfortunately to copy them over from:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft ASP.NET\ASP.NET MVC 4\Assemblies

To the following folder:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\Framework\.NETFramework\v4.0.

Now my build is passing but the fix isn’t satisfactory in my mind.

Optimising Visual Studio Build Times


At my current workplace we have 203 projects in a single tanged web of a solution. This unfortunately means the majority of projects need to be built for any of the services or sites to function, thus breaking down the solution is not a viable solution at the moment. So I took a look at reducing those build times, and here are my results:

Rebuilding your solution

Running a rebuild in visual studio 2008 takes… 

7:42 minutes

*Sigh* Let’s try the same thing in the Visual Studio 2008 Command prompt:

Msbuild.exe mysolution.sln /t:rebuild

2:39 minutes

*Wow* Let’s add some tweaks, first up is the multicore build tweak.

Msbuild.exe mysolution.sln /t:rebuild /m

1:25 minutes

*Pretty cool* There’s a strange bug in the normal command line which slows down execution of running programs. So let’s use a filelogger instead of a console logger.

Msbuild.exe mysolution.sln /t:rebuild /m /noconsolelogger /fl

Try it out and see if you get a decent benefits!

Building your solution

Running a normal build inside Visual Studio takes:

3:10 minutes

And using the command line:

Msbuild.exe mysolution.sln /t:build

27 Seconds

Now with the multicore tweak:

Msbuild.exe mysolution.sln /t:build /m

12 Seconds

So all in all not a bad way to manage a solution with 203 projects in it!

Happy deving…

Using PowerShell to automate setting CopyLocal to false


It’s been stressed that CopyLocal is slow and evil, so I wanted to see what the impact was on our codebase.

First we need to load the project file and pull out the references sections.

[xml]$s = get-content $projectFile

$references = $s.Project.ItemGroup | Where-Object { $_.Reference -ne $null }
$projectReferences = $s.Project.ItemGroup | Where-Object { $_.ProjectReference -ne $null }

Next we can iterate through the child nodes, and if they are missing the Private tag, add it in.

foreach($reference in $references.ChildNodes)
    if($reference.Private -eq $null)
        [System.Xml.XmlElement]$copyLocal = $s.CreateElement("Private", "")
        $copyLocal.InnerText = "False"

We can do a similar thing with the project references if your solution builds into a single folder.

foreach($reference in $projectReferences.ChildNodes)
    if($reference.Private -eq $null)
        [System.Xml.XmlElement]$copyLocal = $s.CreateElement("Private", "")
        $copyLocal.InnerText = "False"

Then all we need to do is save the file and we are done!


If you want to apply this too all the project files in a directory, recursively then you could do:

Get-ChildItem $directory -include *.csproj,*.vbproj -Recurse | foreach ($_) { 
    Set-CopyLocalFalse $_.fullname $true

You can find the source for this in the SlightlyPosher distribution, or look at the source for the file.

Preliminary tests on our build time dropped from 6:30 minutes to 3:48 minutes thanks to this!

XmlLists with Psake / Powershell

On a POSH roll here, this time I needed to list out the Include attributes for references in an msbuild file. Let’s take a look at the POSH script equivalent of XmlList:

function xmlList([string]$file, [string]$xpath, [hashtable]$namespaces) { 
    [xml] $fileXml = Get-Content $file 
    $xmlNameTable = new-object System.Xml.NameTable
    $xmlNameSpace = new-object System.Xml.XmlNamespaceManager($xmlNameTable)

    foreach($key in $namespaces.keys)
        $xmlNameSpace.AddNamespace($key, $namespaces.$key);
    $nodes = @()
    $node = $fileXml.SelectNodes($xpath, $xmlNameSpace) 
    $node | ForEach-Object { $nodes += @($_.Value)}
    return $nodes

Now to use this we can do this:

$namespaces = @{ "xsi" = ""}
$xpath = "//xsi:Reference/xsi:HintPath/../@Include"

$nodes = xmlList "$examplesdest_dir\NBehave.Examples.csproj" $xpath $namespaces

And it gives us a list of the references in the msbuild file.


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