Triggering a build when file changed in Visual Studio

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In Visual Studio when a source code file is changed, the project it belongs to will be built when the whole solution is being built. So far, so good. But what happens if you want some other files (read: non source code files) to have the same behavior?

In my case, I had some translation files (XML files), and a custom build event that converted them into a binary representation. So when one of translation files changed, I wanted this change to trigger a build for the project the translation files were contained in, so that they could be converted into binary form (ie. so that the build event was executed).

Visual Studio (at least version 2010) provides an easy but hidden way to achieve exactly this. After you’ve added the file(s) to your project, right-click them and choose Properties (Alt+Return).

The Properties menu item

Note: You need to open the properties for the files you want to trigger the build – don’t open the project’s properties. Also, you need to open the “Properties” dialog. You can’t do this from the “Properties” panel (which usually opens up when hitting F4).

Note 2: You can have selected multiple files to make them all triggering a build when changed in one step.

In the “Properties” dialog under Configuration Properties –> General –> Item Type you select Custom Build Tool. Then you hit “OK”. And that’s it.

Selecting "Custom Build Tool" as "Item Type".

Changing the file(s) should now trigger a build when you build the solution (via menu Build –> Build Solution).

Removing “Bookmarks” button from Firefox bookmarks toolbar

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Ever since I updated from Firefox 3.6 to 4.0 (and now 5.0) I had an additional item called “Bookmarks” in my Bookmarks toolbar. For me, it was (and is) unnecessary because I have all my bookmarks on my toolbar (and none of them in the actual Bookmarks menu). So, I was looking for a way to get rid of this button. I did some searching on the Internet but found nothing. So, I just tried to ignore this button.

Bookmarks button on the bookmarks toolbar in Firefox

Today, however, I stumbled over a way to remove this button. Just right-click on an empty space on the toolbar containing the address bar (not on the bookmarks toolbar). A menu will pop up and there you choose Customize.

Customizing Firefox' toolbar

This will allow you to add and/or remove toolbar buttons to Firefox’ main toolbar. Strangely, a new “Bookmarks” button will appear – usually on the right side.

Bookmarks button appeared in Firefox' main toolbar

This is the “Bookmarks” button that is displayed in your Bookmarks toolbar. Remove it (drag it away from the toolbar), close the “Customize” dialog, and the “Bookmarks” button will be gone.

Note: There are actually two bookmark buttons available in Firefox. One with a pulldown arrow to its right and one without. Only the one with the pulldown arrow will be moved to the bookmarks toolbar.

Reporting a bug annoyance

Today’s annoyance comes from TweetDeck – an application I use to follow my Facebook contacts. So, I clicked the wrong button and got this screen:

Closing a column in TweetDeck with only one column available

Well, that’s well designed. The close button for this rather destructive dialog box is outside the visible area. And there’s absolutely no other way to close this dialog box (ESC doesn’t work). The only way to solve this problem is to quit the application. I mean: Seriously???

Ok, nobody is perfect. So I went to the TweetDeck homepage and wanted to contact the author/support – but there is no way to contact any support directly. I absolutely hate software products where you can’t tell the authors that they screwed up things.

Sebastian KrysmanskiAnnoyancesno tags