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Warning: DOUBLE and TRIPLE check your project URL on CodePlex

Mar 28

Written by:
Saturday, March 28, 2009 1:27 PM  RssIcon

If you are creating a project on CodePlex, good for you!  But make sure you get the URL right the first time cause you get ONE shot to set it up!  Read on for more information.

UPDATE (04-01-2009) Latest update to this blog at the bottom

This week I created a new project on CodePlex for the Ottawa Code Camp!  This is create!  Someone else is responsible for the source control system, hard drive IT, etc.  Awesome!  You just have to set things up properly.  Here's one negative experience I had this afternoon.

My problem started when I was typing out the projects Title and URL (first steps).  I made the mistake of spelling the Title wrong, then not realizing it, I cut'n'pasted it into the URL.  I consciously made that decision to cut'n'paste "so I would have the names the same and not have them inconsistent."

Double check your prject URLs

Did I point out the place well enough for you to make sure you get it right the first time?  (Can you tell I'm frustrated? :> Yes, this helps to vent :>)

I fixed this up later on cause I saw you could edit your project properties and change the Title.  Except for one small problem, the URL you've entered on the FIRST step is used for the Teamprise Explorer and Visual Studio Team Explorer source control URLs (oddly enough, NOT for Subversion and CodePlex, it does those ok).  Therefore, THAT url is now wrong, inconsistent and no longer "guessable" from your users!  Not very user friendly IMHO! :<  This is where my major malfunction started! :<

SO??????!!!!!!  How to fix it?  Not very nicely/friendly it turns out! :<  You have to get the project UNPUBLISHED (yup, unpublished and I think the CodePlex people have to do that for you) and then RECREATE everything from scratch!!!!!!  Saving the existing web pages with IE's save page archive helps to keep the text, but you'll lose the CodePlex proprietary tag syntax for images and links :<.

Word to wise, DON'T hit the ESC key while editing anything in a textbox!  You'll lose it all!!!!!!!  There's no chicken switch there, BOOM, GONE!  And, cut'n'paste your text BEFORE you hit the save button!  Today, I got three errors after saving!  You can bet I WASN'T impressed with having to REDO that content four times!!!!! !@#$%^!@#$%^#$%^@#$%^@#$%^@#$%^@#$%^&*()_@$%^&*()_@$%^&*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One last thing to mention.  NOW, since the project's been deleted, I don't think it's actually TRULY deleted yet!  Why do I say that?  Cause when I goto the Source Code tab OR when I try to PUBLISH the project, I get NASTY "The server experienced an error" screen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF???????????  Is my project deteled or what?  WTF??????????  HHHHMMMM Again, some more CodePlex IT support interaction/time wasted waiting.

Clicking the Source Code tab gets error

To be completely fair, the CodePlex support people are great, they respond very quickly to my requests!  That's cool!  But the automated stuff, the coding aspects, the basic functionality I don't believe has been flushed out completely yet!

NOW that you're able to avoid these hiccups, you can grab a coffee and get coding! :>


PS  Yes, I have emailed CodePlex about these problems and I'm sure they'll be resolved soon enough, I'm just upset I had to deal with these problems at all!!!!!  Total waste of time when I should be coding! :< 

UPDATE (03-30-2009)

I received two emails today, one from Sara Ford and one from a CodePlex support person (Emily).  I will give credit where credit is due, Sara and here team certainly deserve it for handling the issue/user.  No, the issue's not resolved yet BUT I do have confidence it's being worked on currently (and I hope it'll be resolved soon enough :>).

Sara Ford's Comments this morning:

Hi Peter,

 Thanks for reading the tips series on my blog. I’m responsible for all the features for the site. Thanks for calling these issues to my attention.

 I've hit the ESC key by accident losing all my changes

Yes, this is a really bad bug that I was not aware of before. I’ll have this investigated this week.

then TWICE there were erros saving the text and AGAIN I lost all those links and text I added

I’m sorry for the inconvenience. I have plans in the near future to add a “auto-save” in the case the save attempt fails. I was hoping to have that added by now, but let me go back and try to reprioritize this work. Data loss is just not acceptable.

Again, sorry for the inconvenience.



And next is the message from the CodePlex support personnel assigned to my task (Emily):


One of our developers is looking into this. I will get back to you with an update as soon as I have one.

Sorry for the inconvenience!


Emily Cunningham
CodePlex Support
CodePlex - Open Source Project Hosting

I want to thank Sara Ford and Emily Cunningham for handling this issue with professionalism (in light of my rather emotionally packed initial email and post).  I look forward to seeing this issue resolved as this site is for the Ottawa Code Camp coming up in May.  But maybe more important, Sara and Emily have taken responsibility and are taking action!  Kudos!  Keep it up!  Thank you!

UPDATE (03-31-2009)

WOW!  What a difference a day or two makes.  One, I'm a lot calmer than I was over the weekend when I was first experiencing these problems (enough coffees will do that to ya :>) and Sara and Emily have helped me get over my hiccups and the Ottawa Code Camp on CodePlex project has been released!  That's fantastic news cause now we'll be able to easily share source code/project/solutions with anyone!  YAHOO!

Thank you Sara and Emily for your efforts!  They are well apprecaited! :>

UPDATE (04-01-2009)

I received another email from Sara tonight and I have to say I'm VERY impressed with CodePlex!  Not only is Sara (the one in charge aka head hocho) able to talk to us lowly devs but she continues to do it AND updates THEIR project!  It almost seems like they're using Agile?! :> LOL  I know Sara has a love/hate relationship with Agile, but in this case, it's working out great!  I CANNOT remember for the life of me when was the last time I reported a bug, had it honestly recognized as a bug (this is what usually hinders most companies!!!! :<:<:<:<) and then fixed AND RELEASED within 72 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!  Who ever says Microsoft is slow is going to have to deal with my hockey gloves!

 Hi Peter, 

Thanks for the blog post and the kind words. It’s all about providing the best user experience possible to make our project owners and their users happy.

I have fixed the ESC key so that it takes no action within the wiki edit box. It isn’t the ideal “auto-save” feature, but at least this won’t cause you to lose all your data again. You will see this for the next deployment. I’ll contact you the next time we deploy.



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