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Keeping up with the ASP.NET MVC 4 Source Code and Environment

Topics: General
May 7, 2012 at 1:52 PM
Edited May 7, 2012 at 4:54 PM


I have been working with the ASP.NET MVC 4 Beta for a few months now and recently downloaded the source and built the libraries since many of the changes since the Beta are things I'd like to get into my code now so that when MVC 4 is released I'll have fewer changes to make.  I'm using the Web API for RESTful services and there's been a great deal of improvement in that since the Beta (woohoo!)

So... I looked around a bit and haven't found any pointers on how to get the environment up and running when building from source.

Specifically here is what I am dealing with:

1. I have the MVC 4 Beta installed on my development workstation.  Should I uninstall this completely?

2. After I build from source and I have everything in the bin folder, is there any integration with VS or am I just adding the references and such manually in Visual Studio?

3. It appears that the required list of assemblies and web.config defaults have changed.  Is there a way to keep up with these?  I'm subscribed now to the RSS feed to this project but was wondering if there is a specific place to go.

I'm so pumped about MVC 4 & Web API!  So much so that I'm using it as the foundation for our product's RESTful API and hosted web components.  It's worth the risk and short-term changes to have this in place going forward.  Thanks for the great work so far!


May 7, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Thanks! The easiest way to get started using the latest code is to use the nightly NuGet packages that we publish on their own NuGet feed.

You can find a detailed description of getting this up and running in this blog [1]

Hope this helps,



May 7, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Thanks, I think I've got it up and running on the nightly build now and I'm just keeping the source code locally up-to-date for reference.

I'd like to get source code debugging set up too, but that's for another day.  That'll help me learn the MVC 4 a bit quicker.  Having the nightly builds and reference source code are my immediate "needs" :)

In theory, if I built from source, replaced my NuGet package references with just "normal" binary references with hint path pointing to the local aspnetwebstack build bin folder, and ran a post-build script to update the necessary gac files, I should be able to get the benefits of the VS integration from the Beta install, and have debug builds/symbols with the latest source code as well.  Or are there other pieces I'm missing?

May 11, 2012 at 1:19 PM
Edited May 11, 2012 at 1:22 PM

I've got things running off the source code build now so I can take advantage of the PDB's during debugging.

Basically what I did was:

  1. re-install ASP.NET MVC 4 Beta
  2. hook up my projects with the nightly build NuGet packages
  3. updated the aspnetwebstack source and RestorePackages
  4. built it
  5. copied all assemblies from the aspnetwebstack's bin\Debug folder to the ASP.NET MVC  4 "Assemblies" folder ***
  6. updated the GAC with the assemblies listed in here,
  7. also needed to update the GAC some DLL's from the Nightly Build (like System.Net.Http.dll) that aren't in the aspnetwebstack source
  8. edited all my .csproj files and changed the hint path from the \packages folder to the aspnetwebstack bin\Debug folder

I wrote a script to automate all that (steps 3-7 anyhow) so I can keep up to date with the source.  I'll be deploying this to a server for testing in the next few days, so we'll see how it goes :)  I'm guessing I'll need to GAC the same list of assemblies on the server.


*** I haven't looked into "why" yet, but during runtime, assemblies were getting grabbed from the ASP.NET MVC 4 installation's Assemblies folder so I update these as well.