Visual Studio Project out of date



What are "tlog" files?

"tlog" files are created by the "Tracker.exe" process which runs while you do a build, and records some information about the build.

That information is used and updated the next time you start a build to help detect "out of date" files, and thus enable the build system to only build the bits that need to be rebuilt (rather than building everything again).

What causes the "out of date" problem?

The problem can be caused by incorrect or stale information in the *.tlog files.

There are 3 main ways that can happen:

1) You built a project on your hard disk, and then moved the directory to another location...the "tlog" files recorded the paths of the old location, yet because you moved the files, they are no longer there, thus you get "out of date".

2) Your "Project" has references to files (usually header files), which do not exist at the location specified. This might occur if you deleted a file from your source control system, but forgot to remove it from your project, or because you refer to header files of a library which might be "installed"/present at a different location. Often, Developers assume files are located at the same "place" on everyones machine....not always the case!

3) You have done some "refactoring" of your project, and moved files around to different subdirectories, or even renamed them - so the paths/names of the files recorded in the "tlog" do not match what exists on your disk i.e. stale.

What is the way to fix it?

Doing a "Clean+Build" or "Rebuild" does not always fix it...as those operations do not delete the "tlog" files. So:

  • delete any "tlog" files that you can find in your solution/project directories and rebuild.

  • make sure your Project does not refer to non-existent files

How do I work out which files are non-existent?

If you want to know/find out exactly which files Visual Studio is thinking are out of date, then you can turn on some diagnostic information in Visual Studio....and watch the messages in DebugView...showing the full path of the files it is probing.

In devenv.exe.config you put:

<system.diagnostics> <switches> <add name="CPS" value="4" /> </switches> </system.diagnostics> <system.diagnostics> <switches> <add name="CPS" value="4" /> </switches> </system.diagnostics> 

More Details

Lets say you created a Solution and a set of Projects in a particular directory e.g. S:\MYPROJECTS, and you compile and run/debug it, etc.

You then decide to move that whole directory to somewhere else on your drive, or you re-factor your Projects e.g. change their directory names, etc.

Now when you do a "Start Debugging/F5", Visual Studio does the depending checking, and thinks you have "out of date files".

Even if you do a "Clean Solution", or a "Rebuild Solution"....you still get the "out of date files" message.

See here:

The problem is caused by the ".tlog" files which are being consulted during the dependency checks...when you moved the solutions/projects (along with a builds intermediate files) they cause confusion to the Visual Studio builder.

The solution is to delete all the .tlog files.....they will then be re-generated the next time you do a build...and from that point on you won't get a bogus "out of date files" message....unless they truly are out of date.

What are "tlog" files?

"tlog" files are created by the "Tracker.exe" process which runs while you do a build, and records some information about the build.

That information is used and updated the next time you start a build to help detect "out of date" files, and thus enable the build system to only build the bits that need to be rebuilt (rather than building everything again).

What causes the "out of date" problem?

The problem can be caused by incorrect or stale information in the *.tlog files.

There are 3 main ways that can happen:

1) You built a project on your hard disk, and then moved the directory to another location...the "tlog" files recorded the paths of the old location, yet because you moved the files, they are no longer there, thus you get "out of date".

2) Your "Project" has references to files (usually header files), which do not exist at the location specified. This might occur if you deleted a file from your source control system, but forgot to remove it from your project, or because you refer to header files of a library which might be "installed"/present at a different location. Often, Developers assume files are located at the same "place" on everyones machine....not always the case!

3) You have done some "refactoring" of your project, and moved files around to different subdirectories, or even renamed them - so the paths/names of the files recorded in the "tlog" do not match what exists on your disk i.e. stale.

What is the way to fix it?

Doing a "Clean+Build" or "Rebuild" does not always fix it...as those operations do not delete the "tlog" files. So:

  • delete any "tlog" files that you can find in your solution/project directories and rebuild.

  • make sure your Project does not refer to non-existent files

How do I work out which files are non-existent?

If you want to know/find out exactly which files Visual Studio is thinking are out of date, then you can turn on some diagnostic information in Visual Studio....and watch the messages in DebugView...showing the full path of the files it is probing.

In devenv.exe.config you put:

<system.diagnostics> <switches> <add name="CPS" value="4" /> </switches> </system.diagnostics> <system.diagnostics> <switches> <add name="CPS" value="4" /> </switches> </system.diagnostics> 

More Details

Lets say you created a Solution and a set of Projects in a particular directory e.g. S:\MYPROJECTS, and you compile and run/debug it, etc.

You then decide to move that whole directory to somewhere else on your drive, or you re-factor your Projects e.g. change their directory names, etc.

Now when you do a "Start Debugging/F5", Visual Studio does the depending checking, and thinks you have "out of date files".

Even if you do a "Clean Solution", or a "Rebuild Solution"....you still get the "out of date files" message.

See here:

The problem is caused by the ".tlog" files which are being consulted during the dependency checks...when you moved the solutions/projects (along with a builds intermediate files) they cause confusion to the Visual Studio builder.

The solution is to delete all the .tlog files.....they will then be re-generated the next time you do a build...and from that point on you won't get a bogus "out of date files" message....unless they truly are out of date.

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