Reduce amount of programs added to Programs and Features
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It has always bugged me that when installing Visual Studio there are 40+ items added to the Programs and Features list in Windows.
While I understand that some are necessarily standalone programs (like all the different runtimes), there are many Visual Studio components added that are _only_ there for Visual Studio.
Examples include Service Packs, “Macro Tools”, “Prequisites” and especially all the language pack related items.
Looking at other products, like Office, you should be perfectly fine by combining everything into a single entry and configure all the compontents within a setup dialog.
This also applies to other components (which hopefully become more configurable as per other suggestions), like the SQL Server. On my work machine, I’ve got VS2010 running and installed the SQL Server 2012 RC0. In total I’ve got 14 SQL Server entries of which 8 are from 2008 (which I never installed but was installed with VS2010).
We’re making real progress against this area – slowly but surely. If you haven’t seen Visual Studio 2017 RC (or later) yet, check it out at http://visualstudio.com. We are eradicating many of the separate items that come from Microsoft, although we will continue to list third-party dependencies individually (for example, if I used the Visual Studio installer to get the Android SDK, we presume you might want to be able to uninstall that without relying on Visual Studio).
Let us know what you think… Thanks for the feedback, Tim Sneath | Visual Studio Team
cs mr commented
There is far too much old and obsolete junk installed with the Visual Studio installer, even with VS2017. Visual C++ redistributables going all the way back from 2017 to 2005! The same goes for SQL server. And for the .Net Core SDK. And for the .NET Framework SDK and Multi-Targeting pack. So many old versions are installed. And x86 support is not needed in a default installation either.
Suggestion for a general policy: If possible, only include the latest version of an SDK. If VS components don't work with the latest versions, then try to update them. If that's not possible, release the previous version. Never put anything before the previous version in a default installation. Anything else can be selected as an option or downloaded on demand.
Theo Albers commented
Trying out an installer is not a breeze Tim ;-) Yesterday I navigated to the Visual Studio Community 2017RC edition and to my surprise it stated: 780Mb download for the core components, so no options selected. Not really the "light" installation experience I hoped for. Next I checked the Web option and the installer indicated 4.2GB(!). Finally I checked the Mobile option to replay the Connect() demo of building a single solution with Android and ASP.NET Core. Guess what, the installer tells me 14GB download. Those figures stop me from continuing the experiment, especially without a simple uninstall all option, basically clean-this-folder-and-I'm-done. Sure I could have created a virtual machine and this is best practice. But hey I have a Surface Book with 256GB SSD and my disk is already split in half by Windows 10, Office, VS2015.
Long story short: my hope was that the new installer would not install junk I don't need. For instance when I check C#, I don't need VB. Why install SQL Server 2012 stuff? The high level profiles include too much stuff. When uninstalling you can only look at the installation date to get a hint if that was what one installed together with VS. It should be much easier to install/uninstall for an experiment.
Tommaso Scalici commented
This. A single entry in Program and Features is more than enough.
A single installer to install/uninstall all. And a modify feature to install/uninstall single components.
When you install Visual Studio, we came across several components to be installed. This, primarily affects:
Uninstallation of Visual Studio, and disorganization in the "program list".
It would be great if, join all these components in a single package, this would improve the uninstall of the product (Visual Studio) and the organization, beyond improve the performance.
Another thing, do we really need uninstallers for every type of SQL library? Why not a single one?
I'm getting a little tired of the dozens and dozens of uninstallers that clog up my "programs and features" uninstall list. It's a bit ridiculous when each install has both 32 and 64 bit uninstallers. This makes doing an uninstall take forever.
Please work with the various teams to reduce this massive amount of noise, and reduce it to a sane number of uninstallers to uninstall Visual Studio.