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Compiling Code for Visual Studio 2003 Without VS2003

Recently, I needed to compile some code for Visual Studio 2003, which I don’t have (I have VS 2002 and VS 2005).

The obvious approach is to convert the project to VS 2005, which uses .NET 2.0.  However, I wanted to compile to .NET 1.1 for various reasons, and VS2005 does not allow this out of the box.

The first approach I tried was using the MSBee program.  MSBee is a program for MSBuild to allow compiling a program in VS 2005 to .NET 1.1.  MSBee requires modifying the project file, and has to be run from the command line.  I gave it a try, and it gave me a lot of errors.

I probably could have figured out those MSBuild errors, but I found a better solution: SharpDevelop 2.2.  SharpDevelop typically allows you to compile to either the current .NET version or the previous one.  So SharpDevelop 2.2 can target either .NET 2.0 or .NET 1.1 — and it can read and convert VS 2003 project files.

Sharp Develop read my VS 2003 solution files without a problem, and I went to the Project menu, selected Project Options, clicked on the Compiling tab, and set the Target Framework to .NET Framework 1.1.  Success!


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