Discovering Which Projects Depend on a Project – II

In a previous post I shared a hack that enables detection of all projects that depend on a given one, either directly or indirectly. @Matt asks by mail if I can suggest a quick way to isolate only the direct dependencies.

Well as a matter of fact I can, but it would be even uglier than the original hack. First delete the project of interest from the solution:

Then note which of all the other projects have changed. This can be as easy as noting a small ‘v’ besides them in the solution explorer, indicating a check-out:

Turns out that Deleting a project (unlike, say, unloading it) chases it up in the references of all other solution sibling projects, and removes it from their references if present. This in turn causes a change to the project file, which can be easy to spot visually. Sibling projects which refer to the project indirectly still hold references to the intermediate projects – and so are left unchanged. Therefore this hack isolates only direct references.

Of course don’t forget to immediately undo these changes afterwards.

Altogether, these hacks are mighty hackish. If you find yourself caring about dependency management more than once or twice, just go get some tool.

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