Including namespaces in new VB.NET classes

· April 20, 2007

(UPDATE 2007-04-26 after reading this see

When converting myself from C# to VB.NET i found one thing that annoyed me very much; when you create a new class in VB.NET the namespace is not included in the file.

After a long and hard search i found out that there is a bit of a cultural difference here that comes into play. On the project-file for VB.NET project you’ll find a setting called Root Namespace. The text you write here gets pre-pended to all classes a compile-time. So if you project has a namespace called Marcusoft.Business and you create a class called Product, the complete namespace for the class is Marcusoft.Business.Product.

Note that the Root Namespace gets pre-pended even if you state a namespace in the class. With Root Namespace to Marcusoft.Business and Namespace Entities above the class declaration the complete namespace for the class would be Marcusoft.Business.Entities.Product.

Appearently this is ok with VB.NET developers. So far how VB.NET works…

The sad part is that Visual Studio 2005 doesn’t include the namespace in classes that you create. But after an even harder and longer search i found out about the Export Template-functionallity. Find my short version below

  1. Remove the Root Namespace from all your project. Now and forever!
  2. Create a new shiny class in your project
  3. Include the right namespace declarations and other things that you want in all your, for example comments, regions etc.
  4. Save the file
  5. Choose File->Export Template
  6. Go Item template and go through the rest of the wizard
  7. Distribute the created zip-file in your project. Your project members need to put it in their Document and Settings\Visual Studio 2005\My Exported Templates-folder and restart the studio
  8. Viola!

This solves some of the namespace problem but the folder-problem (i.e. if you create a folder in your project and put the class in there) is not solved… yet.

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