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vs2013 generating spurious packages in AppData

    Question

  • I have a problem with VS2013 and a Windows Store app that I am developing. I have over 2000 packages in the registry and in the AppData\Local\Packages folder which look like this App.a3a371a52.aa3a5.a4f2c.a8b52.ad70f111f38c3_8wekyb3d8bbwe

    I thought it was a problem with my installation so I re-installed Windows, installed updates then VS2013 Express, then VS updates. I have now started developing my app again but the packages have started appearing again.

    Does anyone know how to fix this?


    Mal

    Done some more digging, it appears these entries are only made when there is a binding exception in a xaml page

    • Edited by MalBall Friday, April 11, 2014 9:46 AM
    Friday, April 11, 2014 9:12 AM

Answers

  • Hi Mal!

    This is expected and by design.  The folder you reference (appdata\local\packages) is the location for all installed apps state and data.  Each time an app is installed there will be an entry there.

    Since you are a developer, you probably have a lot.  Each time you create a store app in VS and F5, you'll get an entry there because F5 *installs* the app and thus creates the package directories for it.  Additionally, when you are using XAML and the designer view, technically your app is running code, and this also is 'installed' at that time.

    As to the names, this is all about the default naming of the projects.  Look in the manifest package section and you'll see the GUID there that you can (and should before publishing) change.  By default VS uses GUIDs to avoid conflict of package installation.

    FWIW, my machine currently has 905 directories in the packages due to all the development and throw-away projects I have.

    The key is that each VS store app project effectively is also an installed app.  Until it is uninstalled you will see the state directories for the app.

    Hope this helps!


    Tim Heuer | Program Manager, UI Platforms (XAML, WinJS) | http://timheuer.com/blog | @timheuer | Callisto - XAML UI Toolkit

    (if my post has answered your question, please consider using the *mark as answer* feature in the forums to help others)

    Thursday, April 17, 2014 7:41 PM

All replies

  • Can you provide the app for investigation?

    Matt Small - Microsoft Escalation Engineer - Forum Moderator
    If my reply answers your question, please mark this post as answered.

    NOTE: If I ask for code, please provide something that I can drop directly into a project and run (including XAML), or an actual application project. I'm trying to help a lot of people, so I don't have time to figure out weird snippets with undefined objects and unknown namespaces.

    Friday, April 11, 2014 1:37 PM
    Moderator
  • I can not sure how all the references will work but I can zip it up, how do I upload?

    Mal

    Friday, April 11, 2014 1:41 PM
  • Can you put it on Onedrive and post a link to it?

    Matt Small - Microsoft Escalation Engineer - Forum Moderator
    If my reply answers your question, please mark this post as answered.

    NOTE: If I ask for code, please provide something that I can drop directly into a project and run (including XAML), or an actual application project. I'm trying to help a lot of people, so I don't have time to figure out weird snippets with undefined objects and unknown namespaces.

    Friday, April 11, 2014 1:41 PM
    Moderator
  • How do I make it generate these entries?

    Matt Small - Microsoft Escalation Engineer - Forum Moderator
    If my reply answers your question, please mark this post as answered.

    NOTE: If I ask for code, please provide something that I can drop directly into a project and run (including XAML), or an actual application project. I'm trying to help a lot of people, so I don't have time to figure out weird snippets with undefined objects and unknown namespaces.

    Friday, April 11, 2014 4:45 PM
    Moderator
  • I deliberately put an invalid binding into one of the pages in place of the correct binding, this seemed to produce and entry

    Mal

    Friday, April 11, 2014 4:58 PM
  • Have also just tried running one of the sample apps from MS and I got the same problem when I introduced an error


    Mal

    Monday, April 14, 2014 4:49 PM
  • I still don't understand how to reproduce this problem.

    Matt Small - Microsoft Escalation Engineer - Forum Moderator
    If my reply answers your question, please mark this post as answered.

    NOTE: If I ask for code, please provide something that I can drop directly into a project and run (including XAML), or an actual application project. I'm trying to help a lot of people, so I don't have time to figure out weird snippets with undefined objects and unknown namespaces.

    Monday, April 14, 2014 6:12 PM
    Moderator
  • Not sure if it helps but here is a link to one of the package folders that get created

    https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=1FEC0ECBF1F53DBF!83110&authkey=!AG9ZYBpOAInVB1E&ithint=file%2c.zip

    I have been watching the package folder, I thought I had found when they are created but its very hit and miss. I can see one getting created sometimes when I open a XAML file in VS for editing at other times its when an error occurs in the app.

    This is really frustrating, I can remove them manually from the folder but I know that these are also getting created all over the registry which isn't that easy to control


    Mal

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014 9:39 AM
  • Having looked a bit more, it seems if I open a XAML file in VS after a build the package is created. If I then open the same XAML file again later it doesn't get created. Only seems to be after a build


    Mal

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014 9:47 AM
  • If you would like me to investigate this, please give me exact reproduction instructions.

    Matt Small - Microsoft Escalation Engineer - Forum Moderator
    If my reply answers your question, please mark this post as answered.

    NOTE: If I ask for code, please provide something that I can drop directly into a project and run (including XAML), or an actual application project. I'm trying to help a lot of people, so I don't have time to figure out weird snippets with undefined objects and unknown namespaces.

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014 2:25 PM
    Moderator
  • I am trying to be as accurate as I can but its not easy to track.

    So far I have found that I can work on C# files in the editor and build and run without these appearing.

    If I work on XAML files and this includes other solutions not just mine, I get one of these packages produced.

    I have just opened another MS Solution (FolderEnumeration), double clicked on Scenario3.xaml which opened in the editor and created one of these packages in AppData\Local\Packages

    There are a lot of other packages in there which I assume are correct, for example

    Microsoft.BingFinance_8wekyb3d8bbwe


    Mal

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014 2:33 PM
  • Hi Mal!

    This is expected and by design.  The folder you reference (appdata\local\packages) is the location for all installed apps state and data.  Each time an app is installed there will be an entry there.

    Since you are a developer, you probably have a lot.  Each time you create a store app in VS and F5, you'll get an entry there because F5 *installs* the app and thus creates the package directories for it.  Additionally, when you are using XAML and the designer view, technically your app is running code, and this also is 'installed' at that time.

    As to the names, this is all about the default naming of the projects.  Look in the manifest package section and you'll see the GUID there that you can (and should before publishing) change.  By default VS uses GUIDs to avoid conflict of package installation.

    FWIW, my machine currently has 905 directories in the packages due to all the development and throw-away projects I have.

    The key is that each VS store app project effectively is also an installed app.  Until it is uninstalled you will see the state directories for the app.

    Hope this helps!


    Tim Heuer | Program Manager, UI Platforms (XAML, WinJS) | http://timheuer.com/blog | @timheuer | Callisto - XAML UI Toolkit

    (if my post has answered your question, please consider using the *mark as answer* feature in the forums to help others)

    Thursday, April 17, 2014 7:41 PM
  • Ok thanks for that, can you confirm that there is a different package installed each time? My app is called PhotoLog there is a folder called PhotoLog_ndknpaz6apyzr which is where I put my SQLite database and the app uses when I do F5. However, there is also other folders created even when I just open my solution in VS such as App.abe11c482.a27bb.a4ba6.a88a1.aef1e00b3ba96_8wekyb3d8bbwe is this correct?

    In the package manager I have changed the package name to PhotoLog which has generated the Package Family as above, is this correct?

    There are also corresponding folders created in the registry each time also when I click on the Open With button in Windows Photos I get a lot of entries in the menu with NOUIEntryPoint-DesignMode. On searching the registry they seem to be linked with these packages


    Mal

    Friday, April 18, 2014 8:58 AM
  • @Mal - you shouldn't get a diff package *each time* although some of the designer shadow projects may create these.  When you changed the package name to PhotoLog, yes that is part of the Package Family name (you should actually see the whole package family name in the package tab of the manifest editor as well.

    The NOUIEntryPoint-DesignMode is definitely the designer no-op packages (but still technically apps)


    Tim Heuer | Program Manager, XAML Platform | <a href="http://timheuer.com/blog/"> http://timheuer.com/blog</a> | <a href="http://twitter.com/timheuer">@timheuer</a> | <a href="http://winrtxamltoolkit.com">Callisto - XAML UI Toolkit</a><br/> <br/> (if my post has answered your question, please consider using the *mark as answer* feature in the forums to help others)

    Friday, April 18, 2014 10:38 PM
  • Thanks Tim, so the NOUIEntryPoint is a result of development and wouldn't manifest itself once its published to market?

    I do get different packages produced other than the PhotoLog package, is there anything I can do about that, is it something to do with the solution? Having re-installed a couple of times this seems the only common thing


    Mal

    Saturday, April 19, 2014 9:12 AM
  • The NOUIEntryPoint is NOT your app...that is the designer.  Are you saying that you observe something like the following:

    - your app packages folder has N items in it
    - you create an app (FooApp)
    - you open a XAML file in FooApp in design mode
    - you F5 FooApp
    - you stop debugging and close VS
    - your app packages folder has N+2 items in it?


    Tim Heuer | Program Manager, XAML Platform | http://timheuer.com/blog | @timheuer | Callisto - XAML UI Toolkit

    (if my post has answered your question, please consider using the *mark as answer* feature in the forums to help others)

    Friday, April 25, 2014 2:15 AM
  • No not quite, the packages are created in the AppData\Local\Packages folder not my app folder they look like this

    App.a88c1c313.aac71.a435f.a9e20.a1367a5540796_8wekyb3d8bbwe

    My app package folder is

    PhotoLog_ndknpaz6apyzr

    The packages seem to get created both on f5 and when I open my solution in VS2013 or when I open a XAML file in VS


    Mal

    Friday, April 25, 2014 10:05 AM
  • I have another thread open which explains the issue but unfortunately it hasn't yet been addressed.

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsapps/en-US/58d0403b-50e3-4d6b-a36a-5fb7e932165e/vs2013-generating-spurious-packages-in-appdata?forum=winappswithcsharp

    I was hoping someone else may check their systems to see if they have the same problems.

    Basically my app development creates packages in the AppData\Local\Packages folder and puts registry entries into the registry with the following folder names

    App.a0ae05ceb.acb0e.a4a01.ab746.a0a46302d7b69_8wekyb3d8bbwe

    Its done silently so you wont be aware of them.


    Mal

    Friday, May 23, 2014 5:00 PM