Posts Tagged ‘VSIX’

Fix: VSIX installer error – SignatureDescription could not be created

This is my answer at:

to the question on why some extensions fail to install at RC (Release Candidate) versions of Visual Studio 2015, showing error “SignatureDescription could not be created for the signature algorithm supplied”.

Not sure if Microsoft fixed this on purpose or by accident, but this is very useful for people who don’t have the time (and courage) to uninstall the RC version and reinstall the final one and all extensions they were using.

Speaking of reinstalling everything by hand, it would be nice if you could export an XML document containing a list of installed Visual Studio extensions and then be able to reimport it to install them all at an other Visual Studio installation (should also be able to edit that XML document to remove some if you wish, or at export see a checkbox list to deselect ones you don’t want exported in the resulting list).

To keep it short, the answer is:

Try installing (found from

I used Custom installation option and selected everything. It upgraded Visual Studio 2015 Enterprise RC to Visual Studio 2015 Enterprise automatically and now those extensions that had started recently to not install, are installing fine. That way you’ll avoid the trouble of reinstalling everything.

Note that after installation finishes it shows a button to Launch Visual Studio, which will launch the Enterprise edition (or Professional in the case I guess one had Professional RC installed). However your Windows taskbar shortcuts for Visual Studio 2015 and Blend 2015 will be now broken and you have to fix them by right-clicking them and selecting Properties, then setting them to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe and C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\Common7\IDE\blend.exe respectively, assuming you use an 64-bit OS – else remove the “ (x86)” part – and had installed Visual Studio on C: disk. You may wish to also add those links to the Start menu, under the respective folder (named Visual Studio 2015) if you also miss them from there.

HowTo: Make Project Linker extension’s VSIX install at Visual Studio 2012

Project Linker is a Visual Studio Extension that “helps to automatically create and maintain links from a source project to a target project to share code that is common to Silverlight and WPF”.

In ClipFlair, where I have shared code between a Silverlight and a WPF project (I guess same would be for XNA projects for Xbox360 and for PC), a practice I use is to put shared files in a “Source” project and add them to both projects as links (using “Open as link” action available from Add file dialog if you press the dropdown arrow next to the “Open” button).

An alternative is to put such files in say the WPF project and use the Project Linker tool from Microsoft Patterns & Practices group to link to those files from the Silverlight project easily.

However, that tool seems to be only available for Visual Studio 2010, not for the newer 2012 version. Luckily, some users have posted a workarround at the discussion there (Reviews and Q&A tabs):

  1. Download the .vsix
  2. Extract contents with 7-Zip (since .vsix is a .zip file which you can see by renaming to .zip or
  3. Modify file with extension .vsixmanifest to add <visualstudio version="11.0"> to the <supportedproducts> node
  4. Change MaxVersion to <supportedframeworkruntimeedition minversion="3.5" maxversion="4.5" /> (this may not be necessary)
  5. Zip up contents again
  6. Rename extension back to .vsix
  7. Install extension

According to comments there, this works but not for all project types. It works if one links the Silverlight project to the WPF one, but not the other way around. It throws a NullReferenceException somewhere in the extension.

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