I'm certainly not an expert regarding exactly what fits into the scope of an on-topic or off-topic question, and I'm sure there's a chance I'm entirely off-base in thinking that it doesn't fit.
Here is the question: Prevent Visual Studio from compiling - at all
This is a new one for me. I have been asked, for legal reasons, to setup a laptop with Visual Studio, but to disable the ability to compile projects/solutions. The purpose to enable browsing of the source code, but not building or executing it. This would be in Visual Studio 2010 or later. Any ideas?
Yes, I know this is really a stupid question and unfortunately I can't get into too many details. I've asked about using alternative text editors but I have been told no. So until I can prove it isn't possible (or that I have at least made a reasonable effort) I have to try and make this work. Notepad++ would be an excellent alternative, but that has been rejected.
I was surprised to find out the VS continued to work fine (except for building of course). I expected when I did this that functionality like F12 (goto definition) continued to work. This may mean that there still remains the ability to build something somewhere somehow. But as it stands w/ MSBuild permanently deleted and the VS Build command not working it'll take some effort to get around it if there exists a way.
I understand that posting a question about Visual Studio falls under the third bullet point under What topics can I ask about here? in the help center:
- software tools commonly used by programmers
But that being said, I think it has a conflict with the fourth bullet point (emphasis mine):
- practical, answerable problems that are unique to the programming profession
The TL;DR on the question is that the OP wants to know if Visual Studio can be nerfed to the point where it's unable to build a solution/project, for legal reasons relating to a lawsuit. Here's my comment on why this sort of thing might happen in the first place:
This sort of thing tends to happen when a company is asked to turn over source code in a suit involving such things as copyright and/or patent infringement. The prosecuting party (or a third party, sometimes provided by the court) must be provided means to review the source code, without the ability to modify it, build and run it, or copy it to another storage device or computer.
Aside from the obvious answer of "you shouldn't do that, why are you trying to do that" from a purely-Visual Studio point of view—seeing as Visual Studio is an IDE whose primary purpose is to equally facilitate code editing and building—the scenario the OP puts forth seems to be extremely localized. It seems that his superiors gave him an executive command to require Visual Studio but disable its build capabilities, all without knowing just how unsupported of a scenario that is.
My first thought was that this might belong on Programmers.SE, but I'm not really sure it fits the requirements there either, per its What topics can I ask about here? help center page:
- algorithm and data structure concepts
- design patterns
- developer testing
- development methodologies
- freelancing and business concerns
- quality assurance
- software architecture
- software engineering
- software licensing
I feel like this borders on being a software licensing issue... except it's still a technical question demanding a technical answer, so that doesn't seem right either.
Am I entirely off my rocker for thinking this question is out of place? I don't really want to cast a close vote unless it's warranted.