How to setup dynamic groups in MSBuild without Visual Studio ruining them

time to read 2 min | 314 words

One of the really annoying things about VS & MSBuild is that while MSBuild is perfectly capable of doing things like this:

<EmbeddedResource Include="WebUI\**\*.*"/>

Visual Studio would go ahead, resolve the expression and then hard code the current values.

That sort of defeat the way I want to make use of it, which would make it frictionless to add more elements. If you do it in a slightly more complex way, VS can’t resolve this easily, so it does the right thing and compute this at build time, rather than replacing with the hard coded values.

Here is how you do it:

    <Target Name="BeforeBuild">
        <CreateItem Include="WebUI\**\*.*">
            <Output ItemName="EmbeddedResource" TaskParameter="Include" />