Visual Studio 2010 keeps complaining about Invalid XML although there is none (WP7)

I experience a strange behaviour in Visual Studio 2010 when creating Windows Phone 7 apps. After some time VS starts to complain about Invalid XAML although there is no problem and the app compiles and runs just fine.

It bugges me because I cannot use the visual desingner saying "Exception was thrown on "DataTemplate": Invalid XML" and there is a DataTemplate higlighted in the code. The data template is always ok, VS does not complain about it when copy-pasted to another project.

I found out that problematic are usually the DataTemplates with custom converters or when usin g classes like PhonePerformance.

Sometimes the error is "Exception thrown was due to document error: Invalid XML" and nothing is even highlighted in the XAML file.

I tried reinstalling .NET. Visual Studio etc. and the problem occurs on two separated machines so I do not think it is specific to my configuration. It may be specific to my code.

Anyone experienced similar behaviour?


When using XAML, if you reference a library that needs to be evaluated but can't be at design time you get this kind of error. You can turn off the visual editor and just work in XAML - that will stop the error (and save you time).

You reinstalled .NET and VisualStudio??? You should have just spun up a second instance, opened the solution in both, then attached the debugger from one to the second and opened up the visual editor. It would have told you exactly what in your code was causing the problem. Also DesignerProperties.IsInDesignMode in your converters. Jeez. You wasted so much time :(

As for design time data, that's tricky. Either you have DesignTimeDataWithDesignTimeCreatableTypes that aren't or DesignData that can't create proxies for your real types (for whatever reason, had this issue many times deep in the past).

The only way to figure this out is to debug one instance from another. Its actually not that hard. I do it alot (debugging WF4 ActivityDesigners).

A friend has found a solution and you would not believe where the problem is. This happens if you have a space in the name of your assembly. I found out that I really have a space in assembly name in all the problematic projects, renamed the assemblies and the designer works again.

The solution is also mentioned here

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