Running Mono MVC3 Razor and Solving the InvalidOperationException of "The view 'name' or its master was not found"

I’ve been fighting my system the past day or so trying to figure out why all the views in one of my controllers return this silly exception. The file indeed exists. Permissions are correct. Other controller views works. Other non-view (like json or file content) actions work within this controller. This works on Windows but not in Mono. Why doesn’t it work? To find this, I ended up using my source control to identify the commit that caused the break. Then line by line, I started toggling the changes within that commit until I found it.

System.InvalidOperationException: The view 'Index' or its master was not found or no view engine supports the searched locations. The following locations were searched: ~/Areas/Manage/Views/Dashboard/Index.aspx ~/Areas/Manage/Views/Dashboard/Index.ascx ~/Areas/Manage/Views/Shared/Index.aspx ~/Areas/Manage/Views/Shared/Index.ascx ~/Views/Dashboard/Index.aspx ~/Views/Dashboard/Index.ascx ~/Views/Shared/Index.aspx ~/Views/Shared/Index.ascx ~/Areas/Manage/Views/Dashboard/Index.cshtml ~/Areas/Manage/Views/Dashboard/Index.vbhtml ~/Areas/Manage/Views/Shared/Index.cshtml ~/Areas/Manage/Views/Shared/Index.vbhtml ~/Views/Dashboard/Index.cshtml ~/Views/Dashboard/Index.vbhtml ~/Views/Shared/Index.cshtml ~/Views/Shared/Index.vbhtml

I’m saying this purely by observation. But MVC3 (or maybe the Mono runtime) seems to group compiled view code by controller. I was able to figure out that ALL ViewResult actions failed under this specific controller. It turns out I had one character out of place in my Razor syntax. With that one syntactical flaw, all the views under that controller could not compile and the only reasonable exception that could be thrown was the one above. The windows runtime seems to ignore this (maybe because it compiles them individually; I don’t know). In my case, I was trying to render one view when another view was causing the problem.

So if you see this exception and everything seems to be correct, start sifting through your recent View changes to see if anything you did broke the view syntax. So you can get a little laugh, here’s my goof up:

Extra @ symbol not needed when continuing a code block

The indicated ‘@’ symbol is not necessary when continuing additional statements.

Enjoy!