In Valid Logic

Endlessly expanding technology

Revisiting Visual Studio experience

With the release of Visual Studio 2008, I went and installed it on my laptop and have been starting to play around with .NET 3.5, LINQ, and also doing some IIS7 managed modules.  The recent upgrade and prompted me to re-evaluate some of the tools I use with Visual Studio.

In the past, I've been an avid ReSharper user.  I've been using ReSharper for about 3 years now.  Currently, I'm still on their 2.5 release, since 3.0 wasn't really a compelling upgrade to pay for.  And right now, I'm not really sure if I will continue to use ReSharper.  They currently don't support the new extensions in C# 3.0, and have posted they will have support in January with their Early Access Program.  This is kind of disappointing.  Sure, January isn't far, but would have to use an EAP release?  Most of their EAPs are pretty good, though I've always avoided the ones early on in a new version.  Also, it would be a v4.0, and not yet known if I pay for 3.0 now, would I get 4.0 for free.

On the flip side, I've been starting to look at Devexpress's CodeRush some more.  I had played with it before, though not used it that much.  At times, the templating can get in the way, but just a matter of tweaking the type of code the templates enter and what templates you have enabled to your particular coding style.  Visually, CodeRush is awesome.  I love its color coded identation indicators, its options for things like code analysis, and warming up to the templating.

However, there are a few things I still find holes in.  Namely:

  • ReSharper's on-the-fly syntax checking was awesome.  I fat finger things a lot, and it covers my back so it doesn't halt me at compile time.
  • Automatically adding namespaces.  I hate typing something up, then not getting intellisense since I realized I need to go to the top and add the System.Xml namespace or something
  • Its code generation is at times better than templating.  IE, to create a bunch of properties for private variables, ReSharper rocks.  Alt+Ins, Read+Write Property, and it adds them all at once.
  • Close All?  Hello, I don't know why Visual Studio doesn't have this by default.  Right click on a document tab and can Close All... all VS has by default is Close All But This.
  • "Find Usages" and "Find Usages Advanced" absolutely rock in ReSharper, beats Visual Studio's Find All References.
  • "Find by type" and "Find by filename".  Community Server is a big ass project, so like heck do I know which folder a particular class is in.  I just hit Ctrl+N, start typing User, hit enter, and boom, it loads the User class.
  • These are the things I haven't been able to find a replacement for.  Some things I could get used to... the code generation could get used to, the Find All References I probably could, but some of the others like error checking, namespacing, and type finding, that would be hard to go with out.

    So looking at two options:

    1. Switch to CodeRush, get TestDriven.NET (for unit test runner), find some add-ins for the can't-live-without from above.
    2. Upgrade to ReSharper 3.0, find some add-ins to add similar indent highlighting.
    3. So my question to those of you out there... anyone know of any add-ins for Visual Studio that cover any of the above?

Friday, November 30, 2007

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