Support for Incomplete Solutions

Several members of the Whole Tomato Software crew attended the Seattle XNA Gamefest held back in July.  It was a great opportunity for us to get face time with quite a few of our customers.  We received a lot of feedback some of which has bubbled up in VA X 10.5.

We learned that many Visual Studio users only work in the IDE for editing and debugging but not for doing builds.  Because it is not being used for builds, people are working with solutions that are empty or are incomplete, adhoc file collections.

To address editing and navigation productivity in these scenarios, we have added optional support for directory based file discovery. If enabled, VA X will scan for files that are in the same directory as any opened file.  Newly discovered files (those which are not already explicitly listed in the solution) are treated as part of the solution in the eyes of VA X.  The files are listed in the VA X file lists (OFIS and VA View) and symbols declared in them are listed in the VA X symbol lists (FSIS and VA View).

File discovery is controlled via two settings on the Projects|File Handling node of the VA X Options dialog.  The first setting enables this support for only when the loaded solution is empty.  The second enables it independently for when files are present in the loaded solution.  The first setting is enabled by default whereas the second is disabled.  If you use partial solutions as described above, then we recommend enabling the second option.

Versionitis (of the host environment)

Yesterday, I posted about a new feature in VA X 10.5.  I failed to mention that the new feature is only supported in Visual Studio versions starting with Visual Studio.NET (vs2002+).  While we continue to support VC++ 6, not all features we introduce going forward will be available in that environment.  That said, we don’t currently have any plans to end VC++ 6 support.

For those of you still using VC++ 6, care to share why?  Are you still using the VC++ 6 compiler and libraries, or have you modified the build environment to use different tools?

Mark All Occurrences

Highlight Find Results is a new feature in Visual Assist X 10.5.  By default, this feature tracks your standard Find commands and highlights all of the find results in the text editor.  Some people may not want this feature enabled by default and would rather manually invoke highlighting.  Here’s how.

First, to disable the default behavior, uncheck the “Highlight find results” option on the Advanced | Display page of the Visual Assist X Options dialog.

Next, create a keybinding to invoke VAssistX.FindSelected.  Open the IDE Options dialog and navigate to Environment | Keyboard.  Type “findsel” into the “Show commands containing” edit control.  Select “VAssistX.FindSelected” in the command list.  Select “Text Editor” in the “Use new shortcut” list.  Press Alt+K in the shortcut keys control.  Press Assign and OK.

Now, you can press Alt+K on any word (or selection) in the editor to highlight all occurrences of the word (or selection).  The command also updates the Find text so that F3 will move the caret to the next occurrence.  Unlike Ctrl+F3, when you press Alt+K, the caret will not change position.  Press escape to clear the highlighting.