Visual Studio 2010 sim-ship

We’re excited to announce plans to simultaneously ship Visual Assist X 10.6 with Visual Studio 2010 this Spring!  As a Visual Studio Industry Partner, we’ve been working hard to make sure the features you’ve come to expect from Visual Assist X are ready to boost your productivity with Microsoft’s latest IDE.

VA X in VS2010 Update

With Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 released last week, we want to get our next Beta of VA X out as soon as we can.  We are currently working through some breaking changes introduced in Beta 2, but we hope to resolve these quickly and get a build out in the next week or two.

Thanks for your patience, and we’ll keep you updated…

Enhanced suggestions

Enhanced suggestions

In our latest builds of Visual Assist X, we’ve been sneaking in some enhancements from our work on the upcoming Visual Studio 2010 beta. We decided to roll these features out early so our users could start enjoying them in currently supported IDEs with out having to wait for the full VS2010 beta. Hope you enjoy!

Enhanced suggestions are one of the items we’ve added.

VA now offers smarter suggestions based on types in assignments, conditional statements, method arguments and return values. For example, when assigning to a variable “v = “, VA will suggest other variables of the same type from the current scope. For certain types such as bool, VA will also suggest relevant values (“true” and “false”).  In method calls, VA looks at the method signature and makes suggestions based on the type of the current argument. Suggestions are also offered for return values, based on the method’s return type.

Enhanced Suggestions

Enhanced suggestions are influenced by scope.  For example, VA suggests case/break/default in switch statements and private/protected/public in class definitions. Within a switch statement on an enum, VA suggests the enum items in the case statements.

You may also notice that our suggestions as a whole are less noisy, take up less screen real estate and are more accurate. They contain less of the stuff you will likely never type and better guesses at what you are likely to type. Suggestion listbox tooltips only display once you pause typing, reducing distraction and saving valuable screen real estate, yet preserving the additional information for when you need it. We hope you like the changes!

VA X in VS2010

VS2010: VAX and C++/CLI

VS2010: VA X and C++/CLI

Microsoft seems to have challenged themselves to see how much they can change for VS2010 — new WPF shell, snazzy text editor, MEF-based extensibility, VSIX installers, C++ build system, oh my. This is a major release both on the surface and under the hood, and the changes have impacted VA X on all sides.  But we’re happy to report we have VA X running in VS2010, and we are currently shaking out bugs.

We are excited by the possibilities of the new WPF text editor, as it will enable new VA X features that simply were not possible in earlier IDEs.  But for now, most of our time has been spent simply trying to achieve feature parity with what we already do in the older IDEs.  Once we’ve done that, we can begin the real brainstorming for what’s ahead.

We’ll be releasing a beta of our VS2010 support when Microsoft releases their next public beta.

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?

Visual Assist X 10.5

We’re proud to announce the release of Visual Assist X 10.5, which adds full support for Web and WPF applications, including ASP/ASP.NET, HTML, XML, JavaScript, VBScript, and XAML.  It also adds new features to existing languages, along with many fixes and enhancements to existing features:

  • Support for Web and WPF projects, including ASP/ASP.NET, HTML, XML, JavaScript, VBScript, and XAML
    • New IntelliSense features include smart guesses for JavaScript member lists and HTML code completion with paths to images and other resources
    • Navigate easily between .aspx and code-behind files in ASP.NET
    • Additional VA Snippets
  • Highlight find results (Visual Studio .NET and later)
    • Controlled via VA Options|Advanced|Display|Highlight find results
    • Choose highlight color via IDE’s Fonts & Colors list for Find Result (VA X)
  • Optional tomato icons in listboxes and tooltips denote content provided by Visual Assist X vs. the IDE
      • Controlled via VA Options|Advanced|Display|Use tomato icons in listboxes and tooltips to mark Visual Assist X content

  • Find References results grouped by project
    • VA Options|Advanced|Refactoring|Display project nodes in Find References results
    • VA Options|Advanced|Refactoring|Display project nodes in Rename dialog reference lists
  • Improved VA Outline behavior
    • VA Outline remembers the expanded state of each node when refreshing its contents
    • Optionally auto-expands nodes as the user navigates in the code editor.

Recursive Products

One of my first tasks at Whole Tomato was to do some code cleanup in the name of learning the Visual Assist codebase.  After just a few Find References, Renames, and Goto Definitions, I realized the recursive nature of this product:  I was using VA to learn VA.  I was using VA to refactor VA’s refactoring code.  I was even using the codebase as a test suite for itself.

Most products aren’t like this.  Clearly other development tools, IDEs and compilers fall into this category.  And perhaps source control and bug tracking tools qualify, although more indirectly.  But outside of software, I have trouble thinking of similar examples.  Manufacturing?  Chemical reactions?  Books about making books?

What other companies use their own product in the direct production of that very product?