This is my first post of hopefully many that will touch on the various features I am coming across while using the Whidbey Community Technology Preview. All I can say for my self is that Whidbey is everything I had hoped for in the next version of Visual Studio. A lot of new controls, existing controls are polished, and a lot of new designer / environment features.
First I would like to amend my previous post about having to use “Show All Files”. This of course works the best since you can see all the files involved, but you can just use the type and member drop-down navigators in the code view window to access the methods and designer code that is initially hidden away by the development environment.
Microsoft has finally updated there Menu and Toolbar controls. They are now so much better to use. They now have rendering modes and rendering interfaces you can use with them to customize the look and feel. The default looks like Office 2003 :) So right of the bat you will not have to worry about purchasing or having to rely on third party controls to get the Office 2003 look and feel.
They also have very rich designer support. Allowing you to add images to each menu item using a resource navigator. They are now named MenuStrip, ToolStrip, and StatusStrip respectively. The ToolStrip is the same... it has very rich designer support, allowing the addition of images using the resource navigator.
The context menu has very useful items for these controls. If you choose “Insert Standard Items” on the MenuStrip, the designer will automatically create File, Edit, Tools, and Help menus with icon images and all. If you do the same on the ToolStrip, it will insert the standard New, Save, Open, Print, Cut, Copy, and Paste icons on the ToolStrip. Each control also have a new action menu that pops up when you hover your mouse over them... it is indicated by showing a little arrow in a small white box. When you click on the arrow you get an action menu with quick access to adding and deleting items. It also has check boxes for Visible, AlllowItemReorder, and CanOverflow. You will also have access to other various properties based on the control and what it provides.
If you go the option “Edit Items” from the context menu or actions menu, you will get an Item Collection Editor with a view showing the *Strip control at the top and the child controls beneath it. Here you can now add combo boxes, text boxes, etc. All the controls we wanted in the first place are there now. This also goes over to the new DataGridView control. When adding column styles, you can now choose combo box, check box, etc.
My last observation was one that I liked since I am someone who like having the code editor take up the full screen. If you right click on a control and choose “Edit Properties” a panel shows up at the top of the code view window titled “Quick Edit Mode”. On the right it has a drop-down listing the most common properties that we change, like Text for example. The very right of the panel has a link entitled “Exit Mode” which will cause the panel to go away of course.
Good stuff so far. As I make note of other things I find I will post them here. If any of you would like to hear about specific things you are curious about, let me know.