My Love / Hate relationship with Visual Studio


Back in 2001 I used to know the ASP.NET bits from top to bottom getting to its internal (thanks Reflector!) to a very down-to-the-metal level. I could recite the page lifecycle from top of my head, tell you what you may being doing wrong regarding it without actually looking at your code (my 4000+ posts answering questions at the newsgroups are a living testimony of this) and I also contributed to the ASP.Net team with lots and lots of bug reports, besides writing a couple of articles for different ASP.NET topics in MSDN and having co-authored two books too. We can say I was breathing ASP.Net at that time and for the next couple following years.


Now, in 2007, as some of you may already know I’ve been working -silently I should say, as my blogging activity pretty much sucked- almost exclusively extending Visual Studio for the last 3+ years.


What follow are a few paragraphs of how I feel about this (yes, this is the point where you can stop reading!).


Visual Studio is a tool I love to use.


It’s has been enhanced over the years with new features you could really feel.


As a small sample of this there is IntelliSense all over the place: code editor, watch window, immediate window, and the terrific work done by the ASP.Net team on editing HTML pages that can be mixed with C# or VB while retaining the same experience as if you were editing a plain C# or VB code file.


Visual Studio is a tool I hate to extend.


Due to its original architecture and its need to support lots of legacy code there isn’t yet a clean and nice managed approach to extend it. Lately (and thanks heaven!) there have been lots of moves that seem oriented to make this change a reality: VSX, Shell, etc. I’ll talk about these in separate posts.


That said, I’m still very happy and enjoying my daily work. Why? Because I love challenges.


And let me tell you -in case you still didn’t know- extending Visual Studio is a hell of a new challenge each day!!



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