Today I opened up a new Codeplex project called “Weeko”, which is a Sioux name for “pretty”.
Weeko is an experiment which uses MEF to easily plug in tool windows into VS2010. The tool windows are developed as ordinary WPF UserControls. Install the Visual Studio extension and drop your user control assembly into the extensions directory of Visual Studio and it will show up inside the IDE.
This is how it can look with a couple of sample “addins” – The Rss feed, Twitter feed and a digital clock are all WPF User Controls which are exported and imported using MEF – Managed Extensibility Framework.
Feel free to check it out and if you got some ideas for improvements please let me know. I’m thinking about how to better manage available plugins, load/unload etc.
It’s been a while since I actually looked at the Codeplex statistics for Writespace, but it seems that people keep downloading it and that’s always fun! So far Writespace has been downloaded over 4.000 times which is peanuts compared to other open source tools, but perhaps I helped some people get more productive and that feels good!
Following the top referring sites I can see that this simple addin for Word gets some good reviews from people that compares it with other similar tools. One of the best articles I’ve seen so far is the one by Rob Oakes, which he calls On Writing – Software that cuts out distraction and clutter where he compares DarkRoom, WriteRoom, Writespace and PyRoom. They are all very similar to each other.
What’s not so cool is that Writespace is an open source project, and it would have been fun to get some patches or help from other developers. Of the 4.000 downloads, I’m sure there are a whole lot of .NET developers that know their XAML well. I’ve got some feedback for ideas, one guy I know made some changes but didn’t send me code or a patch… pity. If you extend open source software, shouldn’t you share that? Maybe it’s too hard to create a patch?
I had a few minutes to fix a few issues and release an updated version (1.3) of Writespace – the full screen editing environment addin for Word.
So what’s new? I removed the annoying illuminated animation for row and column when typing. Added F4 shortcut for the Options dialog. Also added a command line program and a sample ditto to run Writespace with IronRuby.
IronRuby can be downloaded from http://ironruby.codeplex.com
The command line programs are optional downloads, but it seems to run pretty well if pinned to the Windows 7 TaskBar:
Our SQL Azure Explorer Addin for VS2010, which is on Codeplex was mentioned on the Last Week on Channel 9 show, which is cool. Made the download stats peek even though it’s for VS2010 Beta 1 only and you need to have an SQL Azure CTP account.
That show is one of the best for people like me who need to keep up with the latest stuff happening on the Windows and .NET front.
I need to get some time and refactor the data access layer. It works, but it’s not consistent and could use more integration tests. Or I’ll let it be and just work on new features, which is way funnier ;)