For the last few months, developing at home has been a joy since switching to mac and using textmate (and now, aptana is added to my arsenal). At work, however, I’m still stuck in visual studio since we are primarily an asp.net shop. I’ve worked in visual studio 2005, and I have to say, its a much more pleasant development experience….intellisense is smarter, code doesnt get destroyed by design view, and doctype-aware intellisense is the best thing, ever. But we havent switched to .net 2.0 yet…so i’m stuck in the hellhole that is VS2k3. I could spend pages whining about the idiosyncracies that drive me absolutely mad, but today isnt about that. today is about how to make this IDE workable. Last night, right before leaving work, my html intellisense crapped out…but only in one project (the one I’m spending the most time in now, of course). While looking for a fix (which didnt exist…or if it did, VS decided to fix itself before i found one), i found a couple of neato tools that I think will prove useful moving forward.
Before moving forward, i should point out that a couple of these items came from an msdn article. I havent tried all of these, but just because I dont talk about it here doesnt mean it isn’t worth checking out.
First, CodeKeep, is similar to a dozen or so other code-repository sites…what this one has that I havent seen yet is direct integration into Visual Studio…2003 and 2005. Their repository contains 7137 Registered users, 5229 Total snippets, and 1798 Public snippets. Thats alot of stuff, and it’s all organized pretty darn well. Oh, and searchable.
Next, and I see this useful for making code-related posts here. CopySourceAsHTML allows you to copy source from the IDE window, and paste it into another text editor with html wrappers so that when in an html-compatable viewer, it is formatted just like it appeared in your IDE. I have a plugin doing this in wordpress, but it doesnt do it very well…hopefully, this will work a bit better.
My last, and probably most important item, is ReSharper. If you arent using this yet…get it. You’ll thank me later. This tool takes intellisense to the next level, and allows for easy and thorough refactoring of code. I really can’t say enough about this product so download the trial, take it for a spin, and you’ll see what i’m talking about. One annoyance about this product has to do with it’s weird caching practices…loading up a project with resharper installed does take noticably longer than without it…but again, i promise, the benefits are worth it.
Thats it for my Visual Studio power tool session…if you have something you can’t live without in your IDE, let me know, maybe I’ve seen a tool to pull it off. And if you know of any super-useful tools, I’d love to hear from you too.
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