Most current .NET developers know that programming includes much more than just language. As a result, when a new edition is released, it is understood that it will include language enhancements, framework additions, and changes to the way you write code. Visual Studio 2008 is no different. It releases in step with the .NET Framework 3.5, VB 9, and C# 3.0. The below highlights some of the key IDE enhancements specific to your .NET language of choice.

VB IDE Enhancements

As in past versions of Visual Basic, the language is only a part of the story. Visual Basic is about both language and productivity tools. It’s worth noting some of the non language, but VB-specific, productivity enhancements that ship with the 2008 version. These are highlighted as listed here:

Improved IntelliSense—The latest version of VB has IntelliSense built-in everywhere, every time you type. Simply type a letter in the code window and the tool guesses (almost always right) at what you are trying to accomplish. The performance is also much improved over prior editions. In addition, VB has much stronger ToolTips to help you code.

VB Power Pack Controls—The VB team is working to add the RAD back into the language and reduce the shock of moving from VB 5/6 to the .NET version. Therefore, they have created off-cycle releases (between 2005 and 2008) of controls that provide additional productivity such as printing, line and shape, and a DataRepeater. In addition, they are committed to continuing to release power pack controls. For more info, search MSDN for “Visual Basic Power Packs.”

Refactor!— Microsoft has made it a key part of VB by striking a deal to offer the Refactor! product from DevExpress free to all licensed VB .NET developers. “Refactoring Code.” is primarily for the C# developers out there. With this deal, VB developers get a lot of existing and many new (2008 only) refactoring tools.

Interop Forms Toolkit—Microsoft continues to provide help to the developers out there still working with VB 6 code. The Interop Forms Toolkit is a new set of tools that allow you to keep your existing code in VB 6 and write new code for the same application using .NET. The toolkit provides interop support between the two environments so that you can begin using .NET without having to rewrite your entire application.

C# IDE Enhancements

The C# language takes another step forward in the 2008 release; the code writing and editing process is also improved with this recent release. Like VB, C# has some language-specific IDE features that aid in writing and editing code. These new features include the following:

Improved IntelliSense—The latest version of C# has an improved IntelliSense engine. This new version puts IntelliSense nearly everywhere you type. It includes statement completion, more helpful Quick Info ToolTips, and faster performance. In addition, the IntelliSense works with all the great new language features in C#. These include implicitly typed variables, extension methods, query expressions, lambda expressions, partial methods, and more.

Refactoring—Visual Studio 2005 introduced refactoring to the toolset of the C# developer. In 2008, the refactoring tools are extended to support the many new features of the language, including query expressions, extension methods, and lambda expressions. Renaming, extracting methods, and other refactoring tools work as well with these new features as they did with the previous C# language syntax. In addition, the refactoring tools now provide additional options and warnings to make sure you don’t end up with some unintended consequences when making changes to working code.

Code Formatting—The C# code editor continues to improve the formatting of your code and the control over how that formatting gets applied. For example, the formatting engine understands things like query expressions. When you write one, it will automatically line up keywords such as From and Where under one another to improve the readability of your code.

Organize Your Using Declarations—As your code ages, you might notice that the using declarations sometimes become a little unwieldy. The C# editor has a new feature to help you manage these declarations. There is now an Organize Usings menu option available from both the Edit menu and the context menu when you right-click on a using declaration. You can use the options on this menu to sort your using declarations by namespace and to clean your code of any unused usings declarations.

Source of Information : Sams Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Unleashed


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