Get your bits (Passport login & VSIP registration required) while they're hot off the build machines! The March 2006 CTP of the Visual Studio SDK has hit the web. We've made some pretty significant improvements since last month that are worth checking out. From the VSIP download page:

"The Mar CTP is the next milestone in the drive towards the April 2006 v2 release. This CTP contains updated VS Integration sample and documentation content, including updates to the IronPython end-end integration sample with Intellisense and the beginnings of Winform designer integration, updated C# and C++ Editor Reference samples, new examples ( CustomSearchProvider, RegExLanguageService ), addition of Package.Shell and Package.LanguageService MPF source code, and signed VSTA bits to round out the major updates."

Yes, you heard right. With this release, we've begun adding Windows Forms Designer support to the IronPython project system. And yes, we've included the Managed Package Framework source code.

However, in the spirit of openness, there are two gotchas with these:

  1. The Windows Forms support is very early at this stage. The designer can be shown, and you can even hit F5 to launch your WinForms IronPython application, but adding controls to forms breaks things. We're aware of the problems, but this should be enough to give you an idea of what you need to do to hook into the designer with your own language.
  2. You can view the Managed Package Framework source code, but currently you won't have access to the symbols needed for source line debugging. Again, this is a problem we're aware of and it will be addressed in the next release.

As always, please check out this latest release and send us feedback. You can contact me directly via this blog, or you can file bugs on the MSDN Product Feedback center. Thanks for your continued interest in extending Visual Studio!!!