Skinner's Blog

Comments on Visual Studio, Visualizations & Modeling, .NET, and beyond

Blog - About

Skinner's Blog

My name is Cameron Skinner. I am the General Manager of the Visual Studio Ultimate team here in the Developer Division working at Microsoft.

My team is responsible for delivering features such as Intellitrace, visualization and modeling tools, test impact analysis, code analysis, and the VS debugger, just to name a few.

I'm very interested in establishing a continuous stream of dialog with our customers, this blog being a great tool to enable that conversation!

Cheers,

Cameron

  • Skinner's Blog

    Code metrics from the command line

    • 30 Comments
    Yesterday, we made available a power tool that allows you to analyze assemblies in order to understand the complexity metrics associated with those assemblies. I’m going to describe how to use that power tool and the results it generates. If you are not...
  • Skinner's Blog

    Sneak peek at the first “Feature Pack” for VS2010 Visualization and Modeling Tools

    • 23 Comments
    I’ve been hinting about a number of new capabilities that my team has been working on that are designed to add additional functionality to the bits you will experience in the final VS2010 build due out April 12th. This post will give you the some details...
  • Skinner's Blog

    Directed Graph Markup Language ( DGML )

    • 3 Comments
    In this previous post I introduced you to the new format, and then this follow on post showed some of the examples of how the format is used to back some common graphs you can expect in the product. In this post, I'm going to talk about a couple ways...
  • Skinner's Blog

    Introduction to Directed Graph Markup Language ( DGML )

    • 29 Comments
    DGML, or "Directed Graph Markup Language" is what we are using in VSTS 2010 Architecture to render graphs like the one below:   The power of DGML is in its simplicity. Let me show you what I mean. If you launch the VSTS 2010 CTP , open...
  • Skinner's Blog

    Force VS to garbage collect

    • 9 Comments
    Here’s another little gem I’ve got for you. As you probably know, Visual Studio is a big product, with contributions coming from many many different teams, and languages. A big part of Visual Studio is written in managed languages these days, and there...
  • Skinner's Blog

    Latest Videos and Info on VS11 Visualization Tooling

    • 4 Comments
    Wanted to make you folks aware of a few new videos that have been recently made showing the latest capabilities in the recently released beta for Visual Studio. I just recently recorded a ~30 minute piece on the Visual Studio Toolbox site . Consider this...
  • Skinner's Blog

    Layer Diagram

    • 6 Comments
    At TechEd2008 this year, the Rosario April CTP version of the VSTS Architecture Edition bits were demo'd during BillG's keynote by Brian Harry. Brian demonstrated the Architecture Explorer and the Layer Diagram. The Architecture Explorer is part of the...
  • Skinner's Blog

    CTP6 Is LIVE!

    • 21 Comments
    Here it is ! The team has really worked hard the last six weeks ( CTP5 seems like ages ago! ) to bring you this CTP6 release. Let me give you a quick overview of the changes we have made to the product since we released CTP5: Full SQL Server 2000 &...
  • Skinner's Blog

    UML Profiles and Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate: Part One

    • 13 Comments
    [NOTE: This post is part of a blog series, the start of which is here .]   Happy new year! :)   Recently, I’ve had a few questions around how UML Profiles are supported in VS 2010, so figured I’d start the new year with a post about that. By...
  • Skinner's Blog

    The Tier Interaction Profiler ( TIP )

    • 4 Comments
    There is a little known feature that is part of Visual Studio 2010 Premium edition that I wanted to take a second and let people know about. It is fairly straight forward in its approach, but some of the best features always are! This particular feature...
  • Skinner's Blog

    Save a diagram to Image File

    • 8 Comments
    I’ve been asked a couple of times now about how to save one of our UML diagrams out to an image file. We don’t have a menu item that does that exact thing in the diagrams themselves. We of course support a select-all, copy, then paste which satisfies...
  • Skinner's Blog

    Debugging Series: Symbol Server

    • 2 Comments
    Whether you are doing pre or post mortem debugging, whether you are using Visual Studio or WinDBG, one of the most important things you can do ( short of not writing the bug in the first place! ) to ready yourself for a productive debugging session is...
  • Skinner's Blog

    Debugging Series: Symbols Server and Your Symbols

    • 6 Comments
    Last post , I gave you a simple introduction to Symbol Servers. I showed you how you can use the options in Visual Studio to quickly get access to Microsoft public symbols and how that could give you more information for your debugging sessions. However...
  • Skinner's Blog

    Visual Studio Team System 2010 Architecture: Prologue

    • 9 Comments
    Now that we have made the 2010 CTP available for your use ( please see Brian Keller's post for all the details on how to get it, what's in it, activation help, etc. ), I want to start a series of posts designed to bring you up to speed on those bits and...
  • Skinner's Blog

    MSDN Instant Answers

    • 11 Comments
    Wanted to point out a great new feature that the MSDN team has just made available when searching in the MSDN library. The feature is dubbed “Instant Answers”. Try this out. Go to msdn.microsoft.com, then click the library tab ( or go directly there by...
  • Skinner's Blog

    The Visual Studio Debugger: A new series on an old topic

    • 7 Comments
    The Visual Studio Debugger has long been regarded to be one of the industries best debugger. The VS debugger’s ability to give developer’s insight into the running behavior and state of their .NET and native applications has been the foundation of what...
  • Skinner's Blog

    XMI Export Sample

    • 7 Comments
    Steve Cook , a long time architect on my team, has made available a sample that shows how to access the UML meta data in Visual Studio’s  new UML project system and export that data into the OMG’s XMI data format. XMI is the OMG standard used to...
  • Skinner's Blog

    DSL + UML = Pragmatic Modeling

    • 12 Comments
    There has been some speculation in the press recently around Microsoft's commitment to DSLs now that we are planning on supporting five UML 2.1 diagrams in the Rosario release ( Class, Use Case, Component, Sequence, and Activity diagrams ). Specifically...
  • Skinner's Blog

    Visualization and Modeling Feature Pack is now Available!

    • 17 Comments
    I gave you a sneak peek about this new feature pack here , but I am now very happy to announce that the final release of Visualization and Modeling Feature Pack for VS2010 Ultimate is now available. For you active MSDN subscribers, go download the feature...
  • Skinner's Blog

    VSTS 2010 CTP, Hyper-V, and January 1st, 2009

    • 9 Comments
    For those of you folks who have converted the VSTS 2010 CTP ( see Grant's post ) to take advantage of the performance improvements in hyper-v, here's a manual way to get around the fact that VSTS will expire Jan. 1st 2009. ( If you're using the CTP with...
  • Skinner's Blog

    The UML Model Explorer

    • 2 Comments
    In the VSTS 2010 Architecture product, we've added another toolwindow to VS designed to help you understand and manipulate the UML models that you will be building. The UML Model Explorer ( that's what we're currently calling it, but that can certainly...
  • Skinner's Blog

    Layer Validation with the VSTS 2010 CTP

    • 6 Comments
    In my first post of this series, I broke down the VSTS 2010 Architecture product into "functional" areas, and I've been slowly describing the pieces. The areas highlighted ( Modeling Project here and here , Model Explorer , and Work Item Integration ...
  • Skinner's Blog

    Final CTP Approaching

    • 13 Comments
    We are in the final testing phases of our final CTP ( CTP7 ). ( Think of this as our release candidate! ). CTP7 will be out early next week. I want to discuss a couple of important topics about the upcoming release in this post. CTP7 Installation Requirements...
  • Skinner's Blog

    Code Metrics, Reporting, and XSLT Debugging

    • 6 Comments
    In my last post , I announced a new power tool that allows you to analyze your managed assemblies to determine various complexity metrics. The output of the power tool is a fairly simple XML file, so in this post, I wanted to show you how simple it is...
  • Skinner's Blog

    Debugger Canvas 1.1 Released

    • 2 Comments
    Since the initial release of the Debugger Canvas last summer, the team has been busy taking all the great feedback from you, acting on it, and preparing a new release. That release, Debugger Canvas 1.1, has just been released on DevLabs! The teams has...
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