jaredpar's WebLog

Code, rants and ramblings of a programmer.

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  • Blog Post: Round tripping a VSIX project

    Visual Studio 2012 introduced project file round tripping feature.  This lets developers edit the same project in Visual Studio 2010, 2012 and 2013 without the need to upgrade the project file or modify it in any way.  This was a highly requested feature by customers that allowed them to edit...
  • Blog Post: Authoring a Utility Library for Visual Studio

    As I’ve developed VsVim over the years I’ve authored quite a few reusable Visual Studio components. For the last 6 months I’ve had many of these factored out to a separate utility library and this last week I decided to publish them as a separate NuGet package. Even if no one else every...
  • Blog Post: DebuggerDisplay attribute best practices

    The DebuggerDisplayAttribute is a powerful way to customize the way values are displayed at debug time.  Instead of getting a simple type name display, interesting fields, properties or even custom strings can be surfaced to the user in useful combinations [ DebuggerDisplay ( "Student: {FirstName...
  • Blog Post: Why the debugging difference between C# and VB.Net return values?

    A feature which seems to be getting more requests recently is support for seeing the return value of a function in the debugger without the need to assign it into a temporary. C++’s had this feature for some time but it’s been lacking in managed debugging scenarios. James Manning recently...
  • Blog Post: Automatically loading DLL’s in the debugger

    In a recent post I discussed the apparent flakiness of extension methods and the debugger being a result of whether or not the DLL containing the extension methods were loaded into the debugee process.  Several users asked in the comment section why we didn’t fix the issue by just loading those...
  • Blog Post: Improving the display of F# seq<T>’s in the debugger

    F#’s seq<T> expressions are a frustrating item to inspect at debug time.  A seq<T> value is a collection and when users inspect such a value at debug time they want to see the contents of the collection.  Instead they are often presented with a view resembling the following The...
  • Blog Post: Advanced Multitargeting in VB.Net

    Multi-targeting is a feature introduced in Visual Studio 2008 which allows developers to use new versions of Visual Studio to target earlier versions of the .Net platform.  It allowed users to target both the new 3.5 and 3.0 and the previous 2.0 profile with the same IDE.  Visual Studio 2010...
  • Blog Post: Extension Methods and the Debugger

    One source of confusion I find myself clearing up a lot is the use of evaluating extension methods in the debugger windows.  Users report evaluation as working sometimes but not others for the exact same piece of code.  Such flaky behavior can only be the result of a poorly implemented feature...
  • Blog Post: Avoiding automation bugs when implementing IOleCommandTarget

    Shortly after Visual Studio 2010 shipped I wanted to experiment with the new VSIX format for traditional Package extensions.  I fired up my copy of Visual Studio, ran through the new package project wizard.  But instead of a nice shiny new project I was greeted with a project load error dialog...
  • Blog Post: Newlines in the immediate window

    A question came up recently on stack overflow concerning the display of newlines in the immediate window.   The author noted that any .ToString method which contained a newline printed incorrectly when evaluated in the immediate window.  For example given the following ToString implementation...
  • Blog Post: Nothing is private in the debugger (part 2)

    In a previous post I discussed how accessibility is ignored when evaluating expressions in the debugger and the unexpected scenarios that it creates.  One case I neglected to mention in that article is how this behavior works with the VB late binding engine.  The expression evaluator only relaxes...
  • Blog Post: Flattening class hierarchies when debugging C#

    One piece of feedback I heard in the MVP sessions this week is that debugging deep class hierarchies in C# is painful.  By default C# will only display the fields and properties declared on a given type.  To get to base class members you must expand the base node.  For large hierarchies...
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