Gaston Milano didn’t want to wait for Visual Studio .NET 2005 (Whidbey) to use a few handy commands, so he leveraged some of the IDE extensions and made them available to users of VS.NET 2003. They’re all pretty simple, but I can already see how useful they’ll be:
· Close All but this (Close all document windows but this)
· Copy Full Path (Copy the full path of the active document to the clipboard)
· Show File In Explorer
A little earlier than I had expected (not that I’m complaining), but the Longhorn M7.2 bits are now available for download for MSDN subscribers. The 32-bit version checks in at just under 734MB and requires you to burn an ISO file to a bootable DVD. Start your download before the rest of the world.
According to Chris Sells and his blog entry, MSDN Subscribers will soon be able to download the same version of Longhorn that is being given to WinHEC attendees this week. It will include the OS and the SDK. However, as Chris mentions, it will not include VS.NET, nor will the PDC or Community releases of VS.NET 2005 install or run properly on this release. I’m glad that we’re releasing Community builds of Longhorn and VS.NET 2005, and I hope that this is a pattern that we start extending to our other products.
Oh yeah…I forgot to post this yesterday, but Lutz Roeder recently released a new version of his excellent Reflector for .NET tool. Go get it.
Thanks to Chris Sells for pointing out that the Windows Forms team has posted some screenshots and overviews of upcoming Windows Forms 2.0 features and controls.
§ WebBrowser control – finally, a managed wrapper of the IE ActiveX control
§ Active Document Host – gives you the ability to host OLE Documents for in-place editing of Word, Excel, Visio, etc. files
§ SoundPlayer – managed and asynchronous playback of .WAV files
§ DataGridView – a replacement of the current DataGrid control that comes with many standard column types that are completely customizable
§ SplitContainer – a much easier way to implement splitters and panels
§ MaskedTextBox – allows developers to specify a mask string to indicate the shape of expected input
§ ToolStrip – an extremely flexible and powerful toolbar similar to the functionality provided in Office 2003…even supports transparency and animated GIFs
As far as the designer is concerned, the Document Outline and Snaplines are my favorites. Document Outline shows you a hierarchical view of the controls on your form. For those who can’t wait for this feature, there is a VS.NET 2003 PowerToy called Control Outline that works very well.
For runtime features, ClickOnce is definitely cool. There are fewer and fewer reasons to develop web applications because of deployment and maintenance concerns. Also, Windows XP Visual Style Support is enabled out-of-the-box. Not only do your controls assume the updated style by default, but you also get to see them in the designer! I also like the new Layout feature…especially the FlowLayoutPanel that automatically arranges controls in a flowing fashion (similar to HTML).
Overall, there’s a lot to get excited about in Windows Forms.