Pedro Silva's Blog

Development lead on Visual Studio Platform team focusing on the extensibility of Visual Studio.

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  • Blog Post: The DSL Beta1 SDK is out!

    Well lots of announcements this week with the VS Beta coming out... so here's one more: The Visual Studio 2010 DSL SDK Beta1 is available for download! This one is near and dear to me because I've worked on DSL Tools in the past, and it's wonderful to see another toolkit out for Beta1. So, if you...
  • Blog Post: T4 Editor Beta Released

    The folks at Clarius have an update to their T4 template editor. They're now in Beta . It's a very useful editor for anyone doing large amounts of T4 template editing with good factoring of template code vs script and color coding of keywords.
  • Blog Post: DSL Tools Forum Moved

    In case you're looking for the DSL Tools forum and can't find it at its last location, it has moved into the VSX (stands for Visual Studio Extensibility :) forum, so you can ask your DSL-related questions there. And, here's the new link: http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=57&SiteID...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Moves Ahead with Software Modeling

    There's an interesting story in eWeek about Microsoft's work on Software Modeling . A lot of discussion about the future, but DSL Tools is really the present and the tip of the spear for a lot of the work that Microsoft is doing in software modeling. As the DSL runtime evolves we'll get more functionality...
  • Blog Post: DSL Designer for WIX

    Mark passed around a link to a cool new DSL that lets you generate the WIX for a setup project from a diagram (or model) of your set of applications. This looks like a really cool use of DSL Tools, and it's on CodePlex for anyone that wants to have a look... This got me thinking... There's been a...
  • Blog Post: T4 Editor by Clarius

    Clarius has recently released their latest version of a T4 template editor - something quite useful for those DSL authors doing very much code generation. The editor includes: - Syntax coloring - Intellisense/Code completion - Collapsible regions of code blocks - Design-time preview of your...
  • Blog Post: DSL Tools for Orcas

    In case you've all been wondering what has been happening with DSL Tools since v1 shipped, we've been working on getting it into the Orcas releases. The DSL runtime is now in the VS box itself, so it's no longer necessary to install the runtime with your designers. And, the new runtime has been in the...
  • Blog Post: DSL Designer Screenshots

    Kristoffer , a UI designer working with the DSL Tools team, recently posted a screen shot and some questions about the new DSL Designer that we're working on. If you'd like a sneak peek, have a look. Also, if you have any comments for him about the new design, leave him a comment.
  • Blog Post: New DSL: VSTS Work Item Type Designer

    Darren Jefford just posted about the Work Item Type Designer that he's been working on for a while. This designer was built using early versions of the DSL Toolkit , and now he's updating it to the Feb CTP. On the bright side, there was a lot of custom code that he no longer needed because many of those...
  • Blog Post: Using Gaston's T4 Editor with GAT

    Gaston recently posted how to use his T4 template editor to work with GAT (Microsoft's Guidance Automation Toolkit) templates. DSL Tools and GAT both use the T4 text templating engine, so if you learn to write templates in one, you can use that knowledge for the other. And, now, you can use Gaston...
  • Blog Post: Programmatically Loading DSL Domain Model

    Daniel has a great post about how to programmatically load a DSL domain model file . This is useful in case you want to process the domain model file outside of the DSL designer, like in a GAT or VS add-in, or run across the domain model data in a command-line tool.
  • Blog Post: Customization: Setting Position of a Shape When Its Created

    There have been several questions on the DSL Tools forum about how to set shapes at specific locations when they're create. That type of custom placement that is definitely possible to do in our diagrams. Our modeling system has a feature called Rules that are fired within, or at the end of, a transaction...
  • Blog Post: Edward Bakker on Using DSL Toolkit

    Edward Bakker has a great blog that's largely about his adventures in using the DSL Toolkit to create some domain-specific languages. He's done an 18-post series so far on DSL Tools, ranging from just getting started and introductory information to creating a Service Contract Description Language and...
  • Blog Post: Customization: Setting EndPoint positions on a Connector.

    There was a question on our forums about how to set the end points of a Connector programmatically, rather than having them calculated dynamically. This is possible to do in DSL Tools with some custom code. You can set the FromEndPoint and ToEndPoint properties on Connector. However, end points also...
  • Blog Post: Say Hi to George

    I just noticed that George Mathew recently started blogging. He's also a developer on DSL Tools. He's worked on the text templating engine and the underlying domain model infrastructure. Stop by and say hello.
  • Blog Post: DSL Tools Nov 2005 CTP on MSDN

    As Jochen and Stuart have already posted, the Nov CTP is on MSDN , so you can go download it now. Most important it's the version that runs on the RTM bits of VS 2005. There has been lots of interest in getting a version of DSL Tools that runs on RTM VS 2005, so I hope you'll all give it a try. There...
  • Blog Post: More Keyboard Shortcuts

    Gareth just posted about the different keyboard shortcuts we use for navigation in the DSL diagramming surface . These are short cuts that can be used in our Domain Model Designer and any of the designers that you create. It's a great list, especially for the more obscure shortcuts. In addition to...
  • Blog Post: Customization: Showing Tooltips for Shapes and Connectors

    Tooltips are an important feature for displaying additional information besides what may be easily displayed within a shape of fixed size. The DSL Tools diagramming surface provides a mechanism showing tooltips for shapes and connectors (like those shown in the following image). First, you've probably...
  • Blog Post: Customization: Create a Shape with Collapsed Compartments

    In DSL Tools, a CompartmentShape has a set of compartments in it. By default, when a CompartmentShape is placed on the Diagram, all of its compartments are expanded. There have been a few questions about how to create the shape with its compartments closed, but with the CompartmentShape itself expanded...
  • Blog Post: Steven Kelly's Feedback on DSL Tools

    I just ran across Steven Kelly's feedback on using DSL Tools in the virtual lab . It appears that his biggest issues was: having to restart the lab a few times; and a bug in that version of DSL Tools in which generating code sometimes produces spurious error messages (it was fixed after several repeats...
  • Blog Post: Upcoming DSL Tools CTP

    Now that Visual Studio 2005 has released, I'm sure lots of you are looking forward to using DSL Tools on the RTM version. Stuart pointed out that we'll be posting an update that runs on the RTM version of VS 2005 in the next 2 to 3 weeks. It will also include two new features designer deployment and...
  • Blog Post: Tip: Where to Put Your DSL's Custom Code

    Alan Wills recently released and posted about writing custom code for your DSL written with our DSL Toolkit [ download zip here ]. There's a good tip in the document for how to write custom code in your DSL project. Basically, the domain model (.dsldm file) and designer definition (.dsldd file) are...
  • Blog Post: DSL Tools Virtual Lab

    There are some online virtual labs that have been recently posted on MSDN. Among them is the Build a Domain Specific Language Designer Using the DSL Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 . If you're new to DSL Tools and would like to follow a lab on how to use the tools, this is your chance. Versions...
  • Blog Post: DSL Tools Example

    David over at FederalDev has put together a short walk-through example of creating a domain-specific language using the DSL Tools. It's broken up into 4 parts currently. I'm not sure if he's planning to do more, but here's what he's done so far: DSL Example Part 1: Getting Started DSL Example...
  • Blog Post: DSL Tools Sept CTP Released

    As Stuart just mentioned in his blog, the Sept CTP for DSL Tools just released over the weekend. Check out Stuart's blog for information about what's new in this release.
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