Today at TechEd EMEA in Barcelona Spain, Jason Zander demonstrated a ton of new features that are part of the upcoming Visual Studio 2010 & .NET Framework 4.0 release. One of the key features that was well received by the audience was the New Editor for Visual Studio. In his demo, Jason showed how the New Editor built on top of Windows Presentation Framework (WPF) and the Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) enables developers to extend the editor by showing several fun editor extensions.
The first editor extension shown was actually provided by one of our VSIP Partners, DevExpress. They've been working with the Visual Studio 2010 CTP over the last few weeks to provide a custom comment & image viewer inside of the Editor which demo was used to display a sequence diagram inside the code file.
The next sample extension was the "Method History Pop-up". It made use of Adornments to color code each line depending on the last developer who had touched the line and used WPF to provide a graphical animated representation of the code churn over time.
One common request that I get is for the ability to view the history of a file. With the "Micro-V" extension, Jason showed a slider at the top of the editor which switched on a historical mode that allowed him to go back and view the editing history of the file with an inline diff.
The document map margin provides an zoomed out view of the code editor which allows users to quickly navigate to important landmarks in their code. This extension to the editor demonstrated extensible margins which allow developers to add views to the side or above & below the editor.
Jason also invoked up an XML Comment Adornment which replaced existing XML comments with a much easier to read view over the comments. This was yet another example of how adornments to the code can change the way developers read & modify their code.
If you're curious about the New Editor in Visual Studio or you want to try to write your own extensions, I'd recommend downloading the "Visual Studio 2010 CTP here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=922B4655-93D0-4476-BDA4-94CF5F8D4814
Lead Program Manager
VS Platform Team