You may have noticed that we haven’t been blogging quite as often lately, which begs the question, “What has the Editor team been doing since Beta1?” The answer: a lot! We’ve been focusing on a few specific goals since Beta1, and this post should give you a better idea not only of what we’re working on but also what you can expect in Beta2.
As many of you have noticed, Beta1 performance is not at the level that you and we expect for an RTM product. Many tasks take too long and use too much memory. We knew that when Beta1 shipped, and we’ve made performance a major priority for Beta2.
As VS General Manager Jason Zander and VS Platform Architect Rico Mariani have said on their blogs, the Visual Studio team tracks the performance of a wide variety of scenarios. These include specific tasks like scrolling in the editor as well as bigger-picture end-to-end scenarios that involve a series of tasks spanning the entire edit-compile-debug cycle. The VS Platform team alone, including Editor, owns and tracks more than 20 critical scenarios. We’ve made huge perf and memory usage improvements since Beta1, and in many cases VS 2010 Beta2 performance will be even better than VS 2008!
In addition to working on performance in general, we made a specific effort to improve Visual Studio’s performance over remote desktop. We know this is an important use case for many of you and that Beta1 is particularly slow over RD connections. The VS Platform and WPF teams invested heavily in improving the remote experience for Beta2, especially scrolling and IntelliSense, and the difference is noticeable not only in automated performance testing but more importantly in day-to-day usage. We sought out internal users of VS 2010 who connect to machines in Redmond but are based as far away as Australia, and they have noticed major increases in Visual Studio 2010’s performance that translate into increases in their productivity. Whether you’re remoting into VS running on a virtual machine, a physical machine down the hall, or a machine thousands of miles away, you’ll see a greatly improved experience for Beta2.
Thank you to everyone who filed a Connect bug, posted in a feedback forum, or sent us an e-mail to report issues in Beta1; it really does make a difference. A few posts ago, we gave a status update on some of the most commonly-encountered Beta1 bugs. I’m happy to report that all of those bugs – and many more that were less commonly reported – are now fixed for Beta2!
In addition to user-reported issues, we’ve fixed a variety of internally-reported bugs and invested in fine-tuning the product to make Beta2 feel more polished. Many people within Microsoft, both in Visual Studio and working on completely different products, are using VS 2010 as their production environment, which helps us find and fix bugs that users are likely to encounter in day-to-day development. As we move closer to a finalized product, the Editor team has also been working on “fit and finish” issues that range from refining extensibility points to doing pixel cleanup on UI components. Both quantitatively and qualitatively, Beta2 is shaping up to be a stable, high-quality release of VS 2010.
We focused more heavily on improving performance and fixing bugs than on adding features for Beta2, but you’ll still see some new and exciting additions. In Beta2 you’ll see the return of two of your favorite VS 2008 features: box selection and the clipboard ring. C++ users will also notice the return of drag & drop editing, which is present for managed but not native languages in Beta1. The new-for-VS 2010 zoom feature you saw in the CTP and in Beta1 has been improved too: not only does it provide an easy way to return to 100% zoom and not zoom scrollbars, but it also includes new UI to make zooming even easier. Most of the Editor features you’ll see in VS 2010 were already present in Beta1, but there were a few that you told us you couldn’t live without; again, your feedback truly does make a difference.
More and more of you are asking when Beta2 will be released. The release date hasn’t been announced, so we can’t say just yet. But we certainly will post here when the date is public and again when Beta2 becomes available.
In the meantime, please do continue to use Beta1 and send us feedback through Connect bugs, forum posts, e-mail to the Editor team, and now Twitter. Your input has helped us make huge improvements in VS 2010 since Beta1, and I hope you’ll continue to let us know what you think all the way through RTM.
Brittany Behrens Program Manager, VS Platform Team