This month's letter includes a summary of what our plans are for upcoming new versions of the VS SDK, the updated VSX developer center, information about what the VSX team has been working on in the past few months, event news on VSX, some new VSX projects released, more VSX content online, and a preview of what's coming next month.

What's new with the VSX team

Our team continues to work on upcoming releases of the Visual Studio SDK for VS 2008 as well as planning around the next version of Visual Studio. Our current plan is to release a CTP beta version of an updated VS SDK for VS 2008 sometime in May, followed by a finalized version of this next revision update later this year. This updated version of the VS SDK will contain various bug fixes and enhancements along with a small set of features targeting customer pain points. In parallel with this, we are also working on a new major version of the VS SDK that is targeted for CTP beta sometime next year, and this new major release will include many new features and functionary for extending VS, including what we call tools for tools.

For some additional discussion on what we have planned around future releases of the VS SDK, check out my video interview:
Quan To talks about VS SDK development and releases.

Jean-Marc Prieur joins VSX team!

Check out
Jean-Marc Prieur's blog. Jean-Marc was an MVP located in France, and he has joined Microsoft on the VS Ecosystem team, he will work out of our Cambridge, UK offices. Jean-Marc worked on DSLFactory.org, check out his blog post about it Some of DslFactory's work explained : (1/4) the VSX Day. Here is Jean-Marc's bio:

After studies in Ecole Superieure d'Electricite (Supelec), and a Master of Science at Caltech (mainly studying concurrent computing and computational neural systems), I got passionate about software modeling, more specifically graphical software modeling, meta-modeling. I was a passionate early adopter of DSL Tools, and had the chance to be technical reviewer the DSL book by Steve, Stuart, Gareth, and Allan. With a few friends, we created the French http://www.dslfactory.org community at the origin of several labs, workshops on DSL Tools, and a VSX Day in Paris. I joined the Cambridge Visual Studio Ecosystem in March 2008 as a Program Manager, and I will work with the VSX team in adding new features to DSL Tools and enhancing the Visual Studio SDK.

Visual Studio Gallery extension listings

The number of listings on
Visual Studio Gallery continues to increase, now at 567 total as of today. We have new features coming to the site in a few months, including RSS feed, tagging, ratings, comments, and more.

VSX Developer Center updated

The Visual Studio Extensibility Developer center at
http://msdn.com/vsx was updated again this month new content on the home page, including VSX team member photos, aggregated team member blog post content, and other aggregated content via RSS.

VSX FAQ Blog created for scenario based resource references

VSX (Visual Studio Extensibility) FAQ (frequently asked questions). We created a new blog for VSX FAQ topics which are scenario based More information at Welcome to the VSX FAQ blog.

VSX on Channel 9

Doug Hodges: The history of Visual Studio Extensibility
Last year I interviewed Doug Hodges, a Principal Software Architect on the Visual Studio platform team, discussing the history of the Visual Studio IDE. Doug is often referred to as the father (or cool uncle) of the original Visual Studio IDE shell. The
text transcript for this interview is available in the online edition of VSX edition of CoDe Focus magazine.

Last month we had two videos posted on
Channel 9, in case you missed them:

Channel 9: Anthony Cangialosi and Ken Levy: Visual Studio Gallery

Channel 9: Ken Levy and Aaron Marten: Visual Studio 2008 Extensibility

Community and MVP discussion on Channel 9

Sean O'Driscoll: General Manager for Community Support and the MVP Program
In this video, I interview
Sean O'Driscoll discussing the history, current state, and future of Microsoft MVPs and the MVP Program.

New "How Do I?" Videos for Visual Studio Extensibility

There are several new How Do I videos on VSX published, and you can subscribe to the "RSS feed for "How Do I?" videos for VS and VSX. These are great videos created by VSX developers Hilton Giesenow and Dylan Miles. We now have 34 How-Do-I videos on VSX as of today.

Tutorial for creating a simple managed project system in Visual Studio

Our VSX UE (User Education) team has posted a detailed tutorial,
Tutorial: A Simple Managed Project System, on their blog on creating a new managed project system using the VS SDK for VS 2008. This is the first in a series of tutorials from our VSX UE team explaining how to create and expand a Visual Studio project system.

More articles on LearnVSXNow!

István Novák continues his awesome series of VSX related educational content he calls LearnVSXNow!. I had great chat with Istvan during dinner a few nights ago, as he is here in Seattle this week for the annual MVP Summit event.

VSX at events

Both
Anthony Cangialosi and Gareth Jones spoke on VSX (including DSL tools) at VSLive conference recently. Some of our team members including Quan To will be at TechEd in June, while I may be doing a VSX community tour around part of Europe in late May and early June (stay tuned more details on locations and dates).

VS extension tip of the month

We recently posted
PowerCommands 1.1 for Visual Studio 2008, an enhanced version over the initial 1.0 version. On the day it was released, Scott Guthrie blogged about PowerCommands. As of later today or tomorrow, the download count for PowerCommands will pass 10,000. Check out the post PowerCommands 1.1 released for additional details about what is new in version 1.1. Another post to read about it is Pablo Galiano's blog about PowerCommands 1.1, he is the vendor developer we had create PowerCommands.

Additional VS extensions and VS SDK tools released

Here are some additional VSX related releases in the past month:

New version of T4 Editor coming soon from Clarius

The T4 Editor by
Clarius Consulting can be found at http://www.t4editor.net/. Victor Aprea of Clarius blogged about their new version currently in development: T4 Editor: some teasing pictures!

We're receiving emails everyday asking us about the status of the T4 Editor. The news is we're still working on it and we're making some great progress! Just so you can check the wait is being worth it, I'm posting here a few screenshots that showcase the main feature we're working on, which is full support for embedded code blocks, that is, the same great support you get today from the ASP.NET editor when embedding C# or VB code.

Next month

In next month's letter, we will have more news from the team, additional VSX content online, and additional information about our next version of the VS SDK for VS 2008.

Please send your feedback to us via the Contact link on any of our team member blogs, or post a technical question in the
MSDN Forum for VSX. You can also email me directly at klevy@microsoft.com or using the Email link on my blog.

Ken Levy
Program Manager
Visual Studio Tools Ecosystem
Microsoft
http://blogs.msdn.com/klevy
http://msdn.com/vsx