I’ve been living in Visual Studio 2008 Team Suite (Beta) for the last four months. Using VS2008 has been annoying and exasperating one minute and fun and productive the next. Most of the pain points for me have been in the WPF designer and XAML editor.
Expression Blend Truncated menu bug
OK, this first one is not about Visual Studio but I’m glad to say that the problem is fixed. I wrote about this bug in October. Expression Blend cuts off the right edge of the tool bar if .NET 3.5 Beta is installed. FIXED.
XAML Editor not adding closing XAML tag.
Visual Studio 2008 beta never added the closing XAML tag. That’s not a problem in RTM, VS correctly adds the closing XAML tag after you type the end ‘>’ for a XAML tag. FIXED.
WPF Editor does not remember your preference for XAML/Designer view.
This bug was extremely annoying. The first time you open a WPF item (Window, Page, UserControl) in the WPF Designer it show a split view. WSYWIG designer on top, XAML editor on bottom.
Since the Designer was not very full featured I ( and most of the WPF developers I know) work in the XAML view the majority of the time. You can switch from the split view (double click the separator between views or click the collapse pane button) to full pane view. VS always shows the Designer Pane first so you have to click the XAML Tab. Then you can work in the XAML view. Discouragingly, VS forgets this setting and you have to go through these steps again and again, even for files you recently edited.
This is fixed in VS 2008 RTM. Hurrah!
Also, for existing files, the Designer window opens considerably faster than before. See more in the perf section below. Thumbs up.
Looks like the perf guys spent some time tuning up VS 2008.
Test Machine: Dell 9300 1.86 with 2GB RAM, single core. Vista Ultimate OS.
- Start Time: 2-3 seconds (From choosing shortcut on Start menu until IDE fully loaded. (no addins enabled)
- New WPF Project: 8 seconds for first project. 2.5 seconds for subsequent projects
- New WinForm Project: 6 seconds for first project, 2 seconds for subsequent projects.
- Add WPF Window: 6 seconds for first, 1.6 seconds for subsequent project items
- Solution Rebuild: Dec 2007 MSDN Magazine VB Mapping Example (20 seconds)
I don’t know what to make of the new 2008 PropertyGrid. Compared to the WinForm PropertyGrid it is missing lots of features. I think I’ll write a separate post devoted to the oddness of the WPF property grid. The good news, the Cider team added a search box at the last minute.
Property Attributes and AutoComplete quotes
VS 2008 beta was inconsistent when auto-completing attributes. Sometimes it wouldn’t add quotes. It never added the end quote, you had to type it yourself. Tedious. That’s been fixed in RTM. In the RTM version you enter the first couple letters of the attribute(say wi for Width) and press tab. VS finishes the word Width, adds the = sign and two quotes and moves your cursor between the two quotes. Another bonus, you can type the attributes in lower case and the auto-complete fixes the case when you press tab.
More investigation coming. Stay tuned.