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Home > Archive > SSW Standards > Better Software Suggestions > SSW Microsoft Visual Studio .NET (General) Suggestions

Assistance for Access Developers Migrating Apps to .NET

  1. Improved Built-in Code Generation
  2. Automatically add referenced datasets a to a .NET Windows form
  3. Copy and paste form controls from Access and VB6 Forms to .NET Windows Forms

Microsoft Visual Studio Suggestions

  1. Set as Startup for Windows Forms
  2. Combo Control
  3. Automatic Code Auditing
  4. Gracefully change and delete datasets from the designer
  5. Back and Forward Buttons will Look Like Internet Explorer
  6. Folder Delete Option
  7. .NET References List
  8. VSS - Make Integration with Visual Source Safe more Efficient
  9. VSS - Renames will be Intelligent
  10. Visual Basic .NET to C# and Vice-Versa Language Converters
  11. Use Manifest Check Box
  12. Provide Feedback with Sound
  13. Notify of Invalid XML in the Task Pane
  14. "Load Last Loaded Solution" Bypass
  15. Tab Control ordering problem
  16. Need a Linker to make .exe's include required .NET components
  17. Shortcut for generating properties
  18. Designing forms after modifying code
  19. Need ticks and crosses on Reference Paths Page
  20. Need a DataBinding Smart Tasks shortcut
  21. Improve Data Source Configuration Wizard
  22. File Open dialog will have "Current Solution"
  23. will be able to drag and drop a typed dataset onto the form designer
  24. Combo box with lookup button
  25. Modification of version numbers
  26. Load MRU (Most Recently Used) lists as a background process during Save or Delete
  27. Exclude <pre> tag when performing code auto-format
  28. Need a file association for Web.Config
  29. DataDude does not synchronise the Schema for Stored Procedures
  30. Compare two items of the same type
  31. DataDude needs a "select all"
  32. DataDude will explain the reason of droping constraints
  33. Inform the developer when adding referrence
  34. Need "Auto increment the build number on each Compile" check box
  35. Add Shortcut Key to format HTML
  36. Full 64 bit support
  37. Lets give nicer help before dropping into Designer Files
  38. Provides "Training Videos" menu item in the help menu
  39. Add a "Read UI/Show Me" menu item in right-click context menu
  40. Rather than add a file to my project and get 600 compile errors, help me automatically fix it
  41. Is there a Windows standard UI convention against this?
  42. VS 2010 - Help me know what to do when trying to solve 'Output Type of Class Library cannot be started directly'
  43. Right click scroll bars are horrible to work with
  44. Nice URLs for the Gallery
  45. Improve the VS.NET 2010 setup experience #1
  46. Improve the VS.NET 2010 setup experience #2
  47. Additional Menus should indicate where they come from
  48. Help | About - Help me see what was the last thing I installed
  49. Setup.exe - Help me know not to install SQL Server 2008 Express Service Pack 1
  50. Let me click around (Little one) - without making me reach for the keyboard
  51. Dev11 Feature Request - 'View Class Diagram'
  52. VS Extension Manager - help me intelligently on search
  53. Give me a sensible Default Tab Order

Creating Visual Studio Add-in with EnvDTE Suggestions

  1. Hard to debug No error message
  2. Hard to debug Unhelpful or useless error messages
  3. EnvDTE is not completely implemented?
  4. Confusion for developers DTE.DTE.DTE?
  5. Confusion for developers EnvDTE._DTE and EnvDTE.DTE

Creating Add-In for Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 Suggestions

  1. AccessViolationException
  2. Throws COMException randomly

FxCop

  1. FxCop report will contain more information

Assistance for Access Developers Migrating Apps to .NET

  1. Improved Built-in Code Generation

    We need a built-in code generator that can create a series of DataAdapters and strongly-typed DataSets based on the database schema. All the developer will have to do is select the database. Visual Studio .NET 2003 will create DataSets but not DataAdapters. Visual Studio 2005 is able to also create DataAdapters, but each table has to be dragged onto the DataSet manually. We prefer to have only one DataTable per file, but Visual Studio 2005 cannot do this automatically.

    Visual Studio 2005 DataSet Designer
    Figure: Visual Studio 2005 generates DataAdapters and DataTables if tables are dragged on manually, but all DataTables are stored in the one file

    DataSets in the Solution Explorer
    Figure: One DataSet per file

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 Beta 2 - Not done
    This has not been fixed in Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2.

  2. Automatically add referenced datasets a to a .NET Windows form

    When dragging a referenced dataset onto the form, we would like a checkbox that will create instances of all of the datasets in the DataSets project on the form. The current method of dragging a dataset on 5 times for a 5 tables (aka DataSets) for a form that uses multiple tables is tedious.

    DataSets AutoGenerate
    Figure - there will be a checkbox in this dialog which generates instances for all datasets found

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 Beta 2 - Not done
    This has not been fixed in Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2.


  3. Copy and paste form controls from Access and VB6 Forms to .NET Windows Forms

    It would be very useful to be able to Select All -> Copy from an Access or Visual Basic 6 Form and Edit -> Paste onto a blank form in Visual Studio .NET. The code behind does not need to be able to be converted with copy and paste, but the UI elements will be.

    Copy Paste from Access Forms
    Figure - We will be able to copy from here in Access...

    Copy Paste from Access Forms
    Figure - and paste to here in .NET

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 Beta 2 - Not done
    This has not been fixed in Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2.


Microsoft Visual Studio Suggestions

  1. Set as Startup for Windows Forms

    In .NET Windows Forms, there will be an option Set as Startup Form to be consistent with Web forms.


    Figure: Please add 'Set as Start Form' option

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 Beta 2 - Not done
    This has not been fixed in Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2.


  2. Startup Object Property

    The combo box control in this property grid needs to be more visible. Sometimes it is visible, sometimes not.


    Figure: Now you see the combo...


    Figure: Now you don't!

    The property is also inconsistent between C# and VB.NET. C# only lists classes which have a Main method. VB.NET lists all forms as well as classes with a main method. This is because VB.NET does not create a Main method if the Startup object is set to a Form. Instead:

    • VB.NET will always create a Main method for consistency with C#.
    • All Forms will be listed in both languages. If a Main method does not exist and a Form without one is selected, the Main method will be created.

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 Beta 2 - Not done
    This has not been fixed in Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2.


  3. Automatic Code Auditing

    Certain coding practices will be able to be banned. e.g. empty catch blocks, variables which do not follow naming conventions, etc. We have fixed this ourselves with a combination of Code Auditor and Microsoft's FxCop tool, which allows you to create custom rules.

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 Beta 2 - Fixed
    FxCop is now integrated into Visual Studio .NET, and with Team Foundation Server, you can run rules over source code before allowing pending checkins.


  4. Gracefully change and delete datasets from the designer

    Have you ever deleted a dataset from the designer only to lose all your control bindings? We think a less frustrating and more useful solution is to:
    • If you delete a dataset, a window pops up list all the controls that are bound to this dataset. In this window you can choose to re-map the controls to an existing or new dataset.
    • There will be an option to change the source of a dataset, e.g. if you have a data set in the designer bound to "DataSets.Categories" and you want to change it to bind it to "DataSets.SubCategories" without losing your form bindings.


    Figure: If I delete any dataset here I lose all my form designer bindings. A confirmation dialog will pop up letting me know all controls that are bound to this dataset and allow me to change the dataset the controls are bound to or cancel the operation
  5. Back and Forward Buttons will Look Like Internet Explorer

  6. The Backwards and Forwards buttons to move between different code locations and files in Visual Studio .NET are are hard to discover, because the icons do not resemble those in Internet Explorer.


    Figure: Did you know what these buttons were for?

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 Beta 2 - Fixed
    The icons in Visual Studio .NET 2005 are an improvement on Visual Studio .NET 2003, but still not quite as obvious as we would like.


    Figure: The new icons are better, but still not like Internet Explorer.


  7. Folder Delete Option

    As shown in the screenshot, Visual Studio allows you to quickly and easily remove a project from a solution, via the popup menu in Solution Explorer. It would be good if there was also a command for removing the project file itself. This would save the user having to close VS, remove the project manually then re-open VS, which is what normally has to be done. And while we're on this topic, a command like 'Open in Explorer' could also make manipulating files in a project more convenient.

    Visual studio
    Figure: Right-clicking on a project in Solution Explorer.

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 Beta 2 - Not done
    This has not been fixed in Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2, but Microsoft have acknowledged it for a future release. Microsoft pointed out that it would be relatively easy to write an add-in to achieve this functionality. However, we would have liked a command where you could at least open the folder in Windows Explorer.


  8. .NET References List

    The list box on the .NET tab of the Add Reference dialog in Visual Studio (Project > Add Reference...) lists all available .NET components. (See screenshot below.) As .NET components are added to the system over time, this list box may end up containing thousands of items

    This is a bad idea for two reasons:
    1. It is difficult for users to find what they're looking for.
    2. The list takes a long time to load; the user may be forced to wait for as long as 30 seconds before being able to interact with the dialog box.

    A better idea may be to add a filter text box. Then the list can be filtered according to the characters entered into the text box, and updated each time the filter text changes.

    Add reference
    Figure: Add Reference dialog box in Visual Studio.

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 Beta 2 - Not done
    Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 has a new Add Reference dialog box, but it is just as slow, and if anything, makes it harder to reference multiple items simultaneously. However, the Browse and Recent tabs are an improvement. Microsoft have acknowledged this for a future release.


    Figure: New References Dialog in Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2

  9. VSS - Make Integration with Visual Source Safe More Efficient

    • A source safe project will be opened through "File/Open/Project from Source Safe"
    • A VS project will be able to be shared by sending the URL or fileshare which can be pasted into Start/Run (e.g. vss://Path/To/Database/ProjectName) - which would then be automatically checked out of Source Safe

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 and Visual SourceSafe 2005 Beta 2 - Partially done
    Visual Studio .NET 2005 has an option under the Open submenu to open a Team Foundation Server project, but not a SourceSafe project. Microsoft have decided to keep the SourceSafe option under the Source Control menu so that all source control options remain grouped together.


    Figure: Visual Studio .NET 2005 Open Menu for Team Foundation Server

    Our suggestion of adding a protocol handler has been acknowledged by the SourceSafe team.

  10. VSS - Renames will be intelligent

    • Why doesn't renames work the same as Windows Explorer? The history shouldn't be lost when you rename an object and it shouldn't make a copy. A rename is a rename.
    • When you create a file, it also creates a class of the same name. Therefore if I rename the file, I want to class to be automatically renamed
    • When a button which has only one event in the handle statement is renamed, the function name will be automatically renamed

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 and Visual SourceSafe 2005 Beta 2 - Partially done
    Visual SourceSafe 2005 Beta 2 will now support rename/delete/move propagation from the Solution Explorer to its database. This functionality is implemented in Visual Studios Source Code Control Integration layer, which means that any third-party SCM will be able to implement this as well.

    Visual Studio 2005 supports renaming the underlying class when the file name changes. Resharper can rename a file if you rename a class, allowing you to have this functionality today in Visual Studio .NET 2003.

    Event handler renaming is not present in Visual Studio .NET 2005, but the suggestion has been acknowledged.

  11. Visual Basic .NET to C# and Vice-Versa Language Converters

    There needs to be an automatic and reliable way to transfer code between C# and Visual Basic .NET languages. This would be particularly useful in an environment where both languages are used, and some developers are more familiar in one language, but need to know the correct way to exactly reproduce a set piece of code in the other language. There are several web-based tools available, but they can only convert about 80% of code. The functionality needs to be implemented in the compiler and MSIL so that all language elements are converted with 100% accuracy.

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 Beta 2 - Not done
    Visual Studio .NET 2005 does not have this feature. Microsoft believe that the total percentage of Visual Studio users who would use this would probably be fairly low, not enough to justify adding the feature to Visual Studio.


  12. Use Manifest Check Box

    The Properties of a Project will have a "Use Manifest" check box rather than having to copy files into directories.

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 Beta 2 - Done
    Visual Studio .NET 2003 added a feature where you could call Application.EnableVisualStyles() to use themes in your application, however it did not work correctly.Visual Studio 2005 fixes this bug, and there is now a checkbox where you can enable or disable themes.


    Figure: Enable XP visual styles check box in the project properties in Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2


  13. Provide Feedback with Sound

    Both Word and Outlook have this fantastic option for those developers who like to receive information aurally (yes this is correct spelling and means "through listening") as well as visually.

    Feedback with sound
    Figure: Provide Feedback with Sound option in Office

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 Beta 2 - Not done
    Visual Studio .NET 2005 does not provide aural feedback, but Microsoft have acknowledged our suggestion for a future version.


  14. Notify of Invalid XML in the Task Pane

    Making the Task Pane notify the user that their XML schema (e.g. in App.config) is invalid would save many users a lot of time. Because while you have this error you can't copy and paste and it therefore takes you forever to find the problem.

    Invalid XML to show up in task pane
    Figure: The Task Pane will notify users if their XML is invalid

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 Beta 2 - Fixed
    Visual Studio .NET 2005 provides full Intellisense for XML, including showing validation errors in the task list.


    Figure: Visual Studio 2005 highlights XML errors and shows them in the error list


  15. "Load Last Loaded Solution" Bypass

    I like using the "Load last loaded solution" option. However sometimes I know I don't want that solution to open when I open VS.NET. There will be a feature "Hold down shift to bypass" as there is in access.

    VS Shift startup
    Figure: Let me bypass the "Load Last Loaded Solution" - just like I could with Access

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 Beta 2 - Not done
    Microsoft have not added this feature this but our suggestion has been acknowledged for a future release.


  16. Tab Control ordering problem

    This is a known issue about Tab control designer. When you load a tab control which contains too many tabs, the designer will move the tabs around sometimes, not following the initial order.  A work around about this is to place some code in your form constructor, right after InitializeComponent(), to clear all the tab pages from your tab control and add them again in the order you want. See problem, http://www.syncfusion.com/FAQ/WinForms/FAQ_c93c.asp#q959 for more information regarding this problem.

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 Beta 2 - Fixed
    Microsoft have fixed this bug in Visual Studio .NET 2005 Beta 2.


  17. Need a Linker to make .exe's include required .NET components

    I agree with Joel Spolsky You are about to leave the SSW site when he says we need a Linker:

    "For some reason, Microsoft's brilliant and cutting-edge .NET development environment left out one crucial tool... a tool that has been common in software development environments since, oh, about 1950, and taken so much for granted that it's incredibly strange that nobody noticed that .NET doesn't really have one."

    Source: Joel Spolsky, 2004, "Joel On Software - Please Sir May I Have a Linker?", Accessed 3 December 2004. URL: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/PleaseLinker.htmll

  18. Shortcut for generating properties

    Public properties have a number of advantages to public fields (see Do you use Public/Protected Properties instead of Public/Protected Fields? ) but the syntax for generating them is tedious, particularly if there is no logic in the accessors:

    public int Count
    
    {
       get
       {
          return _count;
       }
       set
       {
          _count = value;
       }
    }

    Instead we will be able to write:

                                public int Count : _count;

    Alternatively, it would be nice if when you right-clicked a private field, there were two extra options, "Generate Public Property" and "Generate Protected Property", which would generate the block of code above.

  19. Designing forms after modifying code

    There is a bug in VS.NET!

    This bug can put invalid entries in your project files, for example vbproj and csproj, when you go back and modify the code in your forms (particularly if you touch the initializer). The solution is to simply remove and re-add the forms to your project. This will correct the entries in your VS.NET project file.

    Visual.NET bug
    Figure: Code sample

    For more information on this bug, please go to our KB article .


  20. Need ticks and crosses on Reference Paths Page

    When a project has an invalid Reference Path, the project tries to search for references in that folder even though it does not exist. This adds substantial load time to the project (one solution loaded in 1 min 53 sec with an invalid reference path). When that invalid path was removed the time was now reduced to 12 seconds.

    To prevent this problem:

    1. ticks and crosses will appear on the page below to identify folders that do not exist,
    2. these problems will also appear in the Task List to make it more visible.

    Figure: Reference Paths options screen with "D:\Dev" being the invalid path.

    Update: Visual Studio .NET 2005 - Not done
    This has not been fixed in Visual Studio 2005. However some improvements have been made to point 1. For a path that is not valid the "Update" button becomes Enabled.
    We still need the ticks and crosses as suggested above.

    References Page in Visual Studio 2005
  21. Need a DataBinding Smart Tasks shortcut


    Figure: Smart Tasks menu
    Can you add to the Smart Task "DataBindings..." that would bring up this form

    Figure: Formatting And Advanced Binding dialog

  22. Improve Data Source Configuration Wizard



    1. Figure: Choose a Data Source Type
      I find most developers either have a plan to try using Objects or Datasets
      I find this bit unintuitive, when a developer uses data binding they either think "business objects" or "datasets". Can we reword the description for "Objects" to:
      "Lets you choose an object or a dataset that can later be used to generate data-bound control."

    2. Maybe add a tip that shows this image...

      Figure: If you are using Datasets it is good to organize all your datasets into one project

    3. Add a tip: It is Best Practise is to connect to a project called "Business" (for business objects) or "Data" (for data sets)

      Figure: Add a tip here...

  23. File Open dialog will have "Current Solution"

    I usually want to add images that already exist in the solution.
    It would be handy to add a 4th icon to the File Open dialog called "Current Solution"

    Figure: It would be more convenient if we have a "Current Solution"

  24. will be able to drag and drop a typed dataset onto the form designer

    To use a Dataset in a Windows or Web form, you have to create an instance of the typed DataSet from your DataSets project. Currently you have to drag an instance of the dataset from the toolbar then define its type, but wouldn't it be nice to simply drag the .xsd onto the form designer and have Visual Studio figure out the rest?

    Figure: I will be able to drag this typed DataSet onto my form designer to create an instance of it
  25. Combo box with lookup button

    One of the problems that .NET developers have when they design in a bound environment is that they put combo boxes on forms which show a big list. This is not only hard to navigate once you start showing hundreds of records, it can also causes the form to take longer to load and put unnecessary strain on the database.

    A better option is to include next to the combo box an ellipsis button "..." which pops up a lookup form.

    Figure: Developers typically return all records for a data bound combobox field, which can increase form load time and put unnecessary strain on the database
  26. Modification of version numbers

    Version Numbers will be consistent there are few exceptions e.g. for backward compilation, you may have to keep Assembly Version unchanged and only increase File Verison for each build. But Visual Studio .NET makes it too easy to let them get out of sync.



    Microsoft, please make these modifications to the labels and add this checkbox
    Assembly Version (when increased it breaks compatibility for depended .dlls) [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
    [x] Copy Assembly Version (disables below)
    File Version (shown in Windows Explorer) [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

    Once you have choosen to go ClickOnce then there is no point to have a Separate Assembly and File Version and Published version
    So Microsoft, my suggestion is to add a checkbox to below form
    [x] Copy Assembly Version
    (to be disable the 4 version text boxes)

    I agree with this suggestion, but have a different take. Once developers move to ClickOnce deployment, the assembly and file versions become irrelevant. The Publish Version is your point of Config Management because it drives the deployment and update mechanisms. There will be an easy way to keep them in sync, but I would say it will flow from Publish Version to Assembly and File Version, not the other way around. Although bi-directional flow would be best let people manage whichever one they prefer.

    Brian Noyes (Author of Smart Client Deployment with ClickOnce, Addison Wesley)



  27. Load MRU (Most Recently Used) lists as a background process during Save or Delete

    During the process of saving a file to a machine, Visual Studio tries to load recently used files.
    This can cause an unnecessary delay when the machine is not connected to the network that a previous project was saved on; after a certain period it times out and goes on to save the file.
    The temporary fix to this is deleting all items in the registry under the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0\ProjectMRUList and restart VS2005.

    Figure: Delete all items in the registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0\ProjectMRUList

    This is a common issue in a lot of applications; freezes are usually caused by trying to access a network resource that is not available. MRU processes will be executed as background threads so that they dont lock up the main UI and leave the developer waiting.

  28. Exclude <pre> tag when performing code auto-format

    Code auto-format (Ctrl-K, Ctrl-F) is very handy for developers to product a nicely structured codes. Unfortunately this function also automatically formats the content of a <pre> tag where whitespace is significant and formatting will be preserved.

    <pre>
    Try
       '' sample code
    Catch
       '' sample code
    End try
    </pre>
    Figure: Nicely formatted html code
    <pre>
    Try   '' sample code Catch   '' sample code End try </pre>
    Figure: All formatting in <pre> code is destroyed
  29. Need a file association for Web.Config

    When you first find an ASP.NET solution you are in Windows Explorer. The first step is usually to have a look in web.config to look at some of the settings the project uses. e.g. Connection string.

    It would be good if we could double click that and we see a GUI instead of seeing XML.
    Ideally the GUI would show bold settings for the stuff that is not default.

    Figure: It would be nice to see a GUI for a web.config instead of XML

    PS: This would be great for ".SLN" files too, so we can see stuff like the projects that are in it (and even show red crosses for broken/moved projects).

  30. DataDude does not synchronise the Schema for Stored Procedures

    The prefix of the stored procedure in the generated script is not the same as the source. This is not fixed in the Service Release 1.

    Figure: Datadude recognizes the schema are different, but generates the incorrect update script.
  31. Compare two items of the same type

    Sometimes, I want to compare two items of the same type so that I can tell which one is good. Please allow me to select two items of the same type in the designer and to get differences of their properties.
    E.g. these ListViews, they've got so many properties I can't tell them apart!

    compare two items of the same type
    Figure: Compare two items of the same type.
  32. DataDude needs a "select all"

    A top checkbox to "select all" in the form.
    The header of checkbox column will contain a checkbox by default. This checkbox can let users select or unselect all the checkboxes underneath it.

    SqlServer - 'Select all' checkbox
    Figure: SqlServer Management Studio - "select all" checkbox
    DataDude - No 'select all' checkbox
    Figure: These is no "select all" checkbox in the table list of DataDude.
  33. DataDude will explain the reason of droping constraints

    In the data compare, when you make a couple of changes to the customer table it drops every constraint.
    Please add in the comments it creates at the top the reason for this - it seems unnecessary and melodramatic!

                                   /*
    This script was created by Visual Studio on 31/10/2006 at 5:02 PM.
    Run this script on schnauzer.AdventureWorks_v1.dbo to make it the same as schnauzer.AdventureWorks_v2.dbo.
    This script performs its actions in the following order:
    1. Disable foreign-key constraints.
    2. Perform DELETE commands.
    3. Perform UPDATE commands.
    4. Perform INSERT commands.
    5. Re-enable foreign-key constraints.
    Please back up your target database before running this script.
    */
    SET NUMERIC_ROUNDABORT OFF
    GO
    SET XACT_ABORT, ANSI_PADDING, ANSI_WARNINGS, CONCAT_NULL_YIELDS_NULL, ARITHABORT, QUOTED_IDENTIFIER, ANSI_NULLS ON
    GO
    -- Pointer used for text / image updates. This might not be needed, but is declared here just in case
    DECLARE @pv binary(16)
    BEGIN TRANSACTION
    ALTER TABLE [Sales].[Customer] DROP CONSTRAINT [FK_Customer_SalesTerritory_TerritoryID]
    ALTER TABLE [Sales].[SalesPersonQuotaHistory] DROP CONSTRAINT [FK_SalesPersonQuotaHistory_SalesPerson_SalesPersonID]
    Figure: The update script generated by Data Dude
  34. Inform the developer when adding referrence

    When the wizard adds new reference to the project,developers will be informed. E.g. If a programmer wants to add a LINQ to SQL class via wizard, the reference to System.Data.Linq.dll will be added to the project.Actually, the programmer may don't know that.

    Add reference and inform programmers
    Figure: A reference is added automatically by wizard.
  35. Need "Auto increment the build number on each Compile" check box

    Add a check box in below form: [x] Auto increment the build number on each Compile:

    Need a option
    Figure: In this form need a "Auto increment the build number on each Compile" check box.

    you can get more from our rules:

    Is your version number meaningful?
    Do you display the version number publicly?
    Do you always update the version number whenever a new build is made?

  36. Add Shortcut Key to format HTML

    If we open a page using Word, we can use Control + Space to remove the style of HTML and make the words with the same font and size. But in Visual Studio 2008, there is no functionality like this. With this shortcut, designer can edit and re-format pages easier.

    Need a shortcut
    Figure: Need a shortcut to format HTML.
  37. Full 64 bit support

    eg. Edit-and-continue in VS is not supported on the 64-bit platforms

    Note: There is a work around. If you need Edit and Continue in Visual Studio on a 64 bit PC, you can temporarily run the debugging process with the “x86” option, and then switch back to “Any CPU” when you terminate with debugging.

    It work perfectly.

    Need x64 support
    Figure: How to make Edit and Continue to work on 64 bit
  38. Lets give nicer help before dropping into Designer Files

    I have a dream...

    Make it a goal that we don't let developers drop into these files?

    • Better 1: Tell the user to look in the app.config file.
    • Even Better 2: Tell me if the name of the Config element you are looking for.
    • Even Better 3: Drop into the config file.
    • Even Better 4: Check for a Connection String and then popup a nice connection form.
    • Even Better 5: Give a list of common mistakes with ticks and crosses (each team would be responsible)
    Valid Config Element
    Valid Connection String
    Ping to Server OK
    Database does not exist
    Not helpful
    Figure: This is not helpful
    Good start
    Figure: This is a good start

    I have a dream.... Each team that works uses VS.NET eg. LINQ team, Reporting Services team... would have to have the top 20 issues from beta testing.... entered here before they ship

  39. Provides "Training Videos" menu item in the help menu

    Training Videos provide a straitforward way to help the user look into your product and help them have a good understanding. It's better to have a "Training Videos..." item in the help menu.

    Training Videos menu item
    Figure: It's better to provide such a "Training Videos..." menu item
    See our rules Menu - Do you have a Training Videos item?
  40. Add a "Read UI/Show Me" menu item in right-click context menu

    I would love to see:

    • A "Read UI/Show Me" option on all controls if they are using Visual Component
    • Generally help to have people "read the UI" like they "read code"
    • This would be useful for beginners
    • This would be useful for managers reviewing code
    • This would be useful for VB6 guys

    Eg. One way would to implement this would be:

    • right-click ProductID Textbox and select "Read UI/Show Me"
    • it would then filter out all irrelevant Component Tray icons (slowly fade out)
    • it would then filter out all irrelevant Properties (slowly fade out)
    • now it could then use some of Code Rush like big arrows, that would point first to the DataSet in the left hand toolbox, then it would simulate it being dragged onto the form
    • then they would see it moved automatically to the component tray
    • then they would see the arrow pointing to the properties in the right hand property window
    Read UI/Show Me menu
    Figure: I would like to see a "Read UI/Show Me" menu
  41. Rather than add a file to my project and get 600 compile errors, help me automatically fix it

    When there's a compiler error that is because of a missing assembly reference, VS.NET should be smart enough to offer me suggestions to add the Assembly.

    If there are multiple matching assemblies, show a list that lets me choose which one is the one I want.

    So instead of 600+ errors that says something to the effect of:

    			  The type or namespace name 'Linq' does not exist in the namespace 'Microsoft.SharePoint' (are you missing an assembly
    reference?) C:\Temp\AdamCogan01\VisualWebPartProject1\VisualWebPartProject1\TeamSite.cs 997 25 VisualWebPartProject1

    Analyze the code and find the yellow

    			namespace VisualWebPartProject1 {
    using System;
    public partial class TeamSiteDataContext : Microsoft.SharePoint.Linq.DataContext {

     The item is the above yellow part.
    Figure: The yellow should be enough to ask the user if they want to that this .dll
  42. Is there a Windows standard UI convention against this?

    This is a little one, but the Project Menu in Visual Studio is reasonably prominent.
    I believe one dialog form, should get one menu item (on the same menu).
    E.g. The TFS Team have done this correctly.

    One menu with two tabs
    Figure: The TFS team gives one menu item for a form with 2 tabs
    Two tabs
    Figure: Good - This is the resulting form (One improvement I think would be to rename the tabs, to be 'Areas' and 'Iterations')

    Versus
    The VS.NET team who did it incorrectly

    Two menus two tabs
    Figure: Bad - 2 menu items for one form (with 2 tabs)
    Two tabs
    Figure: This is the same form invoked
  43. VS 2010 - Help me know what to do when trying to solve 'Output Type of Class Library cannot be started directly'

    My C++ guys are stuck.
    I thought C++ guys were clever
    See them work out how to use VS 2010 for the first time :)

    I was very surprised they all had no idea how to click the "Solution Explorer" tab.
    Suggestions below...

    Be told to add an executable project.
    Figure: Why is it telling them to 'Add an executable project'? (There is already one)

    Now I think of it...this stupid dialog does my head in...

    Suggestion 1: Why is the 'Solution Explorer' tab not mentioned in this horrible message box?

    Suggestion 2: Even better, why not have the 'Solution Explorer' tab selected?

    Suggestion 3: Change this text from

    ---------------------------
    Microsoft Visual Studio
    ---------------------------
    A project with an Output Type of Class Library cannot be started directly.
    In order to debug this project, add an executable project to this solution which references the library project. Set the executable project as the startup project.
    ---------------------------
    OK
    ---------------------------

    To

    ---------------------------
    Microsoft Visual Studio
    ---------------------------
    Your currently selected project is 'xxx'. A project with an Output Type of Class Library cannot be started directly.
    Select the 'Solution Explorer' tab and select any of these valid projects:
    - xxx
    - yyy
    In order to debug this project, add an executable project to this solution which references the library project. Set the executable project as the startup project.
    ---------------------------
    OK
    ---------------------------

    Suggestion 4: make the message boxes better by including an image like this

    Show a newbie an image
    Figure: Show a newbie an image like this

    Suggestion 5: Change the whole form from a dumb message box (with only text), to an intelligent form with the above message plus combo with valid projects they can select and press a "Continue" button

  44. Right click scroll bars are horrible to work with *Fixed with Patch for VS 2010 "Scrolling Context Menu"*

    Use the space and make the node visible
    Figure: Can we use this space please + make the node I clicked on visible (in this case it says 'WebFrontEnd')
  45. Nice URLs for the Gallery

    Have I mentioned getting nice URLs would be great for the Gallery?

    Eg.
    http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/3d37ce86-05f1-4165-957c-26aaa5ea1010/
    to
    http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/Test-Attachment-Cleaner/

  46. Improve the VS.NET 2010 setup experience #1

      It is already great, so these are little ones:
    1. Can we have a 2nd status bar so we know the total time remaining?
    2. Can you have the reboot any earlier (before the VC 9.0 and VC 10.0 Runtimes) and tell us specifically
      "There will be one reboot required in approximately 3 minutes"
    3. Let me resize the window so it can go from the top to the bottom of the screen
    Add three things
    Figure: 3 little things would make this form even greater
  47. Improve the VS.NET 2010 setup experience #2

    Cancel the Close
    Figure: Bad - It is currently running so "Close" should be "Cancel"
    Three tricky option
    Figure: Good - Now it shows "Close" now it is finished? But bad as I am not sure whether to "Next" or "Complete" or "Close" now
  48. Additional Menus should indicate where they come from

    If I am I am looking at an additional menu on someone elses PC, there should be a way to see where they came from.
    2 ideas... add an additional "About" menu item... or add a tooltip with the assembly name

    Menu indication
    Figure: The "Process Editor" menu should indicate that is comes from VS2010 PowerTools
  49. Help | About - Help me see what was the last thing I installed

    1. Can I have a 2nd column in this grid "Date Installed"
    2. And sort it descending, so I can see the most recent gear I have put on this VM
    3. And be super cool and add a link "Tweet this extension"
    Put this in descending order
    Figure: Put this in descending order of installation
    I need full list order
    Figure: Give me something to read while waiting… While looking at this screen I would like to see the list (in descending order) of the last things installed (from Extensions to Service Packs)
  50. Setup.exe - Help me know not to install SQL Server 2008 Express Service Pack 1

    Add text
    Figure: Just a little bit of text
  51. Let me click around (Little one) - without making me reach for the keyboard

    I would love to be able to click around, when I am exploring... when I am demoing.... and not have to reach for the keyboard to hit F7 (I have never really used right click)
    I believe this is the *most* common operation that is done from this window.
    PS: I wish I could see stats on what the top operations from this form are?

    Click around icon or link
    Figure: In the red square, add hyperlink 'View Code' (or maybe a smart tag icon)
  52. Dev11 Feature Request - 'View Class Diagram'

    View Class Diagram
    Figure: "View Class Diagram" adds a file! Avoid surprises and rename it to 'Add'
  53. VS Extension Manager - help me intelligently on search

    Add a link here
    Figure: Add a link 'Try the Online Gallery'
    Outlook is a good example
    Figure: A good example from Outlook
  54. Give me a sensible Default Tab Order

    The tab order when you create a new form defaults to the order you add controls. The default should be more sensible - from the top of the form to the bottom.

    The messy order
    Figure: Bad Example - The default tab order is based on the order controls were added and does not make sense
    Clear tab order
    Figure: Good Example - The default tab order is from top to bottom

Creating Visual Studio Add-in with EnvDTE Suggestions

  1. Hard to debug No error message

    Debugging is a tough mission when working on Visual Studio Add-in projects.
    When a runtime error occurred, Visual Studio will keep itself quiet instead of throw an exception and tell developers the details.

    You need error handling code almost everywhere, otherwise it is hard to know if there are any errors and where are the errors.

  2. Hard to debug Unhelpful or useless error messages

    Sometimes the error messages you get arent something that helpful.

    Example:
    Unknown Error
    Figure: An error message that actually tells you nothing useful.

    Visual Studio doesnt know what is wrong, how could we know then?

    Apparently the only useful data in this message box is the error number 80131534. But, try to do a search on MSDN for the error number 80131534, you actually get no result. Google cant help on this too.


    *Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2:
    Visual Studio 2005 Unknown Error
    Figure: Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 has a similar problem.

  3. EnvDTE is not completely implemented?

    Not Implemented
    Figure: The exception message is "Not implemented".

    try
    
    {
      // ** EnvDTE's starting index is 1, it is not Zero-Based
      for (int i = 1; i <= applicationObject.Solution.Projects.Count; i++)
      {
        MessageBox.Show(applicationObject.Solution.Projects.Item(i).FileName);
      }
    }
    catch(Exception ex)
    {
      MessageBox.Show("Exception Message: " + ex.Message);
    }
    Figure: The code to reproduce this message box.

    When we loop through each project in a solution, if the project is an unmodeled project, you will get the exception message "Not implemented".

    Reference URL: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/vsintro7/html/vxlrfvsprojectkindconstants.asp

    Database project (.dbp) is 1 of the unmodeled project we have discovered.
    Please let us know if you know any other unmodeled project types.

  4. Confusion for developers - DTE.DTE.DTE?

    Why do we have something like this?

    Unfinishable DTE
    Figure: Unfinishable DTE.DTE.DTE

  5. Confusion for developers - EnvDTE._DTE and EnvDTE.DTE

    EnvDTE._DTE and EnvDTE.DTE seem like have no differences, why do we have both _DTE and DTE?

    DTE
    Figure: _DTE and DTE both look the same.


    *Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2:
    These _DTE and DTE still exist in Visual Studio 2005.
    However, we have something new known as EnvDTE80.DTE2 for Visual Studio 2005 add-in projects, and there is no such thing as EnvDTE80._DTE2.

    DTE
    Figure: EnvDTE80.DTE2 will be used on creating add-in for Visual Studio 2005.

Creating Add-In for Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 Suggestions

  1. AccessViolationException

    AccessViolationException
    Figure: AccessViolationException was unhandled

    When adding buttons to command bar:

    If the first control that gets added to a new command bar is a command button, Visual Studio throws an AccessViolationException.

    How we overcome this:

    CommandBarComboBox dummyComboBox = (CommandBarComboBox)AddinCommandBar.Controls.Add(MsoControlType.msoControlComboBox, missing, missing, missing, missing);
    
    dummyComboBox.Visible = false;

    Using code above, add a dummy CommandBarComboBox first, set the Visible property to false, then start adding the command bar button.

    When setting command button 'FaceId' and/or 'Style' properties values:

    CommandBarButton.FaceId = 620;
    
    CommandBarButton.Style = MsoButtonStyle.msoButtonIconAndCaption;

    Sometimes the code above throw AccessViolationException, sometimes they don't.

  2. Throws COMException randomly

    COMException
    Figure: COMException was unhandled

    The exact same code, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't work and throws COMException. It mostly happens on the code that creates a command bar:

    EnvDTE80.DTE2.Commands.AddCommandBar("My command bar", EnvDTE.vsCommandBarType.vsCommandBarTypeToolbar, missing, 1);
                        

FxCop

  1. FxCop report will contain more information

    FxCop Analysis Report only contains the details of failed rules:
    FxCop Analysis Report
    Figure: FxCop Analysis Report doesn't have a summary.

    The report will show a summary like what Code Auditor report has:
    Code Auditor Report Summary
    Figure: Code Auditor report has summary of scan result.

Acknowledgements

Jatin Valabjee
Adam Cogan
Edward Forgacs
Ryan Tee