VS.NET 2003 isn't all that bad (sort of)

A few days ago, I blogged about a serious flaw in the ASP.NET editor in Visual Studio.NET 2003. Now, don't get me wrong, I really find it stunning this Bad BoyTM is still around, and according to the follow ups to Mike Moore's posting in the usenet thread about this issue, more people are seriously offended by this lack of customer support, but... Visual Studio.NET 2003 isn't all bad. In fact, some great enhancements are finally available.

The two features I like the most (I'm referring to C# here, so if you hammer out VB.NET all day and you get all warm inside by reading about these two features: I don't know if they are available to you, but they're rather RADdish so I think you'll find them in your editor as well) are: automatic stubbing of interface implementations (using the Interface StubberTM (more on that later)) and the easy way to hook up / create event handlers from inside the code-editor.

The first time I tried out the interface stubbing code, I automatically wondered if it would work with abstract classes as well. Well... no. Nothing happened. Digging into the "What's new, Bubba!"-pages I discovered that for abstract / classes with virtual methods another feature was added: override help. Although this feature is very OK, trust me, why doesn't a derivation of a class with abstract methods (or an abstract class altogether) stub out all the abstract methods/properties with overrides similar to the Interface StubberTM? It would have been a nice addition, and the code is already there. Ah well forget it, I'm Dutch, we always find something to nag about :)

The Interface StubberTM is a true life-saver. Because since Obi-wan Kenobi once told me "Program against Interfaces, Luke, not against Classes", I use them everywhere, and a nice Interface StubberTM just below your fingertips then truly makes your day, I guarantee.

Of course for the tens of thousands of people who were not yet able to lay their hands on a VS.NET 2003 copy, f.e. because of a laggy ordering system over at Microsoft, you have a nifty little class template for Visual Studio.NET 2002, called Inherited Class Skeleton Generator, which does what VS.NET 2003's cool Interface StubberTM does and much more.

[Listening to: HDD Symphony - Maxtor Orchestra feat. Screechy Rotations - Allegro (15:23)]


  • But still no refactorings? No "extract method", "rename method", "move method", Renaming a variable in one place and renaming them everywhere in it's scope automatically? Those are things I can't hardly live without since I've been using Eclipse for Java developement. And *might* even be a reason why I keep using Java although I'd prefer C# as a language.

  • No refactoring functionality. I heared C# builder of Borland (to be released this summer) will have refactoring-functionality. Refactoring is something that is not considered 'useful' in the MS community, since it is a tool necessary by people who think while they write code (like in the eXtreme Programming world). So "if you design your software well enough, you don't need refactoring". I agreed with that for a lot of years. At the moment I'm doing a lot of designing while I write the code, and refactoring would help a lot in this case.

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