VisualStudio 2005 Try-Out (2)

March 13th, 2005

Recently I’ve got the Feb CTP version of VS 2005, which called itself a “Beta 2”. The Feb CTP version does not support my favorite PREfast, so I didn’t play with its C++ very much. Let’s talk about the Windows Form in C#.

The weakest link for .Net 1.x is its UI support, no kidding. Microsoft seems to expect developers write a program in the newest coolest .Net 1.x with the good old days Windows 98 UI. So, early adopters all went to hell because they need to use platform invokes to call the good old days Win32 API in order to show an IE-like toolbar, a pop-up menu with icons, XP theme support, and a lot of other ands. What a crap …

The new Windows Form in .Net 2.0 is finally something that can be used to develop a “serious” Windows program. By “serious” I mean that it can be used to develop a modern-look UI without too many hassles. We’ve got Office 2003 style UI elements. We have some really working menus, toolbars, and stable XP theme support. I hope the Avalon API can arrive on time with VS 2005 so that we don’t need to catch up AGAIN !

The auto diagram generater is now a LOT faster (thank God). Right now I can have diagrams in seconds even on my good old P4 2.4GHz machine, instead of minutes on the dual Xeon. However, the class diagram will not reflect the change automatically. You have to regenerate it every time if you add some new classes.

Another bad design is the Project Properties part. For C++ projects, we still have our good old clean dialog. For C# projects, it’s now appearing as a tab in your main working area. It’s not consistent and will cause people a lot of trouble if they need to use two languages simultaneously. I’d prefer we still have the dialog because sometimes we just need to see the defines that need to be appended to project settings.

Still squeezing the horsepower of the new toy and I’ll be back …

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