Visual Studio 2010: First Impressions

For the last month(ish) I’ve been using Visual Studio 2010 (Beta 1) as my main development environment, running on Window 7 RC1  & I’ve been give Silverlight 3 Beta a serious run out.

Given that none of these are released yet I’m just amazed at how painless the experience has been. There are a few niggles; something’s chewing up way more processor time than I expected (I’m running a 64-bit environment, may be that make a difference). Both IE8 and Visual Studio have hung from time to time – but they both recover with reasonable elegance. That’s about it for niggles though.

I’m planning to blog about Silverlight 3 later but I thought I’d kick off with a few comments on Visual Studio 2010.

First off, I really like the look and feel. I think the start page is much better (clearer and more useful) than previous versions. Its a small point but it at least sets things off on the right foot. Also the default text in the editor and all the visual feedback seem a lot sharper.

One of the big boons so far is that the XAML designer is a proper designer rather than just a preview mode. I tend to cut my XAML directly in the editor, so I haven’t really played with drag and drop, but being able to click on a control in the designer and have it highlight the relevant XAML makes life much easier. The XAML intellisense seems pretty good, although it still doesn’t work inside the PropertyName text for Setter tags, which would be really helpful.

I’ve found myself wanting to reach for blend much less often – just as well I guess, since blend 3 won’t load VS2010 projects yet – but at least VS2010 seems to be a more complete environment for developing WPF/Silverlight apps.

I really like being able to undock editor & design windows from the main app. If you’ve got plenty of screen real-estate it really helps when you’re working on multiple classes/controls at the same time.

I’ll post more when I get some time but my first impressions are really positive.

If you want to learn more on Silverlight 3 I recommend Jesse Liberty’s blog (http://silverlight.net/blogs/jesseliberty/), which has got some very useful stuff on it and some great videos.