Visual Studio Toolbox

Visual Studio Toolbox: Visual Studio 11 Beta with Jason Zander

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In this episode, we kick off our Visual Studio 11 coverage. Jason Zander joins us to celebrate the availability of Visual Studio 11 Beta. Jason shows off and discusses some of his favorite features, including:




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    The Discussion

    • WizardX

      Robert, Please have someone check the Visual Studio Beta - Ultimate ISO Download, the ISO was bad for me and the WebInstall broke at seemingly the same place.

      Install Visual Studio Beta - Premium ISO Download.
      Install Visual Studio Beta - ULTIMATE ISO Download.
      This corrected the problem.

      Life is good.

      After 24-hours of use, I'm really really enjoying the new product..
      Thank You. 


    • DeadX07

      Jason made a comment that Microsoft will continue to invest in existing technologies like Asp.Net Web Forms, and Windows Forms. Can we get some additional comments or details on this? I haven't moved to WPF quite yet because with my in-depth experience with WinForms I can still make beautiful user interfaces that are performant, so I'm curious as to the details of what he meant.

    • Charles

      Great to see Jason showing off new VS features using C++. Thanks, Jason Smiley


    • DeadX07

      @Charles - Seems like over time everytime I see C++ demo'd it looks cleaner and cleaner code! Oh wait? C++ 0x/11 Wink

    • Charles

      @DeadX07: Yep. C++11 is much like a new language. It's modern. Have you seen Bjarne's C++11 Style talk? You should!


    • DeadX07

      @Charles: Sure did, I watched the entire GoingNative 2012 conference over CH9 as well as all the talks, pretty sure I've almost watched ever language oriented video on this place. GoingDeep and Checking In with you and Erik Meijer was one of my favourites. As an independent developer doing this without any kind of degree, I thrive on learning from videos like these to gain expertise (Rather than just knowledge), whitepapers, et cetera, et cetera. So never stop the videos from coming!

    • Alex219267

      Awesome Stuff Robert!  Keep it coming.  Thanks

    • DeathBy​VisualStudio

      Now I know to whom to direct my rage on the removal of color from the IDE. Thanks!

      I loved how he spoke of developers wanting to "focus on their code" and not on the tool yet what was he doing most of the demo? Looking around the IDE for tools and clicking on them. Kinda hard to find what you're looking for when everything looks the same.

      Nice "metro" theme. I'm gonna ALL CAPS my toolbar tabs too so I can say I'm "metro". [facepalm]

    • SteveRichter

      regarding VS packages and extensions, are there new extension points in VS11?

    • Charles

      , Alex219267 wrote

      Awesome Stuff Robert!  Keep it coming.  Thanks

      This is a great show. Thanks for doing this, Robert!


    • rogreen

      @SteveRichter:No significant changes, so 2010 extensions should for the most part just work. As always, let us know if you run into something.


    • rogreen

      @DeathByVisualStudio:Adding color is the #1 request on the Visual Studio UserVoice site.  Please feel free to add your vote and elaborate on what you want. The product team is hearing this feedback loud and clear and is listening.


    • Jagdish Chichria

      I did install on Win2k8 x64. It is working like a charm. WOW!

    • aL3891

      So does the UI changes mean that the entire VS shell is now wpf based? that'd be pretty cool Smiley [i know some niners strongly disagree though]

      Does this mean that we can restyle vs? i'd really like to hear more about that Smiley


      I had a very strange problem installing the beta though, none text editor color/font options where available, and font size changes didnt go through either.. it works fine on another machine though.

      All i did was not installing in the default directory, im reinstalling tonight though

    • DeadX07

      @aL3891 - VS2010 is a WPF shell and there is an extension that allows you to edit the shell color in a limited way

    • aL3891


      Really? I asked about that at pdc a few years back and they told be only the editor was wpf, and the actual shell was not..

      I have bigger problems at the moment though, it appears that its completley impossible to install vs11 to any other location than the one you first installed it to. the uninstaller doesnt do a clean uninstall and even removing all vs files, manually uninstalling all the vs11 components and even digging through the registry has proven uneffective...

      Getting really annoyed with the installer... litteraly NO install options and still doesnt work right..

    • Andi

      any possibility to deveop for Windows Phone with VS 11 at this point?


    • DeadX07

      @ aL3891: The shell was rewritten in WPF, but there are still many many parts of it that are not such as many of the dialogs and docking items. I don't have any current advice for VS11 Installation since mine went smoothly but try checking the installation logs if there are any.

    • rogreen

      @Andi: At this time there are no Windows Phone tools for Visual Studio 11.

    • DeadX07

      @Robert: Well, there are PCL's but that's about it and doesn't really classify as tooling I suppose. Also Robert looking forward to the next video from you with the Entity Framework team!

    • upenrao

      Don't forget there is a Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview Training Kit to help you get started with Metro style app development Smiley

      Robert, is an update in the works?

    • Atif Shahzad

      Hi my question is can we create a Silverlight Apps using Visual studio 11.

    • rogreen

      @upenrao:We will be releasing the Visual Studio 11 Beta Training Kit in three phases. The first two phases will appear next week and the week after. The third phase maybe in a month or so. Stay tuned.

    • rogreen

      @Atif Shahzad:Absolutely. You can target Silverlight 4 or 5.

    • upenrao

      @RobertGreen: Awesome! If there is a lot of new additions, hopefully you can create a walk through video like you did last time. Keep up the great job you are doing for the community!

    • Atif Shahzad

      Great but Robert i downloaded Consumer preview with all development tools but there is no Silverlight Tempalte is there plz do some videos regarding RIA Service etc i can't wait anymore.

    • rogreen

      @Atif Shahzad:If you downloaded Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows 8 then you only have templates for building Metro style apps. If you download Visual Studio 11 Ultimate, Premium or Pro, then you will have all of the normal templates, including Silverlight. Note that if you install VS 11 Ultimate, Premium or Pro on Windows 7 you will not have the Metro style app templates, since Metro only runs on Windows 8.

    • DeathBy​VisualStudio

      , rogreen wrote

      @DeathByVisualStudio:Adding color is the #1 request on the Visual Studio UserVoice site.  Please feel free to add your vote and elaborate on what you want. The product team is hearing this feedback loud and clear and is listening.


      Thanks. I voted. Strange that the site doesn't support a Passport/Live/Microsoft Account login.

    • Moemeka


       thank you for the absolutely AMAZING tool!  Can you please do us some of us a favor and provide a setting page for the Artboard like expression blend has.  There does not seem to be anything like that.  Specifically, if would be nice to have a way to toggle the behavior of Mouse Scroll.  For me, see the default behavior as to scroll (like how it is everywhere else) and if I want zoom then I *modify* that behavior by explicitly holding down on the control, alt or whatever button.  In VS11 it defaults to Zoom which is essentially inconsistent with everything in Visual Studio and I dare say inconsistent with default Windows Behavior (vis-à-vis internet explorer, explorer, metro apps, New Start Screen).  This is the one place where it is reversed for what seems to be no reason.  Wouldnt anyone, designer or otherwise *use* scrolling around the screen more than zooming ?!?

      Please change this or at lease give us an option.  The new Artboard *is* awesome.  Windows 8 is awesomer-er

    • exoteric

      There's lots to like in there. The dark theme. The blend designer. The design is also quite nice (except the ALL CAPS). The test view looks like. Lots of good stuff and some annoyances.

      I guess what I want most from VS now is fast builds, fast response times, low memory usage.

    • KjmX

      Awesome...thank you we are waiting for the full version...

    • Corrector2

      For the sake of all that's good, can it look like it did before. The black and white dark/light skins look horrible!


    • Steven

      I am using EW4 for a long time. I have some problem with it. I found many issue discussed by me never have a sufficient answer.

      After seeing Blend 5 with HTML support means in future Do EW die or You give those feature in Blend 5.

      Nice Video.I hope this come to Everyone Soon.


    • EdSF

      Cool stuff! Maybe I missed it - since we're all sort doing a lot more javascript web/ (will) the (or some other) minifier tool be integrated? 

      In other words, a "smarter Ajax Min" that on build will auto-magically (or set by dev) minify javascript (and css) in the proper sequence, perhaps based on the code or as set by developer?

      We can all do this now in some way, just wishing to make this even more mundane and handled by VS  Cool

    • rogreen

      @EdSF:Visual Studio does have minification tooling. ScottGu blogged about it here. And we cover it briefly in the What's New in ASP.NET and Web Development lab in the Visual Studio 11 training kit. Note that the we will post the Beta version of all the Web labs on March 13.

    • Flynn0r

      At first the black and white theme is nice to look at. But the missing colors make it really hard to differentiate things without thinking about it. It is much harder to just use or navigate to elements. I have to actively search for every tiny bit. Over and over again. The more "dimensions" (form, size, color...) in play, the faster my work can be done without interrruptions.

      Additionally, the black and white is quite boring to look at after a short while. That's important too.

      On the other side, the functionality of VS11 is amazing. Keep up the good work.

      Just my 5 cents.

    • ElleNear​Mello

      Damn I just bought VS2010 Professional 2 weeks ago (with 1year MSDN Essential)... Sad

      Will I be able to develop with .NET 4.5 , C# 5 and new WPF with VS2010 pro edition??

      Or will be forced to upgrade to VS2011?

      I am not interested in Metro for the moment.

    • DeadX07

      @Flynn0r I agree to an extent here, the main thing I find really frustrating is differentiating file types in the solution explorer, and I know they are trying to clean up and erradicate toolbar commands to some extent, but some of them are useful and its hard there too.

      Other than that I completely agree, VS11 is amazing and I'm already developing some production projects with it.

    • Chubbaca

      Still getting used to these gray scale icons. I like the styling , I just prefer my icons with some color.

    • what happened

      The new theme Sucks! Change it back, or I swear I will jury rig eclipse to run nmake and cl.exe to compile. VS 11 will be reduced to a GDB or KDebug class of tool. The year is 2012 not 1991. We are a heavy user of your tool at a corporate level and you have just wrecked the first impression of your tool for all of our customers. Next time we release a VS11 supported product I will be sure to strap a 28.8 k modem to it.

      Sorry for all the hate but I am a huge fan of VS since v6.0 and every new release visual styling has been better than the last and has been an absulute pleasure to use, until today with VS11. It's the same feeling you get if you catch your son/daughter doing drugs, I just started VS11 and said seriusly!!? What the hell!?

    • rogreen

      @ElleNearMello:You will need Visual Studio 11 to develop using .NET 4.5 and C# 5 and to take advantage of all the other new features in VS. You will be eligible for upgrade pricing, but we haven't yet announced what the pricing will be.

    • werdna

      I've been using VS since the 16 bit days (VC 1.5) and the next releases are better than Christmas for me but the soul destroying colour changes in 11 really throw me from what I'm working on. I know it's partly psychological but damn it's horrendous. Could we not leave it like VS10 please? I don't want to have to look for add-ons or hacks to make it look how it _should_ have in the first place. Please guys, I love everything you do with VS and appreciate it greatly but the VC 1.5 editor look?!

    • Rob

      Can we have the option to switch the colour back on please. It's very difficult to distinguish between the Toolbar icons. I've been using this development environment since it had a blue DOS style interface and now use it everyday. Although a lot of very helpful features have been introduced, I am just totally at a loss as to why you would make the User Interface harder to use by removing the colour. It goes against everything I know.

    • rogreen

      The best place to share your UI feedback is the Visual Studio User Voice site. The product team is very interested in what you have to say and is listening.


    • William Bosacker

      This is by far the worst UI that I have ever seen from a "usability" POV. It may have some oooooo's and aaahhh's, but did you even bother to talk to anyone with a degree in ergonomics? High contrasts and dark backgrounds cause severe eye strain over time. Why do you think that Word became so popular in the early 90's? Colored fonts, especially black (which is not a color), on a white background produce the least amount of eye strain.

      BTW, I don't see anything on the help system. The help system in VS 2010 is by far the worst help system that you had developed, and the offline content is even worse. I hope you've done something to correct that enormous blunder. Don't you even remember the code contests that you hosted in the late 90's? Remember how often the developers pulled up the Help32 windows? Today, I meet so many developers who don't even know that there IS a help system.

    • yannduran_o​ld

      I was dismayed to see this "Metro-fication" of what will be a "desktop" app even with W8, but I was REALLY dissappointed to see it presented as "something that developers have been asking for". I don't believe that this is true & it really concerns me that MS is not only forcing us to go in a direction that suits THEIR grand plans, but is trying to convince us that we actually asked for it. Big loss of trust here guys!

      VS is NOT suitable as a Metro app, & the attempt to make it "fit in" with the metro style, just so everything "looks" the same, is a big mistake (& I'm relieved to see that many others feel the same way, not just me). Just imagine the furor if this was done to Office. What about all the "studies" that indicated that a ribbon interface was better than menus & toolbars? They now seem to be contradicted by this timewarp back to the B&W of a bygone era. I would not have been surpised to see VS get a ribbon (I was kind of expecting being pushed that way - not sure how I'd feel about it, but it would have to be better than this greyscale nightmare).

      At the VERY least, the beta should have retained VS 2010 look & feel, with an OPTIONAL "new" look & feel. Then developers could have chosen which they preferred. I'm sure there'd be a lot less "hatred" going on if it hadn't been forced on us like it has. This is an environment that developers are using all day, such a radical, forced change does not help productivity.

      I'm mostly concerned that this has not been done to enhance our development experience, nor at out request, this has been done to attempt to make VS adhere to the tennets of the new Metro style. It may be appropriate for a phone OS, but I don't agree that VS should go the same way.

      There is WAY more I could say about this, but I feel like I've already said enough (if not too much).

    • Dean

      I agreen with William Bosacker...he said it all. This new look is terrible. Why didn't you bother to ask us what we thought before plowing forward with the beta?

    • Dobromnr

      аз съм добромир и съм на 23г. живея във гр.Симеоновград

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