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"Totally splendid variable-renaming facility" in Visual Studio 2005

Posted by kirillcool on October 27, 2005 at 6:59 AM PDT

You will chuckle, you will grin and sometimes you will want to laugh. Read this talk delivered by Charles Petzold, the author of "Programming Windows" book (and 12 other Windows books). Charles is one of the gurus of Windows GUI programming on C / C++ and lately .Net. After having programmed for about 5 years (three of them exclusive) with Visual Studio 6, i agree with everything he says on wizards and generated code in VS. Of course, the same has been said repeatedly about GUI builders (long gone and emerging) in Java IDEs.

However, the really funny stuff can only be seen by us, Java developers that have come to expect everything (and then some) from our IDEs. Let's see.

Quote: IntelliSense is a technology that is inevitable. If Microsoft hadn’t done it, somebody else would have. Hmmm, are we talking about Ctrl+Space that has been like, forever, in Java IDEs?

Quote: Visual Studio 2005 has a totally splendid variable-renaming facility. You know how sometimes you really want to rename a variable to be more in tune with its actual function in the program but you’re afraid to because of possible side effects of search-and-replace? Well, this new variable-renaming avoids all that, and it will also tell you if you’re renaming something to an existing name. I hope people take advantage of this to rename their controls to something other than the Visual Studio defaults. Hmmm, guess now Microsoft will patent it and make JetBrains guys pay them. Brrrrrr.

Quote: Along with Visual Studio is also the .NET Framework 2.0, with some significant enhancements to Windows Forms, including a very strong commitment to "dynamic layout" (sometimes also known as "automatic layout"). Dynamic layout is also a significant part of the design philosophy of Avalon.... The FlowLayoutPanel and the TableLayoutPanel together with the SplitContainer and the Dock property provide a full array of tools for dynamic layout. Hmmmm, significant indeed, only to be eclipsed by FlowLayout / GridBagLayout present in Java since, like, forever?

Addition - as pointed out in the comments, Microsoft has added this feature in Visual Basic 5 that came out in February 1997. JBuilder 2 that came out in March 1998 was the first (as far as i remember) Java IDE to feature the CodeInsight (as opposed to IntelliSense). The next in line must have been Visual Cafe 3 that came out in October 1998 with Code Helper. Altough obviously both were released after Visual Basic 5, i think that the origins of IntelliSense come from UNIX editors such as vi and xemacs (remember the Alt+/?)