Some of the Best Visual Studio Blogs to Follow: Part 2

We continue our series on the best Visual Studio blogs we’ve found to help you navigate the sea of available Microsoft resources. Thankfully, there is a small army of bloggers out there in the Visual Studio world looking things up and sharing their findings.

Visual Studio Extensibility: Carlos Quintero

Carlos Quintero has been a Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 2004 and is a passionate specialist about Visual Studio Extensibility (VSX). A recent blog post of his discusses incorporating images into your apps to make them more consumer-friendly, resources to create high-DPI images with the new Visual Studio 2015 Image Service. He explains it’s relatively easy to become fully DPI-aware and use DPI images in your apps. He outlines and describes several of the Microsoft resources you have available.

He also points out that apparently, support for high-DPI images through a new image service was indeed present in the Visual Studio 2015 RTM release, but only recently did Microsoft publish the documentation for those services.

LockTar’s Blog: Ralph Jansen

Ralph Jansen, a developer and teacher who enjoys sharing his knowledge,  also takes us through a list of excellent resources in one of his recent posts Best Visual Studio extensions and applications. He lists extensions and NuGet packages he says he uses every day. Here are his top three in both categories:

Visual Studio Extensions

  • EnterpriseLibrary.Config: This is a handy tool for your Enterprise Library packages, and lets you can edit your config with an interface.
  • GhostDoc: This tool can generate summaries above your code. It will also generate documentation for parameters, properties, field, methods, and so on.
  • NuGet Package Manager: It ought to be quite clear what this is.

NuGet packages

  • StyleCop: This lets you create defaults about documentation and code formats.
  • StyleCop Checkin Policy: This is my own check-in policy for validating StyleCop rules.
  • Ninject:  This is an easy-to-use dependency container for fast building applications.

Marius Bancila’s Blog

And Marius Bancila, in his post Three New Features I Like in Visual Studio 2015, he outlines his favorite new features in Visual Studio 2015, starting off with the new Error Window.

One of the things that bothered me the most about the [previous] error window was the mixture of errors/warnings/messages from both MSBuild and IntelliSense,” he writes. “But I don’t usually care about the later and their presence in the error window is usually annoying me. This is now fixed and you can select to see messages from Build, IntelliSense or both.”

Next, he points out finding files in append. “I’m working with large source bases and I often need to do find in files, usually going from search to search until I find what I need. The problem was there were only two output windows for the search results and when you need to do a third you had to discard one of the previous searches while you might still needed the results.” In Visual Studio 2015, Microsoft has finally implemented an append feature. This lets you append your search results to one of the existing two windows.

Finally, he likes the new inline ability to create definition. “I’m not sure how this feature is actually called, but what it does is create a definition for a function in the source file from the declaration in the header and displays it in a boxed document inside the header document.” 

So the next time you run into something that makes you scratch your head with Visual Studio, remember you have a wealth of resources at your disposal in the blogosphere. Have a favorite blog you visit you’d like to share? Comment below!

Posted by Lafe Low on 02/22/2016

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