Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1

Judging by this beta, Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 is a promising update

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Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1

Pros

  • Revamped user interface, WPF designer is even smoother than before, new code browsing features, improved thread debugging

Cons

  • Missing support for ASP.Net MVC and smart devices

Bottom Line

Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 is a very promising upgrade to the premier IDE for .Net development. It improves the UI, IntelliSense, and Designers; supports parallel programming; and improves support for test-driven development. It's still missing support for ASP.Net MVC and smart devices.

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Microsoft Visual Studio 2010: .Net languages

The Visual Basic and C# languages have both evolved in nice ways and nearly achieved feature parity. Visual Basic now has lambda expressions and implicit line continuations; C# now has simplified COM calling and dynamic language support.

Both have a new feature called type equivalence that simplifies deployment against different versions of an assembly, which is especially useful when trying to program against the Microsoft Office APIs. (Lambda expressions are anonymous inline functions or methods; in the .Net Framework they are used as a concise way to define delegates, and they're very useful when writing LINQ queries.)

F# is a functional programming language based on ML and OCAML, which uses the .Net Framework and interoperates with other .Net languages. F# was previously a research project; it's very nice to see it as part of Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.

One of our constant annoyances with Visual Studio 2008 has been its half-baked JavaScript parsing and IntelliSense. More times than we could count, it "helpfully" completed code with irrelevant nonsense. Microsoft calls the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 version "dramatically improved" and "2 to 5 times faster".

That isn't actually saying much, considering how bad IntelliSense for JavaScript was before, but the improvement is certainly welcome, and in fact the JavaScript support is pretty good.

When working with big Visual C++ projects, we used to dread making changes to core header files; it would nearly always force us to take a break while the IDE caught up. The IDE is now smarter about parsing files in the background.

The Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 C++ compiler now supports the lambda expressions, rvalue references, compile-time assertions, expression type discovery, and automatic type deduction features of the C++0x standard. Another piece of good news is that the VS2010 C++ compiler has a mode that is backward-compatible with the Visual Studio 2008 tools and libraries. This will make it easier for individual developers to upgrade even if the rest of the team doesn't want to switch over.

Microsoft Visual Studio 2010: Web deployment and parallel programming

Web deployment hasn't historically been one of Visual Studio's great strengths. All too often, we found ourselves switching to an FTP client for deployment instead of using the deployment tools in Visual Studio 2008. The one-click publishing feature of Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 may well change that, although we have yet to work up the courage to use it on a production site.

The biggest new features of VS2010 have to do with parallel programming. We're not sure we've completely grasped the power of the new .Net Framework and native C++ support for task and data parallelism in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, but what we've seen so far is impressive. A bunch of interesting parallel programming samples have recently been posted on CodePlex; we think they're worth checking out.

The Architecture Explorer is a client-side feature of Team System. Microsoft is now serious about UML modeling, and there are many features useful to programmers as well as architects.

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