Visual Studio 2011–So Far

November 25, 2011

I’ve been using Visual Studio 2011 Developer Preview for a few days now. I haven’t specifically dug in to see what’s different, but just wanted to comment on the things I’ve bumped into.

The Good

Solution Explorer is now a combination of Solution Explorer and Class View. You can expand individual files to see the classes and members within it.

Searching: When you search for something (I use CONTROL-SHIFT-F very often) the results are appended to the end of the list rather rather than clearing out the pane. So, all your search results are there until you clear them. I’d wish the separation between search results was clearer, though. Maybe an expand/collapse approach.

Solution Explorer has an icon to the right of each item when you hover over it. It allows you to zoom in on the particular item and hide the rest of the solution. To get back to where you started, you can click the HOME button, or you can click BACK the appropriate number of times.

This is a 4.5 thing rather than visual studio, but I was very excited to see that you can now request a WSDL as SingleFile. Nice

The WATCH windows has color syntaxing. I don’t’ know if I ever would of thought of that as a desired feature, but now that I have it, I appreciate it.

The installation is simpler; you just hit one button and it goes. But, it’s just as slow as it always was. I am always amazed that you can install Windows faster than you can install Visual Studio.

The Bad

I am unable to add multiple file references at once. I have to select each one individually.

To compound the previous point, the BROWSE dialog doesn’t remember your last folder, so you always have to browse back to it. (Cut and paste to the rescue)

It doesn’t seem any faster. Visual Studio 2010, despite any claims to the contrary, has always been slower than 2008 on every machine I’ve ever worked on. I tried to work in VMs alone, but had to drop that practice due to the performance issue. Currently, I’m running 2011 in a VM, so maybe I’m not giving it a fair shake. Maybe on the primary OS it’s better. But, it feels exactly the same so far.