WPF, Silverlight: Things I like in Visual Studio 2008 XAML editor (September CTP)

.NET, Silverlight, Technical stuff, WPF
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The excellent Nathan Dunlap posted on the 18th of September about Blend September CTP, and the new features he likes. It’s very much in line with what I have been thinking too since I tried this latest edition, so I am not going to repeat it, just go ahead and read his post. (By the way, it’s good to see Nathan blogging more lately, very happy about that :)

On my end, I want to mention a few things I really like in the XAML editor in Visual Studio 2008 September CTP:

  • When you type a control (for example a button) and then add an event handler in XAML, you’ll be presented by a box asking you if you want to “Add a event handler”. Great way to add a method to your code very fast. Before that, I never remembered the signatures of these darn delegates :)
  • If however you already have an event handler with the corresponding signature in code, you can also add it from the same dialog box
Adding an event handler from XAML editor
  • If you have an event handler defined in XAML, right click on it and choose “Navigate to handler”. This will take you in the code behind, into the event handler’s implementation. If you didn’t have an event handler already, it will create one for you.
Navigate to handler
  • And the best for the end: When you add a XML namespace to your element’s declaration, intellisense now presents you all the available namespaces, including the ones in codebehind (clr-namespace). No need to dig into your code to find the exact spelling of these namespaces (and the assembly!) anymore…
Adding a CLR XML namespace

There are still a few minor bugs in the WPF environment in Visual Studio 2008, but it’s really becoming a great tool! I am now doing all my private work on Visual Studio 2008, and preparing the field for a smooth transition from 2005 to 2008 at work. We still have to wait a moment before we can transition for good, because of the project’s constraints, but we’re almost ready!

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