Whidbey Bits

Ok, so I can’t just give away Whidbey bits to everyone. I’m excited about it so I
wish I could. When I can do is share some tidbits about what our team is working on.

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One of the most exciting things I did yesterday was change the theme on my laptop.  Here is
the theme picked after trying several out.  The
compact look is great, and I like the green.  You
just have to get a different background to go with it.   What
does this have to do with Whidbey?  Well,
if your registry hive is all stored under an “8.0” location you can’t have 7.0 looks
and our team is helping to deliver some “8.0” looks in Whidbey.  J I
have absolutely no talent for art, but I know I love the new
that includes: (keep in mind we are not finished)


Office 2003 style menus
and command bars.  We had been leveraging
the actual main office DLL component for the 7.x releases but for 8.0 one faithful
developer snapped the 9+mb DLL, removed all the stuff VS didn’t need, and left us
with a component that weighs in at less than 50% the original memory usage.  Have
you ever heard of a new product version that requires less memory? I think he did
some great coding on a task he described akin to “Tearing a wall down to dust then
trying to rebuild a smaller wall with the dust.”  Be
thankful you didn’t see the initial “Blue VS” prototype before the check-in was complete.  


There must be some sort of Microsoft-Wide “Shark
” movement.  You can see the file
tabs now have shark fins complete with what our designers call gradients that are
also all over now.  IMO they just look
cool, but did take some time to get used to.  For comparison,
here is an older build. I’m a geek, but it’s fun to look for the differences in these
screenshots they posted.  They span at
least a few builds apart. J


XP Theme support: We’re going to look a lot more like a good windows XP app should
as opposed to a win2k app running on XP.  It’s
a lot of small things but I know it looks sexy. 


Like I said, we aren’t done so this is not a complete list for sure.   But
developers don’t care if an IDE looks good right?  So
we are doing a lot of other work to improve productivity.  Take
another look @ this one
and you’ll notice:


The Task List can now wrap text so you can see the complete error messages.  What
the picture doesn’t show you is that you can now choose the columns are shown.  So
if you don’t want to know the “File” you can remove that and have more space for descriptions. 


Look at the upper right hand and you’ll see the double arrows facing downward on the
left side of the X. When you click on
that you’ll see a dropdown menu that gives you access to all of the files that you
have open in the file channel.  I know
I generally end up with at least 15 files there and scrolling left/right all the time
was really annoying.  We’re doing more
here, but just this helps a lot. 


The down arrow on the Task List will drop down the context menu you can get in 2002/3
by right clicking a tool window caption.  Customers
generally had a hard time figuring out they could do that to get all the options there
for window management. 


There is a lot more I can’t wait to talk about, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity
to point out some of the smaller things that might have otherwise gone unnoticed in
those screenshots of the cool ASP.NET focused enhancements.   GDN
also doesn’t give me a way to post screenshots. (Nudge) :-)