National Write Something Month...

All over the world people have taken inspiration from the folks at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) http://www.nanowrimo.org/ and are creating other types of month-long creative self-challenges (vlogging, etc.) so I'm going start my own and see how well I can join in by declaring National Write Something On My Blog Everyday Month (NaWriSOMyBloMo), this post being the first step on the journey.

I've been working on a very cool project for the past 8+ months and, bugs willing, very soon I'll be able to not only talk about it but also share many of the learnings (aka early-adopter-arrows-in-the-back) which we've been accumulating (hopefully to save you, the reader, time/pain/confusion).

I'll start by describing the "problem domain":  Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 (download), the Visual Studio SDK (download) and the Domain Specific Language (DSL) SDK (download).

VS2010 Beta 2 is a very nice, solid, development tool.  Of course, as it was being developed by a team of thousands, it wasn't always this way as the hill from Beta 1 to Beta 2 was being climbed.

These tools are loaded with new capabilities, some of which weren't even in Beta 1, and chock full of enhancements to the ones that were.

I'll start with two of my most favorite features in VS2010: A simple, wonderful user experience for doing something I do a hundred times a day:

  1. Since I build things that developers use to build things, I'm constantly creating new solutions in order to test the tools I'm building as a user would.  Thus the inclusion of the "New Project" link on the Start Page has finally inspired me to leave the Start Page turned on.
  2. Adding the MRU (Most Recently Used) list of projects, especially the ability to "pin" a project to the list so it never leaves the Start Page, has also been an enormous time saver and pain reliever.  I didn't realize how many clicks or keystrokes it took to go open the "project I just previously opened" until I could do it with one click.  Very nice indeed!

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