Visual Studio 2010 IDE Overview

Understanding existing, and writing new, code

As the complexity of applications grows so does the
challenge of understanding the code that you’re working
on. With Visual Studio 2010 the IDE provides integrated
support for understanding what is happening in the code
section that you’re viewing.

The editor in Visual Studio 2010 has been rebuilt using the
Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) technology. WPF
enables the editor to richly present information about the
code in the context of presenting the actual source. This ability
enables features such as the “Document Map Margin” to render
a graphical view of the source file including information such as
layout, code coverage, symbol highlights and comments.

This editor ability also enables 3rd parties to create add-ins
that show custom views of the underlying source file such as
taking the XML Doc Comments and converting them to a rich
presentation formation with fonts, colors and highlighting. It
enables Visual Studio to display different layers on the editor
so an add-in could represent a code-based formula in its
traditional mathematical representation.

While the representation of the underlying source code is
important so is the ability to understand what the code is
actually doing. In Visual Studio 2010, features such as “Inline
Call Hierarchy” – a feature which enables a developer to select
an entity or method and see how the code calls inwards or
outwards or passes the entity in and out of the code section
– provide developers with the ability to understand the
interaction of the code without needing to juggle multiple
files. Other features such as “Highlight References”, which
provide a visual representation of the references to a selected
entity in the code without needing to use the “Find In Files”
feature, or “Quick Searching”, which delivers a ‘word wheel’
based search tool integrated with “Highlight References”,
enable developers to maintain the context of where they are
but gain the understanding of other locations in the code.

Additionally the editor integrates with the project system to
simplify the pattern of Test Driver Development (TDD). With
TDD, developers build the tests that will exercise their application
code before they actually write that code. In Visual Studio
2010 developers can create tests and the editor will provide
functionality to automatically implement the tested classes and
code in the file the developer chooses. This enables developers to
quickly create the class they are consuming without needing to
break out of the test development flow to declare the tested class.