Superman without the yellow sun

This is just a post to gripe and commiserate with each other.


Everybody knows that Superman is nearly crippled by the presence of Kryptonite.  What we might forget is that Superman’s powers are derived from exposure to the yellow sun of Earth.  Why is this relevant?  Simple.  When I’m using VS2008 I feel like I’ve lost my coding superpowers because ReSharper is more or less knocked out.  Turn ReSharper on and you get false  alarm squiggles everywhere that drive me absolutely batty.  Then you turn off code analysis and switch the Intellisense back to VS mode.  Now your Intellisense stinks and a bunch of other ReSharper features stop working (I’ve turned the code analysis back on). 

Anyway, the end result for me is that VS2008 today, even with the new spiffy language features, is not as productive as VS2005. 

One of my favorite quotes from a recent ALT.NET gathering was “Visual Studio is just a nice environment to host ReSharper.”  I want to draft a resolution from the community.  As of right now, I want Microsoft and JetBrains to coordinate release schedules so that we never have this gap in ReSharper coverage.  It’s like changing jobs and having a gap in health insurance.  I don’t care who’s to blame or needs to shape up or coordinate with the other or what, I just want the tooling to be released in lockstep.  Or make VS out of the box support many, many more features from ReSharper to make it be the methadone to ReSharper’s heroin.

Just to forestall Mike Moore from making fun of me for my ReSharper addition — We’re building a system in .Net with a mainstream (i.e. static typed) language, and those languages are only palatable with a huge dose of JetBrains-fueled goodness. 

As a side note.  I’ve recently heard a couple conference/user group tour speakers say that they don’t use any type of automated refactoring tool for one reason or another.  Fair or not, when I see somebody get up to present on coding or technology specific topics, and they don’t have an automated refactoring tool in their Visual Studio, I automatically think that there’s no way this person has any real hands on experience with this stuff in a production environment. 

About Jeremy Miller

Jeremy is the Chief Software Architect at Dovetail Software, the coolest ISV in Austin. Jeremy began his IT career writing "Shadow IT" applications to automate his engineering documentation, then wandered into software development because it looked like more fun. Jeremy is the author of the open source StructureMap tool for Dependency Injection with .Net, StoryTeller for supercharged acceptance testing in .Net, and one of the principal developers behind FubuMVC. Jeremy's thoughts on all things software can be found at The Shade Tree Developer at
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  • Mike Moore

    Fine. Done. Glad to know I’m now one of your favorite bloggers.

  • Jeremy D. Miller


    Think of it as a fond shout out to the “guy who would be one of my favorite bloggers after he uses a better color scheme”

    I will move to Ruby for some production code as IronRuby matures.

  • Mike Moore

    Ah man, I wish I would have seen this before today! I could have been complaining loudly about your code bloat addiction this whole time! Sorry to let you all down. I’ll try to be better at my role as ‘thorn in side’ and ‘that annoying Ruby guy’ in the future.

    I think what you really want is an actual JetBrains IDE for .NET. The argument between IDEs is much less annoying than the argument between plugins for just one IDE.

  • Mark Freedman

    timscott, a few times I’ve found it worth my while to purchase tools like ReSharper and CodeRush on my own, even if my company wasn’t willing to do so. Sometimes, after being able to demonstrate productivity gains, I’ve gotten reimbursed. Other times, the personal productivity gain was quickly worth the personal investment, even without reimbursement.

    Hmmm…this can open up a completely new discussion….

  • Nate Kohari

    JetBrains’ competitors should take this opportunity to offer competitive discounts on their products. I’d consider moving to, say, CodeRush, but there’s no way I could convince my company to buy the licenses for it since we just bought ReSharper 3.1 a few months ago.

  • Travis

    “A” freaking “men” to this post!

  • Jeremy D. Miller


    Dude! You’re my hero.

  • Roy Osherove

    Dude, don’t do all that tweaking.
    use Ctrl-8 on a page that has all these squiggles and they go away, but you still are left with the good intellisense and alt-enter goodness

  • Rory Becker

    @Raindog: I’m really curious. Do you work with/know of many people who work in C#/Vb.Net? Is there much uptake of Tools like Refactor/CodeRush/Resharper inside the mother ship?

  • Rory Becker

    @Raindog: I’m really curious. Do you work with/know of many people who work in C#/Vb.Net? Is there much uptake of Tools like Refactor/CodeRush/Resharper inside the mother ship?

  • Jeremy D. Miller


    Different languages are different. In a managed language, the tools *are* available, and they make many mechanical tasks of writing and changing code far faster. I would question somebody in the C# or VB.Net space that is doing a lot of coding that hasn’t adopted some sort of refactoring/code navigation tool as a way to go faster.

  • Raindog

    I still work with a lot of people that develop C/C++ with no editing features besides syntax highlighting. I work at microsoft, so it’s not like these people “have no real hand experience on a project”

  • Oleg Stepanov
  • Dave

    I miss R#’s awesome refactoring and code assist, but I don’t miss the drag it was on performance.

    I hope 4.0 is fast like 2.x was. 3.x was a miserable experience that I’m almost happy to have an excuse to avoid reliving in VS2008.

  • Seth Petry-Johnson

    Like Alan said, Refactor! from DevExpress works fine in VS2008. Have any of you Resharper folks thought of giving it a spin while waiting for JetBrains to catch up? I’ve only used the DevExpress suite so I’d be interested to see a comparison of the two from people “on the front line”.

  • Jeremy Gray

    @Brian – actually, I will side with what you _thought_ Jeremy (Miller) was saying, but will state it related to your example: If a corporate policy forbids a professional from doing their job using all of the productivity tools that can possibly be brought to bear, to remain working with that company without getting the policy changed is to no longer be considered a professional. I can stretch this for professionals in some fields/situations, for example medical professionals working (largely charitably) in disavantaged parts of the world, but in the software development field no such excuses fly.

  • timscott

    It might not be fair to question the sophistication of a developer who wants to use Resharper (or the like) but is prevented by some circumstance like a stingy employer. However, if I see a consultant or contractor who does not use Resharper, I would surely wonder about their abilities.

    I currently work with a developer tried Resharper but uninstalled it because it occasionally bogs down on the massive ASPX pages she is developing. What this means is that I am constantly cleaning up her code — unused variables or variable assignments, possible null exceptions, declarations in the wrong scope, and on and on.

  • Rory Becker

    FWIW I have been using VS2008 on production stuff since about mid Dec07. (It took me that long to find Nant support for it). I find it quicker and more reliable on same hardware as I had before.

    Granted my own favourite productivity tools (See above) still work, but the point is that I find VS2008 to be an entirely additive upgrade.

    And MultiTargeting genuinely removes any real excuse I was able to provide myself with for not moving.

    Here’s hoping those of you who prefer Resharper get a suitable upgrade soon :)

    I feel for you

  • Rory Becker

    @chrisortman: I thought it was widely known that the VS team were shooting for availability on MSDN for either Nov or Dec 2007 from about July of same.

    True the Official Release Party was always Feb 08 but that was just to coincide with SQL08 and Win08 whose parties were to be combined.

  • chrisortman

    I take my hat off to those folks that can manage to do without some type of automatic refactoring tool. They clearly have a much higher pain threshold than I do.

    @Anonymous2: Before you complain to much about jet brains remember that VS2008 was scheduled for Feb for a very long time and was IMHO abruptly moved up. I wouldn’t expect someone to ask me to move my schedule ahead 4 months, so I wouldn’t ask it of them.

    I’m holding off on switching to vs2008. I got a couple projects with branches there that I’m spiking ideas with, but the majority of my work stays in vs2005.

  • Brian Sullivan


    Thanks for the clarification! That makes much more sense now. Sorry if I came off a bit huffy!

  • Dustin

    I’d like to see JetBrains release their own .NET IDE and cut VS out completely. Most of the frustration that I have on a daily basis are the things that Resharper does not replace in VS. I realize it would be a major undertaking for them, but I can dream…

  • Mike Suarez

    hear hear … I feel the pain too :(

  • Derik Whittaker


    I total agree. It has been painful for me to use VS2008 with Resharper, oh well.

  • Justice~!

    It’s tough to write anything other than “I agree wholeheartedly”, considering how broken code analysis is now in VS2008.

    The lack of credibility from some of the “big-name” speakers on .NET really grates on me as well, lack of Resharper being just one example. I don’t want to turn my comment into some kind of elitist ego-fest, but I have a hard time when at conferences/presentations at times when I see presentations without the sort of standards I would expect from developers. If you are up on stage, I feel you have a responsibility to demonstrate some semblance of best practice when you are speaking to other developers, otherwise there’s no reason for me to take you all that seriously.

  • Anonymous2

    Yeah, JetBrains shouldn’t be lauded. They kinda hung us out to dry with this release.

    That being said, nothing will stop me from coding with Resharper.

    If my wife says we can’t afford it, divorce her.

    If my kids prefer the built in refactoring support, put them up for adoption.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds to me like you’re blaming your tools. With the amount of time VS2008 was in beta, JetBrains had lots of time to get work done to approach synchronization with shipping of VS 2008 RTM.

  • Jeremy D. Miller


    Possibly, and I meant to say as much. I wonder if some of this is because JetBrains is primarily a Java tools company where the others are focused on .Net. All the same though, the JetBrains tooling reflects the way that I want to work much more than the other tools, so I’m going to suffer a bit.

  • Jeremy D. Miller


    I apologize, that isn’t what I meant to convey. I was really talking about the high powered solo consultants on the speaking tours that obviously aren’t on the frontline of development.

    “Corporate policies (and budgets) may dictate that developers not use ReSharper or Code Rush, etc. ”

    Ouch, and a foolish policy in terms of budgets. Those tools can pay for themselves within a week.

  • Alan Stevens

    Jeremy, Isn’t this really a problem with JetBrains? Developer Express was able to release updated versions of their tools shortly after VS2008 hit the streets.


  • Rory Becker

    You have my genuine heartfelt sympathy.

    I use Refactor! and CodeRush and if they were to simplly stop working, I would be seriously bummed out too.

    Luckily for me, they haven’t :)

  • Brian Sullivan

    I’m sorry, but this just kind of sticks in my craw a bit. It’s unreasonable for you to say that someone who doesn’t use a particular type of tool isn’t a “real” professional developer. Corporate policies (and budgets) may dictate that developers not use ReSharper or Code Rush, etc. While that may be aggravating, does that mean everyone who works there is suddenly a sub-par developer? Seriously, it’s this kind of high-horse arrogance that turns me (and probably many others) off to the ALT .NET movement.

  • Steven Harman

    +1 … hell, +1,000,000

    Lack of ReSharper support in VS2008 has been driving me batty… that false red squiggles aren’t nearly as bad as the totally messed up Intellisense.

    I have no idea how developers get along without some kind of automated refactoring tool, whether it be R#, Refactor!, etc… and I often question their “experience” when they say things like that. It’s not just about being a tool fanboy – it’s about productivity people!