A first glance at Visual Studio vNext (dev11)

In case you are not aware, a developer preview version of Visual Studio vNext has been released yesterday. I just played an hour with it and it seems that performances are finally here! The same way I skipped Vista to jump from XP to Wnd7 that I love, I am (as much as I can) skipping VS2010 and I’ll jump from VS2008 to VS2012 that I’ll hopefully love. A few random notes:

The startup time is damn fast, on a pretty large 50K lines of code VS solution: 4 seconds, and I am ready to type!

The solution explorer (derived from VS2010 power tools) just rocks.

The Ctrl+I search/replace in file rocks as well.

The main button menu now just contains 7 buttons per default, and of course you can configure it by adding your preferred buttons.

The find code duplicate is somewhat slow, 5 minutes on my 50K LoC, and didn’t give me any relevant result. But honestly the solution analyzed shouldn’t contain any duplicate and being slow is not so much an issue since it is not meant to be run at every build.

The Ctrl+Alt+E exception dialog takes 2 seconds to open compared to 6 seconds with VS2010 and 4 seconds with VS 2008.

The architecture explorer graph seems even slower than in VS 2010, and the  embryo of dependency matrix seems to have been discarded. This is a good news for my business, generating a graph with NDepend is instantaneous in most situations, and it is a matter of dozens of seconds to minutes with VS 2010 and 2012.

The product contains many minor bugs, which is normal at a pre-beta stage.

The install process is still super slow (> an hour on my fast SSD laptop). I wish VS features could be grain-partitioned (Wnd8 tools, TFS, SQL-tools, F# tools, Game dev tools, Web dev tools…). The minimal installation takes more than 8GB on hard-drive!

I didn’t test all the Wnd8/WPF/ASP.NET/WCF fancy new features, since I won’t develop with these until VS vNextNextNext is released! I believe I am like many real-world developers, developing an existing product that depends on a well defined set of not so new technologies, yet still passionated about what’s next. What really matters to developers in my situation, is to get bonus on what I am already using today (performance, solution explorer, quick search, code clone…) and VS 2012 seems to offer many of these bonus!

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  • Patrick Smacchia

    As explained in the post, I didn’t test yet the Wnd8 and Metro related stuff.

  • Anonymous

    Hi! Nice to read your article. I’m also testing the VS2011 Express within the Windows Developer Preview and the separate Vs2011 Ultimate on Windows 7. Straightaway, I noticed that the VS2011 on Windows 7 does not have the Metro Style Application Templates/Support. Have you noticed? I can see (only) see Metro projects template in VS2011 Express within Windows 8

    Regards.