We are going to begin by downloading the Visual Studio 2010 express from Microsoft’s website so that we can get started on some C# development. After the file has been downloaded you will need to have a connection to the Internet so that the program can download the necessary files to complete the install. For the sake of customization we won’t walk through the rest of the install and will pick up with some add-ons that will make your coding experience easier.
With the Express edition now installed, it is good to know that the express editions of Visual Studio 2010 do not support extensibility. This means that the ability to install plug-ins and add-ons is not included. If you happen to acquire or have a full version of Visual Studio 2010 then the option is there for you to add these plug-ins that have helped me out in a tough spot before.
- Visual Assist X
- This is probably one of the best applications out there for intellisense and document syntax highlighting. Now many of you might be saying that Visual Studio already does this. Yes they do, but not as well as Visual Assist X. This add-on will look into your added in files such as the Boost library, and retrieve all of the Boost functions and try and piece together a description of what that particular function would do. Syntax highlighting is the best around with the quick option to do minimal to maximum highlighting. A must have for the avid programmer but will run you $249 for a one year subscription and $49 maintenance fee every year afterwards. This price tag might discourage most but take the 30 day trial and take it for a test run.
- Ghost Doc
- A product of SubMain, this add-on will allow you to document your code quickly and efficiently using XML markup. To generate these comments it uses the elements type, parameters of the function as well as its name to generate the comment. This is especially useful for people who do not enjoy documenting functions in their code. Most promising add-on if you are looking for code documentation.
- A free SVN add-in for Visual Studio that allows you to connect to a repository, browse the branches all within the comfort of the Visual Studio environment. Very easy to use for people who want to start a community project on Google Code or host their own. A must have for people who like to collaborate and don’t want to hover over one persons computer to review code.