Visual Studio .NET provides a new set of features designed to improve and enhance the development experience. Most of these changes have to do with user ergonomics and are typical of a minor release of a Visual Studio product. Only a few of the changes are related to the underlying platform.
by Juval Löwy
May 9, 2003
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his article assumes you are familiar with Visual Studio .NET 1.0 and it presents only the new features of the IDE (Integrated Development Environment) of Visual Studio .NET 1.1, for both C# and Visual Basic .NET. J# is not discussed because it was not part of Visual Studio .NET 1.0. In the interest of space, some minor cosmetic changes (such as reorganization of the Start page) are not listed.
The changes and innovations from Visual Studio .NET 1.0 to Visual Studio .NET 1.1 are mostly improvement to the overall development experience and automating routine activities such as implementing an interface or events. Visual Studio .NET 1.1 also introduces new capabilities such as build events and specifying supported runtime versions.
IntelliSense gets a boost with Visual Studio .NET 1.1, with many new features and capabilities. These features are clearly aimed at automating mundane programming tasks and have nothing to do with the new .NET 1.1 runtime.
IntelliSense History. Visual Studio .NET 1.1 keeps track of the most frequently used methods or properties of any type you interact with during code writing. When you type the dot (".") character to de-reference a type member, IntelliSense will suggest the member you are most likely to choose based on your history of using this type. If you start typing the member prefix, IntelliSense will refine its suggestion but still base it on history. For example, consider the Trace class, defined in the System.Diagnostics namespace. The Trace class is used to trace some information using the WriteLine() static method:
Trace.WriteLine("I am here");
WriteLine() writes the content of the trace message to the Output window and appends a new line feed. The Trace class has a method called Write() that does not append the line feed, so you are far less likely to use it. In Visual Studio .NET 1.0, if you were to type "Trace.w" then IntelliSense would suggest Write() instead of WriteLine(), because it is first alphabetically. In Visual Studio .NET 1.1, if you use WriteLine() more frequently that you use Write(), then IntelliSense will suggest WriteLine() instead (see Figure 1).