Screenshots of Visual Studio 2010 with WPF UI

| by Jon Arild Tørresdal on Feb 27, 2009. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

Jason Zander, General Manager of Visual Studio, posted the first screenshots of Visual Studio 2010 where WPF is used to render the Visual Studio UI. Users will be able to try this for themselves in Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 coming later this year.

As covered by InfoQ earlier, using WPF in Visual Studio has gotten mixed responses from the public. Rico Mariani, Chief Architect of Visual Studio, asks:

If you put VS2008 side by side with say VC98 they would certainly look different.  But, even though they are different, could your mom tell you which one was made in 1998?

The Visual Studio team found that using WPF would give both Visual Studio and WPF some benefits and challenges. Rico says that there will be some problems they need to solve, but at the same time says who is better to solve these problems that them. To the critics he says:

Do you really think GDI is the last word in computer graphics for the next 10 years?

Here’s one of the screenshots Jason blogged showing the UI in action:

Visual Studio 2010 UI

Jason lists some of the changes that have been done:

  • Reduced clutter and visual complexity by removing excessive lines and gradients in the UX and modernized the interface by removing outdated 3D bevels
  • Placed focus on content areas by opening negative space between windows and drawing attention to the current focus with a dominant accent color and a distinctive background
  • Added an inviting new palette to make VS 2010 more distinctive

One of the requested features in Visual Studio has been floating documents, so that developers can have windows on multiple monitors while coding. With the new UI this will be possible.

Visual Studio 2010 UI Floating Documents

In addition to the UI changes there are several other areas that have been improved. Examples are new support for outlining, new project dialog with online template viewing and a new Extension Manager.

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Eyecandy by Oliver Weichhold

I don't care how much Eyecandy Microsoft adds to this excuse of a development environment. As long as Devstudio remains ten miles behind every modern Java IDE in terms of basic navigation features like Goto Class or even rudimentary refactoring functionality, I won't buy any new version of the product. And I am a .Net Developer.

Should Be Interesting... by Nicholas Piasecki see how this works out. I've read a few books and dabbled with WPF, sure, but haven't had a chance to use it on a real-world application. WinForms, being just a thin wrapper over a few decades of user32, is still a pretty sensible choice, since it's trivial to P/Invoke or listen for a message in a WndProc when the need to do something unusual arises, it works great over Remote Desktop, and you can use the same old GDI+/GDI technologies for printing that we've been using since the dawn of time. Since I've learned the hard way that MS can't really be trusted with data access APIs (DAO/ADO/RDO/ObjectSpaces/ADO.NET+DataSets/ADO.NET+LINQ to SQL/Entity Framework), I've been sort of playing wait-and-see to see if WPF goes anywhere. I'm quite aware of its power and how it makes some things dramatically simpler, but it also feels more like an Adobe AIR/OpenLazslo type of tool instead of a framework for building full, complete applications. I'm almost inclined to believe that for many years people will treat it as an alternate technology for controls ("I need a graph with fancy animations here") while still keeping GDI as the workhouse it always has been. Making "normal looking" WPF applications is something that still seems to be somewhat difficult.

My two cents.

Re: Eyecandy by Stefan Wenig

This article is about WPF, it does not say anything about what else will be in VS 2010.
Besides, it might be time that you try VS 2008 and its rudimentary navigation and refactoring features.

Re: Eyecandy by Ryan R

Am I the only person that finds IDE fanboyism a bit silly? Just wondering...

Re: Eyecandy by Keith Moore

No, but then a bit of silliness lightens the day ;)

A show? by Ding J

We have to admit that Microsoft has too many rivals because it wants to be involved everywhere ...
Therefore WPF or Silverlight came into play, even though there is already a big player Adobe, also it is something that MS good at, to play the
(Adobe + Java) > (Adobe || Sun).
Unfortunately the new baby WPF hasn't been so persuasive so far, even to some of its own fans, as people like me doesnt wanna the poor CPU fan to be too tired, would still prefer the old but faster way ...
I remember 2 years ago, i told myself to leave WPF alone unless Office is made of WPF. There you go, now Microsoft starts from VS2010 to give me the show ;-)
hmm, i suppose in one year or two I would use 500 euro to buy a 4-CPU laptop, and the Windows 8 (RC1) would have WPF as it's core engine, then I would be glad to adopt WPF.

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