Friday, July 20, 2007

There's a New Tool in Town

As a side job from my lucrative blogging career, I'm also a Web developer and project manager primarily in ASP.NET technologies.  With that in mind, this will be a slightly technical post.

People bad mouth Microsoft all of the time.  I'm not saying they're right all the time, and I am considering switching to a Mac sometime in the future since Parallels integrates so well (I'm just sick of my computer getting slower and slower over a year of use).  With all that in mind, Microsoft does have some incredibly great products and has recently been making it easier for me to recommend them to people.

I was reading Scott Guthrie's blog about the upcoming Visual Studio 2008.  While Visual Studio has previously really focused on using .NET technologies to build applications (some may say I'm wrong, but it's clearly true), I think that's changing with VS 2008.

Scott has this post about how VS 2008 will provide JavaScript intellisense (it'll pop up available choices while you type) and and will make it very easy to debug JavaScript (just click the line number).  VS 2008 will also allow you to type code in one window and see it immediately in the designer window below.

Yes, Dreamweaver already does that.  Heck, there are tons of Web development tools out there that do that, Microsoft is WAY behind here.  So very true that.

But . . . (see how I use ellipses correctly, thank you Grammar Girl)

Do they do it for free?

While I don't use Visual Studio Express in my day to day work, I have played with it.  VS 2008 is going to provide all of the Dreamweaver functionality you really want . . . for free.

Microsoft really is getting this right.  They're putting tools into peoples' hands who otherwise couldn't afford it.  They're also making tools which people will actually want to use (if you think I'm wrong look at Sun's free Java IDE, it pretty much mimics Visual Studio 2003).

If you are interested in writing Web pages for the Web, Visual Studio 2008 is entirely worth the wait.


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