PDC: Visual Studio 2010 gets a new WPF interface
Microsoft has announced that Version 2010 of the Visual Studio development environment will have an interface created in Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). General manager Scott Guthrie made the announcement in his keynote speech on the second day of PDC 2008. The prototype, shown only in a static screenshot, recalls the grey hues of the Expression product family. Guthrie said that WPF would offer new ease of use and support for multiple monitors. The Visual Studio 2010 pre-release distributed at PDC under revision number 10.0.11001 still has the old interface, whose core was written in C++ and MFC. The release date for the final version has not been set yet.
WPF is the name of the interface library that Microsoft introduced with .NET 3.0. It features XML-based interface description, vector-based graphics, and numerous graphic effects. WPF has been criticised for being resource-hungry, lacking some standard control elements and inadequate designer support in Visual Studio. Visual Studio 2010 will be Microsoft's first major application based on WPF. WPF-based Visual Studio 2010 will supposedly contain both a "dramatically improved" designer for WPF applications, and a designer for Silverlight, a subset of WPF aimed at web applets.
Guthrie also announced that the expandability of Visual Studio will be improved. A programmer interface will make the editors in Visual Studio 2010 completely customisable. Guthrie showed an example containing 200 lines of program code, which replaces the XML display of comments in a C# code file with a graphic display and shows additional relevant bugs from the Team Foundation Server directly in the code window. Guthrie pointed out that in future, Visual Studio extensions will be easier to distribute, since new components will only have to be copied into a particular directory. Registration will no longer be necessary. However, Microsoft does not plan to offer a customisable compiler until the follow-on version to Visual Studio 2010, according to Guthrie. C# architect Anders Heijlsberghe confirmed the news about the compiler the day before Guthrie's speech.
(Dr. Holger Schwichtenberg)