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"10 is the new 6" my #*&

I'm trying to give the Visual Studio team the benefit of the doubt with their "10 is the new 6" push, but I just tested something in the VS2010 CTP and nearly blew my top. Therefore, it's rant time.

A long time ago, I filed a bug on Visual Studio 2005, or really, VS2003:

This bug's really simple: if you have a stack of overlapping controls in the Visual Studio dialog editor and click on them, the editor selects the one on the bottom. It's a pain in the butt, because when you've got a bunch of overlapping controls that you're trying to fix -- such as from a copy-and-paste -- you try clicking on one to drag it and you end up messing up the positioning of some other control, so you've got to undo that and then try to find some way to select the one you actually wanted. You can't marquee the errant, control, because the marquee is inclusive and invariably also picks the group box that surrounds it. Shift-clicking out the unwanted controls is dangerous, because it sometimes registers as a double-click and then you get a random event handler added to your code or something.

I checked VS2010. It still picks the control on the bottom. It's still broken. It's been broken since Visual Studio .NET 2002, I've been waiting more than eight years for them to fix this bug, and it is STILL BROKEN. Does anyone actually use this anymore??

I really do want to give the Visual Studio team the benefit of the doubt. I do like a lot of the improvements in the compiler. Yet, I'm afraid that if I ever met a member of the IDE team that I would wrap my hands around his neck and strangle him, for the sheer amount of pain his team has inflicted upon me. I mean, c'mon. What visual editor with draggable components selects the one on the bottom?? There are so many other pet peeves of mine that still aren't fixed. All I have to do is look at the nearly unchanged project settings dialog to get the sinking feeling that the team still doesn't really get what they need to do to achieve "10 is the new 6." Then I look at the new MSBuild-based C++ project system in progress, which takes more than 30 seconds to load the converted VirtualDub.sln and prints out a 400+ column command line by default for every file group that it builds, and I get really depressed. And I look over the fence at other stuff like the XAML editor, and things don't really look that rosier over there, either.

Please, make VS2010 better. I tried Eclipse once and I hated it. I'd have to wear a bag over my head if I had to resort to EMACS. I don't want to succumb to the temptation of writing my own IDE. I don't need new features. I just need what's there now to work well.


This blog was originally open for comments when this entry was first posted, but was later closed and then removed due to spam and after a migration away from the original blog software. Unfortunately, it would have been a lot of work to reformat the comments to republish them. The author thanks everyone who posted comments and added to the discussion.