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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

VB.Net Intellisense Enhancements

Microsoft is making some great improvements to Intellisense for Visual Basic .Net in Visual Studio 2008. Most of the new features are based around the language enhancements for VB 9, such as LINQ, anonymous types, etc. Though there are many other improvements as well.

  • Filtering - Filters the list as you type so only items that start with the characters that you have typed will be displayed. This is not as useful as Visual Assist X which will include all items that contain the characters you typed in the order you typed them without having to be contiguous (allows you to type the acronym for a member or find all members that contain a certain word).
  • Transparent mode - The Intellisense dropdown becomes semi-transparent when you press the Ctrl key. This allows you to see the code behind the dropdown without having to close Intellisense.
  • Smarter Intellisense - In many cases, only items that are valid are displayed in Intellisense. This includes keywords. This is a very handy mechanism for learning the language as well as remember syntax.

There are many other improvements as well. If you are interested in learning more, check out this Ch 9 video: Visual Basic Intellisense Improvements in VS 2008.