Thursday, July 05, 2007

Personal review of Visual Studio Orcas beta 1

Hi all,

I know it's been a while, usual stuff really, swamped in a project up to my neck!
Blogging then becomes less of a priority ;)

However let me tell you a few things about the new Microsoft Visual Studio "Orcas" beta 1 release, which I am currently testing on my huge dual core AMD 64 bit, 4 Gb RAM, 500 Gb hard drive, Vista 64 business monster of a development machine.

I have to say, this release looks amazing and is packed with functionality that I have really been looking forward to.

However first impression is : very slow compared to VS 2005 (even on the PC described above). Maybe it's due to all this fancy new intellisense that ships with it, but big pages/controls take longer to be loaded/compiled. Don't even try the design view for complex pages, it's a nightmare... I've just disabled it.

Still, it's very usable and my general view on this new product is very positive indeed.

The good bits:
  • Much better intellisense
  • Great client side script step-by-step debugging!!! (F10 works on client side scripts!!!)
  • LINQ (fantastic)
  • Support for WPF and SilverLight (still have to be convinced by SilverLight I have to say...)
The bad bits:
  • Quite a bit slower than VS 2005 although usable
  • Had a few nasty crashes when "alt-tabbing" between a resource file (as in localization resource file) and a text editor called EditPadLight that I really like.
  • Other miscellaneous crashes, but nothing too bad for a beta release ;)
  • The "Copy website" function is still very bad and could have been improved...
So basically, my initial mark for Visual Studio Orcas beta 1 is: 85%

Will definitely make the move when it's released. Thanks for reading!

Cheers people and take it easy.

PS: You can find the Visual Studio "Orcas" files here:

If you need tips to download the huge image files from the Microsoft website, read Jon Galloway's blog otherwise you can use the MSDN Subscriber downloader as explained on the link above: