Chapter 2. Using the Interface

In This Chapter

  • Using the Designer

  • Exploring Solution Explorer

  • Coding with Code View

  • Using the Tools menu

Integrated Development Environments, or IDEs, are the Swiss army knife of the programmer's toolkit. IDEs provide a mechanism for storing program code, organizing and building it, and looking at finished products with design editors. IDEs make things happen, and in the bargain, cut hours from a task.

Visual Studio is becoming truly globally recognized as the cream of the crop of IDEs, even by Microsoft detractors. I know Python programmers who will rail on Windows all day while surfing their Linux box and then switch to a Windows partition to use Visual Studio to code with IRONPython in Visual Studio.

Visual Studio is impressive; it is massive. I wrote a book with David Deloveh at the turn of the century (heh!) that attempted to cover all Visual Studio features. It was 600 pages. The major complaint by readers: too short. Didn't cover enough. Visual Studio is twice as large now. It's far too big for a single chapter.

So, rather than try to cover everything, I give you the chance to experience only the features of Visual Studio that I use every day. I don't want to try and cover anything up, and I hope that you continue exploring the IDE and discovering new stuff — don't just stop with what I tell you about. This is only a brief overview of some of the astonishing features in the tool.

Designing in the Designer

One thing that is integrated into an Integrated ...

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