I’ve been spending some time at work recently messing around with my Visual Studio setup. I’ve been fine with my current setup for awhile, but I started getting restless recently. I guess it started when I started reading Clean Code, and watching the associated videos. That got me thinking about automated refactorings, which got me looking at JetBrains Rider and Resharper. And looking at Resharper reminded me of the existence of CodeRush.
I’ve occasionally thought about trying out something like Resharper or CodeRush, but I never got around to it. There are a number of reasons for that, mostly around the cost and the possible performance penalty. But I noticed recently that CodeRush is now available for free, so I figured I’d give it a shot. (And I think Roslyn made it easier for extensions like CodeRush to work without a big performance penalty.)
My normal VS setup, which I’ve stuck with for a while now, is pretty basic, with Mads Kristensen’s Web Essentials, and DPack Rx. I use DPack primarily for the numbered bookmarks, and Web Essentials for a number of random things. CodeRush includes numbered bookmarks, so I thought I’d try removing DPack, installing CodeRush, and seeing how that worked out. So far, I’ve found that CodeRush’s numbered bookmarks don’t work quite as well as DPack’s. There are a number of other interesting features in CodeRush, but I’m not sure if any of them are compelling enough for me to keep CodeRush installed.
I also briefly considered uninstalling Web Essentials, and then just reinstalling the specific extensions from that collection that I’m actually using. But I couldn’t quite talk myself into that, so I’ve still got the whole collection installed.
On a related subject, I recently listened to an episode of .NET Rocks with Mads Kristensen on VS 2022 extensions. And another one with Mark Miller (author of CodeRush). I’m not currently subscribed to .NET Rocks in my podcast client, but I do check in on it occasionally to see if there’s anything interesting.
Getting back to the general subject of VS extensions and setup, I also revisited my work setup and tried to decide if I could switch from VS 2019 to VS 2022. I do my VS development at work on a VM that’s running Windows Server 2012 R2. That probably seems weird, but it’s necessary for Dynamics AX development. And VS 2022 isn’t supported on Server 2012, though I could probably get it to work. So I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not I should try to install it on my current VM, or maybe ask my boss for a new Windows 10 VM to use for VS 2022. I’ve decided to stick with VS 2019 for now, but I may need to ask for a new VM at some point. In part because I have a .NET 5 project in VS 2019, and .NET 5 is no longer supported. And .NET 6 isn’t supported in VS 2019. So it’s all kind of complicated. Asking for a new VM shouldn’t be a big deal, but I’m a little nervous about it, since I just got a new boss, and I’m now in a different sub-division of the IT department, and the rules about this stuff might be a little different than they were under the old boss, so I want to feel things out a bit before I start asking for stuff.
I did install VS 2022 on my personal laptop back in May. I do like it, and would love to be able to switch over to it. (Unlike some previous versions of VS, they don’t seem to have made any really bad UI decisions that make me want to stick with the older version…)
I also spent a little time messing with the default font in VS on Friday. I’ve stuck with Consolas for quite some time now. But I was watching a LinkedIn Learning video on Friday where the teacher’s setup was using Cascadia Code, and it looked kind of nice. I’d read about Cascadia Code when it came out, but I never got around to trying it. So I switched over to it for a little while, but then decided to switch back to Consolas. The whole code ligature thing is interesting, but Consolas just seems to work better for me.
All of this fiddling around made me think about the balance between sharpening the saw and… pointless procrastination. (It’s bothering me that I know that there’s a clever metaphor similar to “sharpening the saw” that basically means “pointless procrastination”, but I can’t remember what it is.)
Well, I’ve now killed a bunch of time on a hot Saturday morning, drinking iced coffee, waiting on my grocery delivery, and writing a rambling blog post. My plan for the rest of the day revolves mostly around watching the last two episodes of Stranger Things on Netflix. Life is good, I guess.