.net development tools

Having started developing a serious program in .net I’ve been experimenting with a lot of .net development tools. As well as mbUnit and TestDriven.net there are a couple of things I’m finding useful. Resharper is really useful for making Visual Studio even easier to use. It has a bunch of refactoring things that are fairly useful. The things that are most useful though are the additional syntax highlighting and the improved auto-complete. The killer is the way that it highlights unused variables in light grey. It’s a really nice cue that lets you spot redundant or broken code. It even spots missing items from String.Format lists. Very cool. The only reason I haven’t bought it yet is that my car stole my money. Using Visual Studio without it is really making me appreciate how much I liked it.

Another tool is MSBuild – it actually comes with the .net framework but it’s worth looking at. I tried NAnt but for my simple needs MSBuild seems to work best. It builds your programs using the same solutions and projects as Visual Studio so you can switch between the two seamlessly and you don’t have to maintain two separate build files.

For editing I’ve found that the ViEmu extensions for Visual Studio make it a lot easier to use on a laptop. I have spent the money on that. If you like vim it’s well worth it. If not it’s really not going to do it for you.


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