Coding in context One sees the presumed diversity of Visual Studios users in the language-specific packaging of features such as its pop-up "code snippets" facility. This accelerates learning and streamlines the coding of routine operations in a feature thats new to the 2005 update of Visual Studio but is hardly new to the market. The templates facility in JBuilder, for example, offers capability comparable to the snippets offered in Visual Studio 2005 for C# and J# development.The snippets offered to the C# and J# developer are language-level shortcuts, while those offered to the Visual Basic developer are packaged in a hierarchy of high-level task categories that lead to descriptively named building blocks of code. We liked the way the Visual Basic coding aids were presented as an introduction to the more sophisticated aspects of the .Net platform. We feel obligated to note, however, that this platform aid to the Visual Basic developer is part and parcel of a more than slightly controversial (and continuing) mutation of Visual Basicfrom the interface builder and animator of versions 6 and earlier into the .Net entry tool that it has become, beginning with the first Visual Basic .Net release in 2002. Next Page: Basic disagreements.
Parenthetically, wed have suggested that Microsoft use a different name: When we hear the word "snippets," we cant help but think of Microsoft General Counsel William Neukoms 1998 complaint that U.S. Department of Justice lawyers were quoting "snippets" of Microsoft e-mail "dangerously and unreliably out of context." Sorry, but the word just got stuck in our mindsand the interesting thing about the snippets in Visual Studio 2005 is that their context is so carefully considered.