I decided to play around with Orcas and luckily, Microsoft provides a fully working virtual machine with everything installed. That is GREAT and I hope they do that with all their beta tools. You can get Virtual PC 2007 for free from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=04D26402-3199-48A3-AFA2-2DC0B40A73B6&displaylang=en and you can get the virtual machine image from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=281fcb3d-5e79-4126-b4c0-8db6332de26e&displaylang=en. Don’t forget to download the base image from http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/4/9/5499b008-8ae7-46f0-89ae-aeeb18df67ae/VSCTPBase.exe
I ran the new visual studio and created a new WPF application targeting the 3.0 framework and it looks pretty good for a CTP but there are a lot of things missing:
- There is no “Events” tab in the properties window of controls.
- Double clicking on a control in the form designer doesn’t wire an event.
- Tags are not automatically closed in the XAML editor.
- No smart tags on the controls and is very hard to figure things out without looking at samples and documentation.
- I can’t switch Windows 2003 to use window XP themes to test the look and feel of my application; but it was easy to just drag the executable to my Vista desktop and run it and everything is automatically “Vista-fied”
- You pretty much have to hand-XAML everything e.g. no point and click Menu designer (or even a preview of how the menu looks like)
But there is a LOT to like:
- The split view in the form designer is awesome (and fast).
- The tag breadcrumb is great and has live preview (like vista taskbar previews)
- I love how IntelliSense starts working as soon as you type (this has always been a feature in C# and it’s about time it made it to VB).
- I am not sure yet, but so far I like how IntelliSense filters results as you type
I am sure there is more to like and I will keep blogging about my experience as I play around with it more.
Please share any tips, info, etc… and let me know what you think of Orcas so far.