Development Blog

 Sunday, January 28, 2007
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My team and I are whores when it comes to productivity tools. At the moment I have and use so many in concer it's kind of amusing. I've actually spent a decent amount of time working with the various tool authors to get their tools to play more friendly so that I can use them together. Here's a rundown of some of the tools I use every day:

  • CodeRush with Refactor! Pro
    • I'm pretty sure I couldn't happily write code without this, and I even disable or neglect half the features.
    • I use and customize the templates heavily. They're so customizable its stupid. You can literrally do just about anything, and if you can't do it, you can write a plugin to help you do it and integrate it with any other template. I'll post the set of plugins I wrote for CodeRush later.
    • The refactorings are great and rank high on the visual appeal, discoverability and usability scales.
  • ViEmu (Visual Studio vi/vim emulation)
    • I almost took it upon myself to write this. When I worked at Microsoft, I submitted requests to the Visual Studio team to write this. Jon came to the rescue and implemented the now near-perfect ViEmu and he will forever be my hero.
    • Vim is really so much faster than regular text editing it makes transferring code from your mind to the screen much less of a barrier. If you haven't heard of it, used it, given it a good shot, or even if you haven't fallen in love with it, I'd strongly recommend doing all of those things. Here are some resources to get you started:
    • One quick tip: use Ctrl+[ instead of escape to get out of insert mode, it'll save you at least 15 seconds a day!
  • ReSharper
    • This one's new to me. I've tried it twice in the past and it's only done bad things--crashed, played badly with CodeRush or ViEmu, etc. The latest version however, seems to play fine with everything I have installed, so it's going to stay. Yes, I use CodeRush AND Resharper. I told you I was a productivity tool whore.
    • The biggest feature for me is the Error Highlighting and QuickFixes. Most of the refactorings CodeRush does (often better) but there are a few that are pretty slick.
    • The navigation features are great too. Real fast and real usable, much better than scrolling through our 40 project solution.