• Refactor!" Pro 2.5

    Developer Express have just released an updated version of their Refactor!Pro Visual Studio add-in.

    I’ve installed the eval, and it does seem to be behaving better than the previous version (eg. it hasn’t crashed Visual Studio yet!)

    They’ve also released new versions of the free versions too:

    I still can’t decide between Resharper and Refactor! :-(

  • Tech-Ed 2007 Reflections

    Back at work today after spending last week on the Gold Coast attending Microsoft’s TechEd 2007 conference.

    Generally the event lived up to my expectations that the Gold Coast is a really good venue and they know how to hold events for large numbers (all 2,500 of us).

    The meals were all really nice - some very nice caramel slices for afternoon tea on Friday. Sometimes you had to hunt around, but they generally had multiple places to serve yourself from. Fortunately the weather was fine, so people could wander outside and spread out during the breaks.

    We stayed at Broadbeach Pacific Resort, which was in easy walking distance to the Convention Centre. It’s not the swishest place I’ve ever stayed in (that would be the Sydney Hilton), but it was just fine for our purposes.

    The opening keynote was really interesting - a fascinating overview of digital movie and animation. I do like the idea that the keynotes can be a chance for someone from a bit outside the main conference demographic to present something that will interest or challenge people.

    I wish I could say the same for the closing keynote (locknote) - it had potential, but unfortunately the presenter wasn’t very engaging.

    I also thought the complete lack of reaction (disappointed silence?) to the announcement that next year’s event is back in Sydney was interesting. I was very disappointed with last year’s event, and I’m not convinced that Sydney can match the Gold Coast for quality of venue.



    • The lack of info about current/next sessions outside of each room - all it would have taken would be to print out a bunch of session names and distribute them - you don’t need to have flatscreens, paper could do the job just fine.
    • The insistence of the door-people of scanning every individual’s badge. If all you want is a count of the number attending each session, then just use a counter. I object to unnecessary tracking of my personal choices. Fortunately, after I complained to the conference organisers, they relented and allowed me to decline to have my badge scanned. Most door people were fine with this, but there were still a couple who were not expecting me to say “No thankyou”.

  • Evaluating Refactor! Pro 2.2 and ReSharper 3.0

    I’m currently running the evaluation versions of JetBrain’s ReSharper and Developer Express’s Refactor! Pro.

    I’d previously used the free version of Refactor for VB.NET and found the addition of a refactoring tool extremely useful when coding.

    One problem I did notice that Visual Studio seemed to crash and hang reasonably frequently. I originally put this down to running Visual Studio 2005 on Vista, but with the Visual Studio service pack and extra patches for Vista compatibility on Vista, this became less of a suspect.

    More recently I ran a 30-day trial of ReSharper. It does most of the same refactorings as Refactor, but I didn’t notice the stability problems. It seems quite capable, and also offers academic pricing which makes it very competitive.

    Another thing that has impressed me about ReSharper is that they are quite responsive to bug reports - I spotted a few issues during my trial and they have a nice transparent system for tracking the reporting and fixing of issues. You can even download their latest internal builds directly (at your own risk)

    I then began a trial of the latest version of the full commercial version of Refactor. They have 2.2.2 downloadable for evaluation, but it turns out this version doesn’t include the ASP.NET refactorings. An email to their support address gave me access to 2.2.4 which comes with the ASP.NET bits.

    Sadly, the evaluation only went down hill from there. Visual Studio repeatedly froze. I’ve sent of another query to their support and maybe there is a workaround, but for now it appears that the instability is a show stopper.

    It’s a pity, as Refactor does have quite a few more refactorings than ReSharper, and I think their refactoring interfaces are a bit slicker.