The Current Work Toolset
As a tech-jackdaw (ooh shiny), I tend to install lots of new software and see if it can help me. Here’s a list of the dev tools that do at the moment.
- Visual Studio 2005 Pro [http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/products/vspro/default.aspx] - I could have installed a Team Suite variant, but where’s the need if I don’t use Team Foundation Server and open source test-driven tools are easily up to the challenge of what I’ll push at them. They’ll get fixed quicker too if I find a bug. * Office OneNote 2007 [http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/beta/testdrive.mspx?showIntro=n]- Well Outlook,Word and OneNote anyway. The ribbon takes a little while to get used to and there really isn’t an easy way to rediscover or learn new keyboard shortcuts that I’ve found, but it is a leap forward from 2003 if I can save as a PDF and read feeds in Outlook without a plugin. The integration between the three apps and IE7 is a real bonus if they can fix the bugs and fill out the feature set. * SQL Server [http://msdn.microsoft.com/sql/]- Need I say more * Redgate SQL Bundle 5 [http://www.red-gate.com/products/index.htm] - First class database comparison and snapshot tool package. Worth every penny and made in Britain too.
- Cropper [http://blogs.geekdojo.net/brian/articles/Cropper.aspx]- Best screen capture tool by a mile. Move over Snag-it. Wish it could be plugged into Paint.NET * Notepad++ [http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net]- Others prefer Notepad2, but N++ is my MDI notepad replacement of choice * Scream [http://labs.red-gate.com/index.php/Red_Gate_Scream]- A free little tool from Redgate for comapring database snapshots * nUnit [http://www.nunit.org/]- Test-Driven development is here to stay and while comparisons between MbUnit and Visual Studio’s own test frameworks have been made, I’ll stick with nUnit for a while. * Virtual PC [http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtualpc/default.mspx]- It’s free now too. * SlickRun [http://www.bayden.com/SlickRun/]- I used to use WinKey [http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/Utilities/Mouse_and_Keyboard_Utilities/WinKey.html] to hotlink my apps but it stopped production [http://www.copernic.com/winkey/]a while ago. SlickRun is a good replacement. Apparently v4 will allow me to replicate the hotkey shortcuts too (and be written in .NET) * Paint .NET [http://www.getpaint.net/]- Such a nice utility to replace the horror that MS still bundle with Windows to this day. * iColorFolder [http://icolorfolder.sourceforge.net/] - It seems odd to change the colour of a folder from the default yellow but using this little app to do just that makes finding the folders you need that much simpler. * WinMerge [http://winmerge.sourceforge.net/]- Text comparison tools are a bit much of a muchness, but Winmerge lets you add plug-ins for those files that aren’t quite so obvious to compare. * Internet Explorer 7 [http://msdn.microsoft.com/ie/] - I’m not proud. IE7 does all the things I used to use Firefox for and it has that nice feed integration with Outlook and OneNote. I’m not developing web apps at the moment, so this is all I need. * VirtualCD Control Panel [http://download.microsoft.com/download/7/b/6/7b6abd84-7841-4978-96f5-bd58df02efa2/winxpvirtualcdcontrolpanel_21.exe] - For using ISO images without the drag of burning them to a disc first. Very useful for working with Virtual PC. * Process Explorer [http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/ProcessExplorer.html] - Task Manager on steriods.
- Test Driven .NET [http://www.testdriven.net] nCover [http://www.ncover.org]- The Test Driven Development add-in of choice for Visual Studio. Jamie Cansdale’s add-in integrates neatly with nUnit, mbUnit, and test suite frameworks. There is no reason not to use it. nCover ties in neatly with it to provide Code Coverage stats. * TortoiseSVN [http://tortoisesvn.tigris.org/]- Subversion users probably know it already as an easy way to integrate source control into Windows Explorer. * GhostDoc [http://www.roland-weigelt.de/ghostdoc/]- Documentation, documentation, documentation. it’s necessary but often a chore to do. Use this VS plug-in to help write it. * CopySourceAsHtml [http://www.jtleigh.com/people/colin/software/CopySourceAsHtml/]- Neat little WYCIWYP VS plug-in that makes blogging code that much simpler. (WYCIWYP = What you copy is what you paste) * StumbleUpon [http://www.stumbleupon.com] Delicious [http://del.icio.us/help/]- Ok StumbleUpon isn’t strictly a dev tool, but it’s a neat way of finding new information which ties in neatly with using delicious as your online bookmarks manager. (NB The Delicious add-in doesn’t work well in IE7 at the moment - use the bookmarklets instead until they fix it) * Web Application Projects [http://webproject.scottgu.com/]- The WAP project type for VS makes things that much simpler to upgrade old web projects in .NET 1.1 to VS 2005.