Rants and Raves #5
Back in form this week with both Rants and Raves…
My biggest beef is that I just plain didn’t like it. I especially disliked how it had a tendency to prevent IntelliSense from doing what I wanted. In particular, it removed my ability to hit Tab to insert the highlighted element. And when I tried to hit Enter, it inserted non-selected text. I just couldn’t intuitively get the hang of it.
In fact, I had installed the entire DevExpress DXperience suite of products. If you think loading the ToolBox in Visual Studio is bad natively, try doing it with a ton of third party controls along for the ride. And it seemed my overall VS experience was significantly slowed down. That plus my dislike of CodeRush meant it was actually more of a hindrance than a help, so I uninstalled it.
Enter my next issue. When I went to uninstall it, the DevExpress software was listed in my programs as three separate products. This was fine, because I really only wanted to uninstall CodeRush at the time because I hadn’t had a chance to try out any of the WPF Controls. When I uninstalled the CodeRush part, it uninstalled the entire DXperience family of apps. Uninstall Fail. I have not reinstalled any of the software, and I don’t know if I will.
I only tried it for a few days. I’m sure an experienced user may know how to work around my issues, most likely via configuration. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by ReSharper, but for productivity tools, I don’t think I should have to make a lot of effort to be productive. Maybe I’m being unfair, but this is a Rant so I’m entitled.
Windows Live Writer
If you blog and are still using your blog software editor to add and edit posts, please hold your hand in your front of your face, palm facing you, and slap yourself in the forehead. That’s what I did once I finally used Windows Live Writer: it is definitely a “coulda had a V8” moment (or a Homeresque “D’Oh!”).
Live Writer is an excellent desktop application that allows you to write posts and pages and submit them to your blog. The great thing about it is that it downloads your theme and executes it in the editor so you can actually see what your post will look like once published. There is also a full preview tab so you can view the entire page, and of course you can modify the HTML directly.
Live Writer stores drafts and posts locally, so you can also work on them whether or not you are connected to the Internet. It also supports plug-ins such as Twitter Notify, which will automatically send a tweet when you publish something new.
Naturally, the editor is complete with all the WYSIWYG goodies, text editing tools, hyperlink and image inserters, spell checker and more. And you can connect to multiple blogs. This one is going in my list of “can’t do without” software.