All Your RegKeys Are Belong To Us

I’ve been in many discussions lately with various folks about Visual Studio 2010 extensibility. Inevitably, someone suggests a solution to some problem involving changing/adding/deleting a registry key/value for an extension. If you need to do this, just remember this one rule: Do not ever edit a key that ends in “_Config” HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0 This key contains…


Pkgdef and the Experimental Instance in VS 2010

***Disclaimer: This information is about Visual Studio 2010 only. The following may not be accurate for future releases.*** One of the new features we introduced with the Visual Studio 2008 Isolated Shell was the concept of a pkgdef file. Pkgdef is essentially a REG file with tokenization. For example, you could put $RootFolder$ in your…


Visual Studio 2010 SDK Beta 1

The Visual Studio 2010 SDK Beta 1 is now available for download. Be sure to check out the latest supplemental readme as you’re likely to encounter some of these issues in using the SDK.


Extension Manager

One of the new features we plan on shipping for VS 2010 that I’ve been heads down on for the past few months is the "Extension Manager". I’ll be posting more details about it here over the next several months. For the meantime, you can hear more about it (and see some very early mockups)…



The Boo programming language now has a Codeplex project called BooLangStudio which adds Boo intellisense, project templates, etc… to Visual Studio. Cool!

Package Load Key Generator

Recently, we published a simple web page that will generate a Package/Shell Load Key for you immediately. No more waiting for an email to arrive, logging in with Live ID, etc…

VSX Videos on Channel 9

Yesterday, Ken Levy and I sat down with Dan from Channel 9 to have an unscripted discussion about Visual Studio Extensibility (VSX) (including finding a bug live during an untested, on-the-fly demo!). We also discussed creating your own Visual Studio Shell and show off how to add a new package to a VS Shell application,…


Visual Studio Gallery

Soma has just announced, the new Visual Studio Gallery. The gallery is the central location where you can find (and advertise) Visual Studio extensions. All you need to add an entry on the gallery is a Windows Live ID, so if you have a free/open-source extension, don’t hesitate to help end users locate it via…


Lang .NET Talk

A few weeks ago, Carl Brochu and I had the incredible opportunity to speak at the 2008 Lang .NET Symposium that was hosted here on the main Microsoft campus (alongside some much more well-known folks in the software industry). Our talk was titled “Integrating Languages in the Visual Studio Shell” and covered the basics of…


FREE Visual Studio 2008 for College Students via DreamSpark

A few years ago, back when I was in college, there was an academic program from Microsoft (called ‘MSDN Academic Alliance’) where you could get Windows and the Academic version of Visual Studio by going to the CS department office, checking out some CD’s, and hoping that you didn’t need to reinstall after you had…