What do you think of Debugger Canvas?

The folks behind the Debugger Canvas project ( a few from my team, a few from MSR ) are very interested in picking your brain on what you like about it and what you don’t like about it. To that end, they are looking to get a one hour conference call together with a select group of folks who are willing to discuss their experiences to date and any ideas you may have to make the capability even better.

If you are interested, please send an email to debugcanvsignup@microsoft.com, and take a look at this forum post for more info.



Comments (16)

  1. Klaus says:

    it's a pity that the canvas only works in Visual Studio Ultimate. The concept is very interesting.

  2. adam says:

    +1 for /ultimate only/ sadness 🙁

    If I could just buy the bits I want that'd be great. In fact if it was just easier to buy the bits a I want with MSDN subscription rather than too much choice http://www.microsoft.com/…/products . In fact if I could rent bits of visual studio that'd be even better as actually getting money from the company to buy things is really hard so having to go through it once and chop and change as I go without asking procurement would be, as you say, awesome

  3. Armin says:

    I don't use it because, the transition animations for newly opened source code views are much too slow and cognitively very distracting. I suggest reducing the transition animations to 200ms-300ms not more.

  4. Cameron says:

    Same Here.  Debugger Canvas looks great but we only have VS Premium.

  5. John says:

    It murders my quadcore 1.6gig 4gig machine. and i mean murders. it had to be removed.

    also it is less effective if you're having to navigate nasty 1200 lines per method code – you may as well just open the whole file.

    the ability to see the methods involved in a session and how they relate is nice though.

    all in all, it still needs some work on it. (and maybe development testing on a min spec machine )

  6. Brent says:

    When I saw the demo video, I was blown away!  That is exactly the type of debugging environment we need in VS.  But since it's only available for VS Ultimate, it doesn't help the majority of .Net developers that could benefit from it.

  7. Chris says:

    Reminds me of the Red Gate profiling tools call stack diagrams (good thing). Would like to see as an option in all editions via a free extension, that way people will actually use it 🙂

  8. Chitty says:

    The demo video looked really good, but again as it's only available in Ultimate I can't really give any feedback 🙁

  9. That is really nice! says:

    As one of the (hated?) few that have Visual Studio Ultimate, I have to say that I am looking forward to my next hard bug.  

    I tried it out and it works good.  It had a few hicups (that I emailed to the address in the post), but for the most part it was a much better debugging experience!

  10. Tommi G says:

    Canvas is just great although I find it annoying that it doesn't close when debugging ends. It's exceptions are also quite non intrusive and sometimes if I have a browser screen popping out over my VS I end up just wondering why the site is not answering when VS is actually showing off some exception through debugger canvas.

    Excellent addition and should be a built in feature of all future Visual Studios.

  11. SeanM says:

    I think the canvas is pretty good.  It doesn't let me edit the files inline or have an option for opening the file from the canvas window.

    Thanks for the great product!

  12. Jens Jacobsen, Microsoft says:

    Hi Sean,

    Debugger Canvas actually does support editing, but it is turned off by default. You can turn it on by going on the menus to Debug:Debugger Canvas: Options and Settings. There's a warning that there may be bugs with editing (the feature came in late), however we have not had any editing bugs reported.

    Please try it out and let us know what you think!

    If you prefer using the file based editor, you can navigate from a bubble by right clicking in it and selecting 'Navigate to file'.

  13. Definitely looks interesting.  Is this something that we can look forward to as an addition to Visual Studio or is will it always be as an additional download?

  14. Don't know yet. This represents some ideas we're just trying to see if work in actual usage scenarios. For now, this will remain a separate download.

  15. Mathias says:

    Why is it called Debugger Canvas, and seems to be focusing on debugging? When I first saw the Code Bubbles demo a few years back I got blown away by the way it worked, and how this could be a whole new way of developing software. So why the "debugger" focus now? Seems like 3 steps back to me.

    Done get me wrong, I totally LOVE this. But for developing software more than debugging…

  16. @Mathias I hear you. This was more of a focusing exercise to really drive some of the concepts and test some theories and technical assumptions.

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