I think the only let down I had at Mix06 this year, was the fact that we weren’t doing any demos of Sapphire, the version of the VWD web designer. For those of you who haven’t heard, we’re starting from the ground up again, and taking a slightly different, and much better tact. First off, we’re ripping out the old designer surface. The HTML editor will still be the same, but the HTML designer is getting completely redone.
Our designer surface in VS2003 and VS2005 is based on a version of IE, and had many wonky and weird issues. I’d file a bug, and our dev’s would start investigating, only to come out of the pit of dispair a week later not having even found the area where the bug resides. There were quite a few issues like that. The code base was so huge, and very few people knew it well enough to be able to fix some of the more nasty (though thankfully somewhat rare) bugs. With our new designer surface, there are plenty of people who understand it, and it’s so much better!
As you might expect though, since it’s early in the product cycle, we’re still finding plenty of bugs. I spent about an hour on Thursday and found about 10 bugs. It’s still that easy. One of the cool things this new designer fixes is some of the more annoying CSS issues that VS2005 had. For example, I’ve been running a number of the CSS test suites on it, and it’s been doing okay. It’s not comparable to IE7 yet, but it is certainly getting there. And I’ve got another set of web sites I’m going to be running through it in the near future.