Suggested Resources for .NET Developers Suggested Resources for .NET Developers

This Visual Studio Integration Package is a proof of concept in:
  • Aggregation of online content within the Visual Studio IDE.
  • Analysis of development activities within the Visual Studio IDE.

This combination of features allows Suggested Resources for .NET developers to pro-actively suggest online content that applies on the task being performed by a developer. .. A bit like having a programming pair that searches for online resources while you focus on getting the job done.

From Left to Right: Resources are being suggested based on source code analysis, Viewing a resource, Finding resources based on keywords 'threading how to:', Favorite resources. Click to enlarge

An Example

You or a developer in your team implements IDisposable on a class that can be inherited from. This means the class should implement a disposable pattern using 2 methods and perhaps a finalizer.
If you don’t follow up with the guidelines, perhaps FxCop would notify of breaking a design-rule. Though, learning about proper use of these patterns early on and applying them consistently saves time and results in a better application.

There is a huge amount of written and unwritten principles and guidelines in .NET Development. There is no way we can capture all these guidelines in a single tool. Therefore this tool aggregates and augments information from the internet.

Did you know: Some might argue that the full dispose pattern (including the finalizer) is obsolete with the introduction of "SafeHandles" (unless you derive from SafeHandle yourself); In case you didn’t: read about it on the internet.

Current Progress

The current version (0.8.0.0) is stable and can be used from within Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Studio 2010.

Even though the tool suggests content based on development activities the focus for this release has been a good experience browsing online resources within Visual Studio.

The focus for the next version (0.9.0.0) will be on analysis of developer activities and more suggestions that can be performed by the tool.

To keep informed about developments, please subscribe to the following weblog: http://suggestedresources.blogspot.com/

Feedback and Future Features

In order to share your satisfaction about this tool : Tweet about it and add a rating on the visual studio gallery page.

In order to add, vote or comment on planned features (or actually user stories): Use the issue tracker and filter by Type = Feature.
In order to add, vote or comment on bugs : Use the issue tracker and filter by Type = Issue.

For all other comments and questions, please email: suggestedresources@hotmail.com

Some “Future Features” that sprung into mind are listed below.

Expanding the scope of content providers
MSDN is a valuable resource and contains high-quality content. However sites like stackoverflow.com and weblogs provide information as valuable as MSDN’s and being able to offer these would expand the scope of this tool a lot.

Online integration with search engines
Storing metadata in a tool is mostly a manual process. Inferring and analysing internet search engine results to obtain similar metadata would improve the tool drastically.

Collaboration & Quality Control features
Collaborating on suggestions, as well as collecting feedback information and sharing it amongst pairs allows you to help and improve this tool.

Automation features
If the tool can analyse and suggest reliably, it might as well offer to automate simple tasks, such as adding a reference, using-clause or a template file.

Credits and acknowledgements

The content shown in this tool is downloaded from the internet and its form might be slightly modified for a good experience inside Visual Studio. Resources are copyrighted by their respective owners.

The tool itself was build using Visual Studio and uses the following reusable components:
For the User Interaction Design, I consulted with Douwe Schmidt


Last edited May 2, 2010 at 3:07 PM by SuggestedResource, version 27