Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Visual Studio 11 says goodbye and so long to IDE macros

InfoQ - Macros Have Been Dropped in Visual Studio 11

"As of version 11, macros will no longer be available in Visual Studio. This marks the first version in nearly a decade to not allow for crating ad-hock extensions to the IDE. Fully compiled extensions can still be created and new project templates are included to make that process much easier.

According to Microsoft’s usage tracking data, macros in Visual Studio are currently being used by less than 1% of all developers. This alone isn’t enough to cause Microsoft to drop the feature, the macro feature in Visual Studio has also a disproportionately high maintenance cost. Unlike most other features, the macro support has to be updated and exhaustively tested for each new version of Visual Studio. In theory one should be able to record and replay any feature via the macro IDE, which places a huge maintenance burden on Microsoft.

According to Matt Kaufman, the macro IDE hasn’t been updated for several versions. Firing it up, one will quickly notice that it looks like an old version of Visual Studio. More troubling is the fact that it still only supports Visual Basic. One cannot use C# or any of the newer .NET languages to create macros.

As mentioned before, the support for extensibility now includes several new project templates. The current list, which is offered under both VB and C# follows:


Not an unexpected move I guess, and all features need a clean it or remove it pass, and I've never really used VS macro's, but still... Anyway, I guess it's better to be nuked than to just be left in for forever and not updated? It's like that weird great uncle you never visited, but now that's he's gone, you miss... (yeah, it was kind of a crappy and dark day... can you tell? lol )


Tristan said...

We use a single macro in the office for Attaching the debugger to ASP.NET websites.

Tooling was always lame for creating + editing macros, but that functionality is still required by some of us.

AlfeG said...

Tristan, Your right. I've found this macros are only usabale feature of all macros IDE

Joel said...

Along with the removal of macros goes the ability to record/playback keystrokes. This is something I use every single day.

svprogramming said...

For record/playback keystrokes in VS 2012 there is now Text Macros extension available and for macro commands execution in VS 2012+ there is Visual Commander.