Refactoring: For VB 2005!

As someone very wise once said, the problem with making confident predictions about the future is that time has a way of making a liar out of you despite your best intentions. The good news in this case, in case you haven’t heard it elsewhere, is that VB 2005 will have refactoring features! Both Brad and Cory have some good discussion on this and you can check out the official announcement on MSDN. Personally, I think this is just great and kudos to the VB folks and the Developer Express folks who made this happen.

I will also observe that the old debate appears to be settled for the moment, at least…

14 thoughts on “Refactoring: For VB 2005!

  1. MarcelG

    OK, it is is a plug in. Will it in the final version be an integral part of the IDE (please) or a plug in?

  2. Jens Samson

    ‘VB 2005 will have refactoring features.’

    Well, all it says is that someone will ship a free (but limited) refactoring plugin for VB.NET 2005 Beta.

    I know that my employer is not going to pay for anything extra outside of the MSDN license, so if this plugin is not free anymore for the final release, then I am back to square one.

    And anyway, I’m still pissed that you chose to implement the My stuff instead of Refactoring, or that you guys did not implement refactoring in the IDE so that both languages can use it …

  3. Steve Davey

    Having dug around about this and trying to peer thru’ the net curtains of Cory’s enthusiasm (or if you’re feeling cynical and I’m not, then ) to see what’s actually there I think this is pretty good.

    Half a loaf is better than none and 82.342657 % is better than half ;o>

    Stiil there’ll always be whingers…<tut>

  4. Richard Morris

    Marcel: Everything in Visual Studio is pretty much Plugged-in including Visual Basic. I think the term you were after is " an Add-in". And yes it is a plug-in managed by the VSIP Add-in functionality, whereas things like VB are plug-ins using an internal API.

    The only consequence of using VSIP is that it will not work in the Express editions (which do not support VSIP). We would just love to make it work in the Express editions, but it’s not possible without assistance from Microsoft.

    Jens: it is free to all VB developers, and it will remain so on release of VB 2005 – or more accurately it has been fully paid for by the VB development team who are giving us a lot of publicity for all our products in exchange for making sure every VB developer within 5 minutes of installing VB2005 can refactor.

    There is also a Language indepdent (VB.NET & C#) and IDE independant (2002, 2003 & 2005) version available for $99. It’s called Refactor! Pro and with it you can build your own custom refactorings using it and ANY managed language.

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  6. Alex Kazovic

    I wasn’t planning on making a comment, but Jens Samson’s post has changed my mind.

    Whilst on a personal basis I would have preferred to have refactoring in VB rather than MY classes, I think it was a valid decision for the VB team to include the MY classes rather than refactoring. There are many different types of users of VB that the VB team have to cater for. Some of these groups will find the MY classes more useful. And I suspect that these groups don’t read many blogs and comment on them. Therefore the VB team has to keep the needs of these less vocal groups in mind.

    As an aside, as I mentioned I preferred refactoring to MY classes, but I still intend to use the MY classes. I prefer writing 1 line of code rather than 5 if possible (and if it makes the reading of the code at least as clear). So from my point of view I have the best of both worlds.

    But what has impressed my most about all this is the fact that the VB team listened to the feedback and actually did something practical about it! It must at times get demoralising for the VB team getting negative feedback when they are trying to `do the right thing’. I still believe that people should post constructive comments/criticism, but it is all too easy with the Internet to make comments without spending a lot of time thinking first. When you had to write a letter, it was a bit of effort so more thought went into it.

    So as far as I’m concerned the VB team is doing a good job!

  7. MarcelG

    Richard: OK, It’s the next best thing aside from refactoring from the VB Team themselves.

    I didn’t meant plug-in in or not, but MS supplied out of the box or not.

    I will sure try your product, and even buy the pro-version if it gives me enough value for money.

    But, (sorry there is a but), I concur with Alex. Sure, there is a large part of the that is better served by the my classes, they are probably the same people that stayed with vb6.

    But there are also the high-end VB developers…

  8. Keith Franklin

    I have been playing around with the refactoring tools for VB2005 and they rock. Far cooler than the C# tools. Seems that the conversations that I had with the VB team were right on track with what they wanted to do. Far more code context sensitive, visual and user friendly with the emphasis not to use modal dialogs.

  9. Beth Massi


    I totally agree. The refactoring interface in VB blows doors off the C# one. Everything is context sensitive right at your fingertips and it’s just a whole heck of a lot smarter about what you would want to do with the selected code (and no dialogs! — that’s sweet). Even the junior VB developer who doesn’t know what refactor means will be able to pick this up in two minutes.


  10. paulvick

    Ricardo, I just clicked on the link and I was taken to a page that let me download the free version. If you still can’t get to it, click the feedback link on the MSDN page and see if they can figure out what’s wrong…


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