Add-Ons to make Visual Studio 2005 feel more like Eclipse

So you’ve been coding in Java and using Eclipse for a while, and you love it. Eclipse is great! It helps you, but doesn’t get in your way. But you realize you need to expand, branch out, learn something new. So you turn to C#. Good choice! It’s super-easy to learn if you are coming from Java, and it’s Microsoft’s new favorite language. You’ve gotten hold of a copy of Visual Studio 2005, read up on the language, and you are ready to go.

You code up Hello World, try out some other small programs, and decide you are ready to start something major. But you feel like you are sitting in somebody else’s office. And its not particularly comfortable. You don’t have any of the things you need, like unit-testing or automatic documentation generation. Intellisense is great…..but you miss Eclipse.

Have no fear! We’ll fix the place up, and you’ll be coding at top efficiency in no time.

First check out ReSharper, by JetBrains. ReSharper will fix up Intellisense so that it works in ways you expect. It also adds a built in unit test runner and a host of other stuff.

ReSharper is undoubtedly the most intelligent add-in to Visual Studio .NET 2003 and 2005. It comes equipped with a rich set of features that greatly increase the productivity of C# and ASP.NET developers. With ReSharper you get intelligent coding assistance, on-the-fly error highlighting and quick error correction, as well as unmatched support for code refactoring, unit testing, and a whole lot more. All of ReSharper’s advanced features are available right from Visual Studio.

C# productivity and refactoring add-in for Visual Studio .NET

To use those unit tests, you are going to need NUnit. Same as JUnit, but for C#. Just as good, ’nuff said.

NUnit is a unit-testing framework for all .Net languages. Initially ported from JUnit, the current production release, version 2.2, is the fourth major release of this xUnit based unit testing tool for Microsoft .NET. It is written entirely in C# and has been completely redesigned to take advantage of many .NET language features, for example custom attributes and other reflection related capabilities. NUnit brings xUnit to all .NET languages.

NUnit – Home

Another one I kind of like but don’t really need is Ghost Doc. Ghost doc automatically writes comments based on variable names and stuff like that. It can actually do a decent job sometimes. I use it to fill in the comments for small methods that don’t need much explaining.

GhostDoc is a free add-in for Visual Studio that automatically generates XMLdocumentation comments. Either by using existing documentation inheritedfrom base classes or implemented interfaces, or by deducing comments fromname and type of e.g. methods, properties or parameters.

Roland Weigelt’s GhostDoc

Also, to replace the functionality of JavaDoc, check out NDoc. It’s still in a very beta phase, but it is usable, and it makes some good looking documentation with minimal effort. Microsoft is supposed to release their own in-house generator, but since it’s coming from Microsoft, it’s delayed.


One more useful thing thats not really in Eclipse, but is worth mentioning is CopySourceAsHtml. The name says it all.

CopySourceAsHtml is an add-in for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 that allows you to copy source code, syntax highlighting, and line numbers as HTML. CSAH uses Visual Studio’s syntax highlighting and font and color settings automatically. If Visual Studio can highlight it, CSAH can copy it, and your source should look the same in your browser as it does in your editor.

CopySourceAsHtml (CSAH)

Hopefully, this helps you in your new Visual Studio workspace

2 thoughts on “Add-Ons to make Visual Studio 2005 feel more like Eclipse”

  1. I can’t belive it! The first paragraph is really about me! I’ve been shocked and totally surprised finding your post. Just a perfect match!
    So thanks for the great advices, i’m going to try out a few of them. Let me see how do they work..

  2. Thanks dude! At last i found new and awesome features for my Visual Studio to help me for automation processes in testing. Much appreciate!

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