Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Sighlence of the Geek

It’s a double sigh day.  One good, one bad.

Let’s deal with the bad first.  A big sigh for MFC.

Work on the redesigned scorecard is going just great.  The first page of the tab control is done and by doing that all of the base classes and templates are in place for the subsequent pages.

But, I was tripped up by the old GUI stalwart, the Combo Box.  It may be a very common control, used everywhere, but I just find the MFC implementation inflexible when you want to do something slightly different.

For instance, making the static text control element of the combo box thinner whilst retaining a more expanded look for the drop down list element.  It just ends up with a perfectly fine drop list and a static control that, due to vertical margins, positions the text halfway down the control which chops off the lower half.

I know I can just write an owner draw version of the control to do what I need but for once it would be a nice surprise to see that it had already been thought of and included.  *SIGH*

Now the good part.

Visual Assist X by Whole Tomato Software

Where has this tool been for my entire programming life?

I’m not going to mince words.  It is absolutely fantastic.  It is the dogs cojones.

Everything from commenting out chunks of code, adding method implementations, fantastic pop-ups telling me what options I have for whatever I happen to be typing, renaming methods and variables, clear mark-up and it even indents whole chunks of code with a single press of the tab key.

The above does it no justice at all.  Those features are not even scratching the surface of what it can do.

*SIGH* (content and happy geek sigh this time).

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