This is my break off work, since yet again I found myself amazed by how the Visual Assist X (VAX) is… no, there is no strong enough superlative to describe it! I just wanted to share this jewel with those people that might not know what VAX is.
VAX is Visual Studio plug-in (all popular versions – VS6, VS2002, VS2003, VS2005 and newly also VS2008 – supported) that saves you nerves, time, and also saves you from quite a few bugs along the way. See more at the official site.
Are you tired of the pointless or totally wrong hints IntelliSense gives you (yes, it got better in VS2005 and VS2008, but still…)? Are you tired of switching between files, trying to find the prototype you need, definition of class, or even just where you were moment ago?
VAX is a program of (almost) infinite possibilities. Except of being “the really intelligent IntelliSense”, it provides many refactoring facilities, for any variable provides you with info about its type, in VAX panel shows you member of variables, provides you with definitions of macros (and knows how to work with them, unlike IntelliSense), speeds up typing (e.g. if you type in MFC dialog class gdi, it right away provides you with GetDlgItem as hint), go to definition and declaration (no need to generate the useless Browse Info anymore!) and much MUCH more…
One thing that might seem totally pointless, but that really made me happy when I found out it’s in VAX – the “go back” function (just like in your web-browser) to get back to where you were before you e.g. skipped to declaration of a function. It sure saves a lot of time and nerves, to fast find where you were moment ago.
Of course, VAX is only a program, and as such has also its little “problems”; for me, main problem (and the only I so far faced!) is its confusion while working with templates; esp. while working on template metaprogram, it’s easier to switch it off. Yet of course, even the best and newest compilers get often confused around templates, not to mention humans…
What more to say? Just go to the official site and check out the trial version!
One warning – price of full version, for individuals, is set at $99; if you don’t want to, or can’t afford to, spend 100 bucks on piece of software, do NOT download the trial! Once you go VAX, there’s no going back… For real, no kidding.
One link to end off the praise – example of refactoring abilities of VAX.