Visual Studio Flex Class Viewer
We’ve had an Object Browser working for some time in Amethyst; in fact, we’ve mainly used it as a tool during the development of Amethyst for tracking down problems with SWC libraries. But there’s quite a bit more to ‘symbol browsing’ in Visual Studio than meets the eye, so I’ve just spent a few days completing the Object Browser and its friend, the Class Viewer.
I’d originally intended to do no more than a quick spruce up of the Object Browser. In fact, this turned out to be (a lot) more involved than I’d thought, mainly due to the three problems that any Visual Studio developer faces – poor documentation, few (if any) useful examples and zero diagnostic help from Visual Studio itself.
It’s this last problem that’s the killer – if something doesn’t work, you often get no indication whatsoever of what’s gone wrong. All that happens is – nothing. And all you can do is experiment in the hope that something will fire up and give you a clue as what you should be doing.
Anyway, after about a week’s hard slog, I got the whole of the Object Browser/Class Viewer system working – and I have to say, I’m impressed with the result.
In addition to the Object Browser/Class Viewer, Visual Studio also provides a Call Browser display facility which allows you to see what methods call which are called by other methods. If I’ve enough time before the Designer beta 2, I’ll include that as well.