Those of you who follow my work either on this blog, in screencasts, or in code demo talks know that I am a huge believer in the improvements in efficiency that (the right!) tools can provide. You would also know that I am a big fan of the CodeRush and Refactor! Pro tools from Developer Express as my choice for Visual Studio productivity add-in tools.
For others who use these same tools, you will happy to learn if you aren’t already aware that Developer Express has just released (4/1…and no, that’s not an April Fool’s joke) the latest version of both of these tools. Rather than reiterate some of the specific features that are available in the new releases, I’ll just point you to a blog post by Mark Miller and another by Rory Becker that cover some of the more useful new features in greater detail. If you want the complete laundry list of changes, you are invited to read the always-dry release notes.
All DevExpress VS-Productivity Tools are now 100% Compatible
If you have tried in the past to run an arbitrary combination of the various Developer Express Visual Studio Add-ins (e.g., the freeware CodeRush Xpress, the Refactor! for ASP.NET, the Refactor! for Visual Basic, etc., etc. ) you have probably discovered that since all of these add-ins were developed and released on different cycles they were all subtly incompatible with each other. This meant that if you were a pure-VB shop and wanted to use BOTH the free Refactor! for VB and the free Refactor! for ASP.NET you were out of luck. Similarly, if you were a C# developer and used the freeware CodeRush Xpress tool and also wanted the Refactor! for ASP.NET you were stuck.
Realizing this trouble, Developer Express has now ‘synced’ all of their products into one version/release cycle and ensured that they can now ALL be installed side-by-side with each other allowing you to mix-and-match which of these tools you want to run in any arbitrary combination (yipee! — and WTF took you guys so long???? ) .
Even thought this seems to be a minor thing, it actually means that now its possible to get a frighteningly-significant amount of refactorings for 100% free from DevExpress. The combination of CodeRush Xpress (c# only), Refactor! for VB, and Refactor! for ASP.NET represents a really significant percentage of the most-common refactorings that anyone in either language would find themselves needing. Developer Express should be highly commended for offering these to the community for absolutely nothing.
To be clear, CodeRush and the commercial Refactor! Pro still offer tremendous value and for anyone serious about their software development work I strongly recommend that you consider making the purchase of the full commercial toolset — it offers A LOT of value beyond that of the free tools that still makes them well worth the (relatively) small investment. But if you are a hobbyist, self-employed with about zero-margin, or working for some company that fails to understand the ‘I’ part of ROI, you owe it to yourself to go get these free tools and install them immediately!
If you are a user of the ClassCleaner DXCore plug-in that I recommend people take advantage of then you will recall from past upgrade cycles that a recompile of that binary is usually needed to get its commands to appear in the CodeRush shortcuts options dialog settings so that you can bind it to a keystroke (I usually use CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+O for ‘organize’ but that’s just me) after any update to the DXCore libraries is released.
Even though the source is on CodePlex and anyone can grab it, update the library references to point the the new versions distributed with CodeRush, etc., and built it for themselves, I routinely have enough people tell me they have various troubles with this (not really sure why, but whatever!) that I make the ‘correct’ binary available for direct download from my site as a matter of convenience to the community.
So without further adieu, here is the link for the updated ClassCleaner binary that works with DXCore 9.1.2 as just released by DevExpress.
Happy cleaning of your classes!
If you are at all interested in these products, one of the great ways to learn about their features is to watch some of the Training Videos that Developer Express makes available for download/viewing. And if you haven’t visited their video-based training list lately, please do so because they continue to add great content to it as CodeRush and Refactor! Pro continue to gain more and more valuable features!
Happy coding, everyone~!