I thought it was strange that this post did not already exist..

So post your wishlist for VS next.

Mine would be better refactoring and better intellisense a'la resharper. Also it would be nice to have built in tips on best practices. ex. warning if Dispose is not called on objects implementing IDisposable.

EDIT: Ignore the last sentence. I just hadn't seen the Code Analysis tool before, after years of programming in VS!!!!


If you turn on FxCop you should already get warnings about not-disposing disposable objects in Vs2008

I don't understand why this isn't included as a default. Seems like only senior developers are aware of these tools while it is the juniors that would take most advantage of them
+13  A: 

I want the speed and responsiveness of 6.0 back ;(

John T
When I was doing my final year project at university my tutor said 6 (which was then current) was good, but it just a bloated version of 4 :)
John Ferguson
With a solid state disk, it's very responsive ;)
Nicolas Dorier
So you want them to remove every feature they've added since 6.0 ?
DOS was a screamer
Jim Evans
@Pab more features does not have to mean a slower IDE, if done well.
John T
@JohnT I think it does! On my c2d 2.4Ghz with 4Gb of RAM vs2008 is pretty fast and responsive. As responsive as 6.0 was with the hardware I had back in the day. Comparing 6.0 with current HW is not a fair comparison, it's like comparing vs2008 with a computer from 10 years in the future!
+1  A: 

Be able to completely customize the color scheme of all sub-windows and not just the editor and output.

Be able to evaluate any function on the watch window without restrictions.

Fool proof intellisense, including in odd ball templates.

.NCBs that don't inflate infinitly over time.

Full compliance with C++0x :)

+1  A: 

My wish was to get the VC 6.0 ClassWizard back, and following some recent MS C++ blog discussion it might just happen.

@John T - According to MS, VS 2010 is the new VS 6.0. I sure hope so.

Shane MacLaughlin
reading the comments, i wish it would be so, but it looks like they still don't get it. BobH2's comment was insightful.
  • Web.config file comparison.
  • File difference built in (have these files already been uploaded?)
  • Warnings if dynamic sql is used.
  • Ability to wrap a namespace around multiple files, and automatic updateing of any code using such classes. (right click, wrap namespace)
  • Wrap tag feature like dreamweaver used to do. (select text - wrap tag "strong")
  • Also javascript + css minifying, and sprite mapping (ala runtime page optimizer) built in :D
+3  A: 
  • Built in code versioning system, so that you don't need to backup you code each time you make any changes which you are not checking in.
  • Web.config / app.config Editor
  • A improved html designer interface.
  • JavaScript editor with intellisense etc.
Ramesh Soni
Built in code versioning system? I think its called TFS! ;)
Mitch Wheat
"JavaScript editor with intellisense etc." VS.NET 08 SP1 already got that...
Buu Nguyen
Check out ( for an add-on that does versioning.
Joe Schneider
My VS.NET 2008 SP1 could definitely do with better JavaScript editing. IntelliSense is there but almost useless.
Just an FYI: I keep a lightweight VCS local to my machine for fine-grained versioning... I use Bazaar to do this. When I am ready to publish to the trunk, I use the project's VCS instead. This workflow works well for me.
Brian Genisio

actually I've got all i need with vs2008+resharper+visualsvn.

+2  A: 
  • Rich editor support for T4
  • More tooling around WPF
There's an extension for writing T4 in the Extension Manager already - is that what you mean?
Lucas Jones
+2  A: 


I just can't work anymore without it...

Expanded per user project settings. Preprocessor macros come to mind.

If anybody knows how to do that in 2008 it would be appreciated.

It's possible in VS2005 and VS2008. It requires some work of course.
Really? I couldn't for the life of me get VS2008 to not save some of my defined preprocessor macros in the main project file, marking it out of sync with the repository. I wanted them to be machine specific and to not be sent back with a commit.
Perhaps I don't understand what you are looking for. Why not ask a question:
+1  A: 

Ability to create multiple profile, with customizable windows and toolbar settings for each [e.g. Server-side coder, UI Builder etc ] and configure profiles with individual projects


I have only one wish: working DataSet Designer


A resource (rc-file) editor for C++ without all the bugs.

+7  A: 
  • Replace .vdproj with WiX, and an upgrade wizard to convert vdproj to Wix projects.
  • Replace .sln solution file format with msbuild-compatible format.
  • Resolve project dependencies by project name through the solution file, as opposed to by absolute/relative path to project file. This would allow different solutions to re-use code libraries, and not have to organize all projects by the same relative paths across solutions.
+1  A: 

Intellisense and debugger for TT, T4, TextTemplate (whatever name you like to give to this great tool which is quite useless and unknown now).

+1  A: 

How about a text editor that can handle long files again! 2003 was fine with 10K+ line long files, 2005 and 2008 choke on anything more than about 2K.

I think the solution here is to break those files into shorter ones. That can't be easy to maintain.
+2  A: 
  • Speed up the Add References dialog
  • Stop auto-raising when the system is in focus-follows mouse mode
Lachlan Roche
#1: Definitely. SharpDevelop and MonoDevelop both load up the References dialog almost instantly. What else is VS doing? Secretly transmitting the list to Microsoft?
Lucas Jones
+4  A: 

Control + clicking a method = Goes to the method's Definition (could apply to variables and classes too!) (Yes, I know the context menu has this choice.)

There's an extension for that, too! From MS.
Lucas Jones
@person-b What is it called? How about a link?
F12 does that already i 2008
Brian Genisio
It's the Go To Definition extension I wrote. [Install](, [Source](
Noah Richards
+1  A: 

A tool bar that populates itself with the buttons you use most frequently and are not shown on the other toolbars present.

+1  A: 

Not storing the intellisense cache in my profile. Nothing like logging onto another machine and having it take 15 minutes to pull down my 2GB profile.

Jacob Adams
+2  A: 

Intellisense that works reliably on C++.

David Thornley

I want to be able to not install things. If you so choose, you should be able to get exactly what you want.

It's sad when I hear the only difference between Typical and Full install is the 64bit compilers, I shake my head.

+1  A: 

How about spell check for comments and string like you find in word.

+1  A: 

I want the IDE to be responsive while its compiling - that way I can look through other code or review my code while its building instead of looking at an almost unresponsive screen.


Roll the 40 gazillion component installations all under the one "Visual Studio" entry in Add/Remove Programs.

Nick Bedford

When searching, add option to select which type of files to search. When I search for code, I don't care what's in designer or markup. When I'm looking for markup, exclude designer and code files.