Wow! Debugger Canvas for Visual Studio 2010 available from DevLabs (via Somasegar’s WebLog)
Debugger Canvas is a new user experience for stepping through code in the
debugger in Visual Studio Ultimate. It displays the code of each of the methods
you step into on a canvas with call lines between them, helping you keep track
of the bigger picture as well as the details.
Debugger Canvas pulls together all the code along a call path into a single
display for browsing and even editing. Instead of having to keep all the code in
your head while you look at one file tab at a time, now you can see the entire
path on the canvas, enabling you to more easily track the flow of control and
data through your application. Below, you can see an example where we have
stepped into the execution of the Add Item function of a website shopping cart.
The functionality requires the coordination of several methods, and the canvas
lets you see them side by side so that you can more easily find and fix bugs.
Of course, the idea of showing related code together on a canvas can be
useful in many scenarios. For this release, we started with debugging, since
this task often involves looking at methods from many files at the same time.
However, with the right options turned on, you can also navigate and edit your
code from Debugger Canvas.
Debugger Canvas also highlights the potential of several of the technologies
we introduced in Visual Studio 2010 Pro and Ultimate. It takes advantage of the
flexibility of the new code editor to show fragments of files as bubbles on the
canvas with a fully functioning editor in each. We built Debugger Canvas on top
of Visual Studio Ultimate so that we could also use the underlying technology
for the Dependency Diagrams to identify and display the right fragments on the
canvas. This let us support both C# and VB in this release and will help us
support other languages in the future. Building on VS Ultimate also allowed us
to provide a new user experience for IntelliTrace, enabling some interesting
scenarios, such as “show me what code ran when I clicked here”.
Debugger Canvas is the result of collaboration with Brown University and
Microsoft Research, incorporating innovative ideas from Brown’s Code Bubbles and
Microsoft Research’s Code Canvas. Cutting edge research is being done at Brown
and at other universities around the world to help improve development team
productivity and software quality. Through Microsoft Research, we collaborate
with academic efforts like this one to bring innovative ideas to Visual Studio.
Take Debugger Canvas for a Spin
Our goal with DevLabs projects to get early feedback and insight and to help
drive these ideas in the right direction. Try out Debugger
Canvas, then bring your bugs, questions and ideas to the forum. We look
forward to hearing from you!