Impressions from Visual Studio 2008

Last week I was able to finally use VS 2008 in a real project. I was working on some web parts and ASP.NET controls and it is great to be able to use some of the improvements in the web development environment.

#1 on my list is the CSS management and the improved design time support. Now we have the split view, so you can actually see code and design at the same time. The design view also has a notably faster rendering speed, which is just great.

On the CSS side...How many times have you tried to create a fully CSS compliant page using style sheet for positioning instead of tables in VS 2005? It was a real pain. The editor would not update the style for the object, but insert a style attribute defying the whole purpose of using CSS. Positioning objects using relative or absolute positioning required a lot of switching and tweaking.

Not anymore! Once you assign the class or the CssClass attribute respectively to a HTML or ASP.NET control the editor will automatically apply style changes even if they are in a separate file. It is also very easy to apply multiple styles or track down the order, in which they are applied.

Now this is an environment that really encourages developers to finally drop the archaic table positioning and easily create CSS compliant controls and pages.