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Add support for VS2010 in Spark VS Intellisense


This one is wishful thinking :) I've had a go myself at updating the C++ projects to the VS2010 SDK, but it's all a bit beyond me.
I don't seriously expect it will happen before VS2010 RTM's. It can't hurt to ask, right?


basarane wrote Dec 4, 2009 at 11:20 PM

The "right" view engine should result in readable code and it should be used fast, hence it should introduce efficiency for both development and maintenance. Without intellisense support in order to write code within IDE, the developer should consult the documentation (or the code itself). Therefore the intellisense is very important even while evaluating a view engine. To make it short, I think implementing it is very crucial.

PS: I'm evaluating VS2010, ASP.NET MVC 2 and Spark at the same time. This is why I wrote this comment.

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pierslawson wrote Feb 9, 2010 at 11:57 PM

I'm very interested in Spark for creating Xml output from an MVC application (rather than serialising a model object then transforming it using XSLT). My ideal would be Intellisense that was a cross between the XML editor and ASPX editor... from the XML editor it would take the idea of checking against a schema and from ASPX editor the idea of markup and a contained language. Its a tall order and my initial research indicates it is difficult with VS2008, but maybe VS2010 (and VS Shell?) is easier. However, I think you would find that the take up of Spark would be even faster if tooling support was their, and intellisense is probably the most useful.

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runxc1 wrote Mar 3, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Is there any update on this?? What needs to be done to get this to work?

dj_kyron wrote Mar 5, 2010 at 4:04 PM

There is an entirely new way of making extensions for VS2010 from a first look. I suppose it would mean that adding Spark intellisense will be easier with this system but that the integration might have to be re-coded? The new code editor window is built using WPF so that may provide some interesting challenges/benefits for Spark.

loudej wrote Mar 5, 2010 at 5:59 PM

Yeah, I took a look at some screen-casts from the PM building an Ook language... It is entirely different, so starting over without the C++ is probably the way to go. Most difficult part will be figuring out how to use the csharp contained language service in the new style of editor, if it's even possible at all...

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sztupy wrote Apr 22, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Today I began trying to convert the NHaml intellisense library (it's a fork from the spark intellisense library) to VS2010. First I tried to use some of the compatibility API to get it running but to no avail (you don't even get the chance to edit the files). Next I tried to check whether there is an easier way to get access to the C# intellisense, but it seems it's still an undocumented "feature". But still rewriting from scratch seems to be the only viable option.

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AndyHitchman wrote May 6, 2010 at 6:57 AM

A good example to start from could be ? Just started looking at this and the Ook! language example

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sztupy wrote May 6, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Those both are mostly just simple parsers and taggers. For contained languages to work you need a ProjectionBuffer, and there are no good examples on how to use that particular extension (mainly on how to change/replace the view's textbuffer with a projectionbuffer). On VS forums once they said the the RTM VS2010 SDK will contain an example on how to use this feature, but it's still missing.

RobertGreyling wrote May 10, 2010 at 11:56 AM

I've been working on this in my spare time the last few weeks. You can track progress here if you like:

AndyHitchman wrote May 11, 2010 at 11:32 PM

I've got syntax highlighting working: by integrating the parser.
But as sztupy said, the hard part is intellisense for inline code. I'm starting to look at that now in the VS2008 solution.

@RobertGreyling: Read your post. Do you want to combine our efforts?

sztupy wrote May 12, 2010 at 9:30 AM

You won't find much in the VS2008 IS provider. It used the old API, and the new one is way different. It uses two parts: a managed and an unmanaged one. The unmanaged one just sets up the language service (with the containedlanguage buffer and editor set up), and provides some interface for the managed one, which fills the primary (the one you see) and secondary (the one that contains the code) buffers. I couldn't find an easy way to adopt this primary-secondary buffer solution to the new editor API, which is way more complex (but has more capabilities).

RobertGreyling wrote May 12, 2010 at 11:06 AM

@AndyHitchman - good stuff, I've had a look at the code. A decent amount of overlap (plumbing mostly) with what I've been doing, but my solution won't be doing any syntax highlighting - or at least it'll allow you to turn it off. I'm quite happy with the standard HTML formatting and the VS2008 Spark Intellisense (Painting) used to do my head in because I tend to prefer a dark VS colour scheme :) @sztupy is right about the older approach, but my solution isn't digging into a language service as such, mainly because I'm not sure it's entirely necessary.

I'm working towards getting ready to do some kind of alpha release and so far it's pretty much doing everything that I want it to do as far as Spark syntax is concerned, although I can see a case for those people who enjoy embedding a ton of C# code in their views (although I'm not one of those people) wanting access to the C# language service part of it. That part is a lower priority for me though since I mainly want the Spark API and project pieces exposed in a particular view I'm editing, which is where most of my productivity is normally lost. With those ideals in mind, I can understand if anyone has differing opinions, and so I would expect a fair amount of churn as to what should and shouldn't be supported but my plan is to get something useful out the door as soon as possible and then we go from there.

I'm more than happy to combine efforts, but hopefully we'd be shooting for similar goals in that case. Drop me an email and we can try and sync up.

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adamralph wrote Mar 16, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Has there been any movement on this? I've tried hunting around for any developments in intellisense for VS2010 but all threads seem to die off about a year ago.

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adamralph wrote Mar 22, 2011 at 10:14 AM

@roastedamoeba: thanks - I had stumbled upon Robert's blog but I didn't notice much activity in the last 12 months. I didn't see the article you mention but even that is August 2010. However, I didn't go so far as looking at the repository, which does show a lot of recent activity which is encouraging.

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