VSLab R. Daneel released

by cisterni 16. July 2008 01:45

I just released the new release of VSLab codenamed R. Daneel. This release adds the package feature, an important element to build DSL and tools on top of VSLab. Packages are simply .NET assemblies with appropriate metadata used by VSLab to offer a dialog to manage them. Ok, ok you can code it, but it's handy to select which packages should be loaded, if at startup, and if you are lazy enough you can even ask for automatic namespace opening!

This is how package manager looks like:

You can load packages interactively or flag them for startup. You have two assembly caches (different from the GAC so you are not required to understand strong naming) for packages, one in the VSLab installation dir, and the other in the user profile. I managed to start the UAC dialog on Vista to have packages installed under program files.

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Design | General


by cisterni 7. July 2008 12:46

VSLab allows to quickly design Domain Specific Languages without having to rely on the full VS SDK. The advantage is flexibility and accessibility to programmers willing to extend VS without having to fight with the intricacies of COM that tend to surface when interacting with DTE and Visual Studio extensibility. To help defining modules easy to use we are defining an architecture for Packages that are loaded by VSLab in the easiest possible way and that can ask for dependencies without having to resort to #r #I directives explicitly. We are also planning for supporting automatic loading of packages at startup.

Original Viewlet Samples will be distributed in packages now. One significant package will be the VSLab Shell, a shell for performing System administration through Visual Studio.


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VSLab is a Visual Studio extension designed to support Visual Studio interaction from F# interactive. It is a Microsoft product developed at University of Pisa, by a team lead by Antonio Cisternino.


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