I wanted to cover some of the major improvements that we have made to Template Explorer in version 6.0. Please note that this is not the finished product and we still have some work to do on Template Explorer. Please let us know what you think about the new Template Explorer.
Improved Context Menus
The new Template Explorer has rich integration with Windows which also includes all of your Windows Explorer Context Menus. This gives you the ability to update from Source Control and much more. After much demand, all of the icons have been updated within Template Explorer.
Error Handling and Editing Experience
In the picture above, I clicked on a new template we added in Generator 6.0 that allows you to generate a strongly typed class from JSON. When the template initially opened, it had a compile time error. Template Explorer presents a red box which presents you with an action. You can choose to resolve this error right inside of the same Template Explorer window by clicking on the Edit button. When you click the Edit button, Template Explorer will use your default editor. If you are using the Professional Edition and Visual Studio is installed than Visual Studio will be used; otherwise notepad will be used as the default editor. If Visual Studio is used, it will use an open Visual Studio Instance to edit the template to save you valuable time from launching another Visual Studio Instance.
Once the error was resolved in Visual Studio I was able to click on the Retry button to bring up the PropertyGrid. The screenshot above shows off the new Template Explorer Output window which offers a rich Syntax Highlighting for the generated output. The output can be saved to a file or copied to the clipboard before or after manually editing the generated output. Previously a window was always shown with the generated output text and verbose messages. Not shown above is a progress bar which is displayed while you are generating a template.
Visual Studio Integration
When you are using Template Explorer inside of Visual Studio, Template Explorer will automatically use the current Visual Studio Instance for all editing or generating experiences. We believe this will save you time and money when editing or generating templates!
We would love to hear any feedback or concerns that you may have. Please stay tuned for a Beta release of CodeSmith Generator 6.0!