Saturday, August 20, 2005

Why I Hate The Visual Studio Designer

The title's not entirely fair or accurate. After all, the Designer saves me a lot of time and effort when I have to make visual changes to a GUI. For those who don't know, the Designer lets you change a graphical user interface by clicking on Controls (buttons, icons, and the like) and moving them around graphically. The Designer itself takes care of the code writing. The Designer and the Control Outline plugin is a godsend combination when an interface needs to be restructured in some way. Unfortunately, the Designer has this nasty bug where it deletes all the Controls in a Window. It has happened to me countless times in the course of working on my app at work. I'll be writing some code, switch to the Designer to change something, and poof. All I see is a blank Window. No buttons, no tabs, nothing. Scares the shit out of me every time it happens to me, even though it is fairly trivial to recover from the deletion.

My point is that a GUI designer (or any application, for that matter) should NEVER, under any circumstances, make code modifications unless explicitly given the command to do so by the user. Hell, I'll take it one step further. A computer should NEVER, under any circumstances, write a single line of code unless explicitly told to do so by the user. And even if the application breaks the above two rules, it certainly should NEVER, under any circumstances, delete the entire graphical user interface for an application. Doing so completely defeats the purpose of using the Designer, which is to save time. Hopefully they fix this bug/remove this feature in the next release of Visual Studio.


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