SimpleDevelop

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been “on the beach” at ThoughtWorks, meaning that I hadn’t been assigned to an actual project at a client site.

What have I been doing in that time? Good question!

For starters, a coworker and I paired on an ASP.NET MVC 3 application to be used in a training course ThoughtWorks offers to clients. (The company already had a training course for Java developers, but apparently a client was interested in a .NET version of the course.) So there was that.

But that ended last week, leaving me with not much left to do. So, mostly to scratch a personal itch, I whipped up a little app that I myself will use to experiment with C# from time to time: SimpleDevelop.

What is it? Basically, a notepad for C#, much like SnippetCompiler (which hasn’t been updated since 2007), with a few fancy differences:

  1. It’s a WPF app (and requires .NET 4.0… yikes!).
  2. It uses the very nice AvalonEdit text editor (the same one used by SharpDevelop).
  3. It uses UI controls from the DevExpress control suite, which I received for free during a promotion the company offered to users with high rep on Stack Overflow (woot!).

Is it better than SnippetCompiler? At the moment, no, definitely not. But it is pretty functional, and my plans for the app moving forward are big and awesome.

For now, check out the current features…

It can compile and run code!

It compiles and runs

Also, it has code completion (sort of)! Disclaimer: this feature is very much in an experimental state. It is definitely not anywhere near 100% complete.

It has code completion

And it reports code errors!

It reports errors

If this all looks like something you might have a use for (as I said, the existence of this app is very much in the spirit of dogfooding), why not go ahead and download the installer? Let me know what you think?

Features I plan on implementing in the near future:

  • Support for other languages (VB should be a no-brainer, but I also intend to add support for Ruby and Python via Microsoft’s DLR at some point)
  • Better code completion (it is quite limited at the moment)
  • Support for other platforms (yes, this will probably require moving away from WPF and the DevExpress controls… but for now, they look cool)
  • On the off chance other people actually download and use this thing… whatever features other people want!

Oh, and if you look at the code (which is open source)… have mercy! It is kind of atrocious (shame on me, but I wasn’t too interested in doing TDD or anything on this… I know, I know, when will I learn?).

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