Web EssentialsAt the //build/ conference when Visual Studio 2013 Preview was released, I open sourced Web Essentials 2013 live on stage. So far that has been really successful with 110 pull requests sent by the community. And Visual Studio 2013 is not even out in its final version yet!

Now it’s time to open source Web Essentials 2012 as well. It has taken a little longer than I wanted, but now it’s finally done and published.

The code

The source code for both Web Essentials 2012 and 2013 is on GitHub.

Web Essentials 2012

Web Essentials 2013

Remember to also check out my latest project SideWaffle that I’m building with Sayed and the ASP.NET/Visual Studio community.


I’ve been recording a quite a few videos lately for showing off new features in Visual Studio and Web Essentials. Some videos also shows prototypes of what is coming down the line. The question is  whether or not videos are the right format for this.

Personally, I prefer short demo videos over written articles or blog posts. There’s just something about seeing how a feature works instead of reading about it. However, there are situations where watching videos aren’t an option. For instance when on the bus with no headphones. Written articles works better for me in those situations.

I like doing videos and I’m considering doing more of them on a regular basis. The question is, are videos worthwhile or is a blog post better?

Check out my Youtube channel to get an idea of how I’d like to do the videos going forward.


Here’s a feature that you might have missed in Visual Studio 2013 RC. It’s one of my absolute favorite features because it solves a very common problem that I often run into when building websites.

I think it’s better to just show you what this feature does instead of writing about it. Check out the video below.

This means you no longer have to manually add references to any JavaScript file in order to get Intellisense for that file. When auto-sync is enabled in /Scripts/_references.js then you will always have Intellisense for all your .js files in your project no matter where they are located.


A little while back, Sayed Hashimi and I built the Web Developer Checklist Chrome extension as a companion for the website webdevchecklist.com. We built the extension in Visual Studio and quickly realized that we could optimize the development experience substantially by tweaking the build process along with other details.

From that experience, we now have a project template that contains all you need for writing a Chrome extension and it is available for download.

The project template gives you the following features:

  • JavaScript Intellisense for the Google Chrome object model
  • Folder structure suited for production ready Google Chrome extensions
  • MSBuild integration to produce .zip files to upload to the Google Web Store

It’s all explained in this short demo video.

As always, this project template is open source on GitHub.

Download the Visual Studio project template

Here’s a Channel9 video where Sayed explains how he modified the build system for this template if you’re interested. It starts around 13 minutes in.