At 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 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.
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:
- 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.
When Web Essentials was ported to Visual Studio 2013, a lot of features were removed. This was because many of those features were built directly in to Visual Studio 2013 and therefore no longer needed support by Web Essentials. That’s not exactly the reason why the support for TypeScript was removed.
TypeScript has been evolving at a steady pace since it was released in the fall of 2012. It’s now up to version 0.9 and that means that the final 1.0 release is getting closer. The Compile on save feature introduced by Web Essentials 2012 has now been rolled into TypeScript and the feature will be broadened in the months to come. That means Compile on save will be natively available for more project types, including ASP.NET projects, in the foreseeable future. If both Web Essentials and the TypeScript tooling provide the exact same functionality, there is bound to be conflicts.
You might remember what happened when LESS and CoffeeScript tooling was moved from Web Essentials into Visual Studio 2012 Update 2. Unless you updated both at the same time, Visual Studio would crash. The Visual Studio Web Team had to write a blog post about it and even ScottGu mentioned it. It was bad. Really bad.
In order not to repeat the same mistake twice, we’ve opted for not having TypeScript tooling in Web Essentials. That’s not to say we’ll never add extra TypeScript features in Web Essentials, but it means that we are doing what we can to avoid any collisions between the two toolsets.
As a TypeScript user you should take this as a positive thing, because it means that TypeScript is getting closer to its final 1.0 release and it will have some of the features you used to rely on Web Essentials to provide.