Back in 1996 Microsoft introduced an interactive help system named IntelliSense that greatly improved developers productivity by eliminating the need to use huge reference manuals or switch between online help and the coding windows.
Three years later Ice Tea Group adopted this technology and deployed their product IntelliSal to be used in Gupta Team Developer.
Now Microsoft is about to deploy a new but related technology in their upcoming Visual Studio 2013 release that was demonstrated a few days ago at their launch shows.
The work title is "Code information indicators" but it´s probably not it´s final feature name.
It is another way of displaying useful information to the developer depending on the code that he is currently working on.
VS 2013 will ship with five ready to use indicators. One for example is displaying the last test results of the method you are currently working on. These results have been automatically collected by VS during the last build if appropriate tests are defined and can now easily be reviewed without any additional navigation.
Other indicators show you where your method is referenced or help you easily identify complex code that might need some reworking. In addition to those indicators shipping right out of the box you will be enabled to write your own custom code indicators or use code indicators created by 3rd parties.
It´s going to be very interesting to see what other developers will come up with and share among the Microsoft user community.
The upcoming 2013 release of Visual Studio will include quite some more interesting features that will be covered in a separate blog entry that will be available shortly.