Leave VS 2010 theme (and the theme editor extension) as an option
When you came out with the VS 2010 theme, you said that it allowed you to focus on the code windows. The benefit that the theme provided hasn't changed, so please allow that theme to stay in VS 11, as well as the "Color Theme Editor" extension by Matthew Johnson (http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/20cd93a2-c435-4d00-a797-499f16402378) so those that want to tweak or even choose another theme can do so. Please don't force us to use a "metro style" theme (even if you add some color). You worked so hard to create a good looking 2010 theme, don't throw it away...that would be such a waste.
If you allow VS 11 to not look Metro, it doesn't mean your new Metro apps will lose traction. If you feel you have to make Studio look Metro to persuade Metro app development, then that would mean there's a self-confidence problem.
Since the VS11 shell is WPF like VS2010 was, please include VS2010's UI theme as a theme for VS11. The theme in VS2010 was on target, very well done, eye appealing, it was not distracting either. Many applications have been themed to look like VS2010 as well around the world (MySQL CE WorkBench, FaultTrack, and many tools). I like the light and dark themes, but I like VS2010 theme better.
VS11 is a complete eye sore Bring the Colors Back Now!!
Before it's too late.
There is no reason to make the sounding contents dull to make developers concentrate on the central content page. Bring back the Chrome!!
Most of my time is spent coding C++ in the VC environment. I know where my code content is, it takes up over 75% of the screen real estate! There is no need to gray out the surroundings.
I am coding! Not animating a character or creating a GUI interface by drawing (in only that case this gray style may be appropriate)
When writing code the number one most important thing to me is navigating between classes, source files, member functions, attributes, directory structures, breakpoints and debugging watch windows etc... And I want to see them quickly (via color cues)
Theses color cues are hardwired into my brain and everyone else's brain fine tuned over 5000000+ years of evolution.
Way to undo all of that human evolutionary advantage for coding in VS11 !!! Microsoft!
I thought I had you pegged as a great company this iteration of VS11 gives me pause on that note...
As the feedback to the VS11 beta screenshots demonstrated, many developers are passionate about the feel of the IDE they use. It is probably a given that no one style will make everybody happy.
However, there's a solution - allow loadable, shareable themes. While VS2010 has this to some extent with the theme editor addin, there are many aspects of the UI that are not stylable.
The UI for VisualStudio should support alterations to all visual aspects through some method. While support for theme creating, editing, importing, and exporting would be appreciated, full themability exposed via an API would allow this niche to be filled via an addin.
Note that any aspect of the UI that can not be recolored or redrawn via a theme will detract from the usefullness of styling (for example, the text editor window scrollbars in visual studio 2010)
I’m going to mark this as completed so you can get your votes back – note that Matthew Johnson has released a VS 2012 color theme editor as you requested (link below) – I know it doesn’t have everything you requested in this idea, but hopefully this helps to address your feedback.
Doug Turnure – Visual Studio PM
radioman . lt commented
..**** the visual studio, it's time to permanently switch to linux
B Fenske commented
I've also found VS11 to be significantly more clumsy to use than 2010. I've been using MS products since 1986 and this is definitely the biggest step backward in tooling UI that I have seen. I really hope that by now you have gotten the message and have people working to provide a theme feature and a nice 2010-like theme available during Setup. -Brian
Like others, I have made an effort to use VS 2012 RC, but just can't bring myself to do it any more. It is like going from a Ferrari to a Lada. Everything is so SLOW as you have to constantly try and find what you are looking for in a see of grey. Solution Explorer is the worst...
Really hope the prolonged silence from MS recently means that they have relented and added a VS2010 theme. I think this product will bomb badly if they don't, and they will lose yet more disillusioned developers to Apple, Google etc. I certainly will be in no rush to use it, there are no "must have" features that necessitate moving off 2010.
I think the damage is done though, as a long-time MS developer I am seriously questioning my loyalty if this is the way they treat their customers, with utter contempt. Please don't patronise us by trying to justify this abortion of a UI or claim that it is an improvement... That is just insulting my intelligence. If this UI remains it will go down in history alongside Windows ME, Microsoft Bob, Vista etc as a major failure. In fact, I never had a problem with Vista or ME, but this is just utter **** and will probably be used in University courses of the future as an example of how NOT to do UX.
Man na commented
I tried very hard to use 2012 RC, but I wound up going back to 2010. The lack of contrast in the user interface made it difficult to find the functionality I needed. I even tried switching themes and nothing seemed to work. Sadly, I think it was a very promising release, but I really need to get work done
Martin Kirk commented
DIE METRO... DIE... EVIL BLAST FROM THE PAST...
/sobs in dispair
Productivity should be the number one priority. VS 2010 theme is MUCH more productive than VS 2012 RC as the icons are quicker to find when there are many of them.
When I want to be fully immersed in code only I get rid of the panels.
This is how it should be. Full stop, don't just listen to your designer team that has NO idea of what programmers need. Actually please fire a few of them and concentrate on IDE optimization and speed. For once listen to your community.
I will never adopt VS 2012 in my company without a productive theme like the one used in VS 2010.
Ed: I didn't even realize that until your post. It's not much but I found this: http://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/details/747648/no-windows-forms-aplication-project-template-for-c-in-vs2012-rc-ultimate
I guess Microsoft is trying to phase out VC++ from its VS, how can the most importance feature of VS, Windows Form the main reason most people use VS, be left out of VS2012.
Awaiting text-mode version of VS. (Monochrome green on black, of course). It is more "less distractive".
B Fenske commented
Why not just take it to it's logical conclusion: Black background with all lines and text in phosphor green? Now *that* would be retro! Wait, "metro"? I thought you said "retro"... In that case it looks pretty lame.
Steven Roehl commented
Previous version of VS that I purchased was 2005. I liked that UI. This one is plain gross. I won't buy it. I won't use it. This isn't Windows.
Claus Bernth commented
Development tools are all about productivity, there is *no* added value, whatsoever, in learning another GUI so please, please, please let every user choose between the VS2010 theme, and whatever fancy design you decide to ship as default.
Andrew Buchanan commented
If you look at the new metro-style management web interface for windows azure, I think it's nice. It's clean, functional, has color :-), etc.
And the sample apps that come with windows 8 don't look like this either. It's a mystery to me where the light theme even came from....
Andrew Buchanan commented
Yeah it looks terrible.
The icons in solution explorer are plain awful with no color.
The menu's are all caps. And there is no visual separator between rows in the menu. It doesn't even look like metro to me. the metro start screen has color. this is early 90ish. or something.
I much prefer vs 2010 or 2008 styling. I'm not even a metro hater, I like win8 so far, but this is not good.
Please add a normal looking theme with some color for those of us who like life.
I liked the look of VS2008, hated the look of VS2010 (too dark and a lot of the pop out tabs didn't have clear lines showing where the boxes ended) and am somewhat stuck in the it's ok for VS2012 (with the exception of all caps anywhere, it's just hard to read).
Or sell that product with a rope and a chair please ....
Pointy haired boss: "Make icons gray like Chrome"
Designer: "Icons are too small to be gray"
Pointy haired boss: "talk to developer"
Developer: "All icons are 16x16..., too much legacy code..., not enough time..."
=== S U C K A G E ===
Please make the UI less depressingly gray and boring. I don't know what new-age design guidelines led to this abomination, but give us the ability to keep our VS 2010 appearance. Done. The end. Everyone's happy.