I suggest you ...

Remove All Features from VS (and make them optional extensions)

The visual studio installer should basically just drop a totally bare bones version of visual studio down in a user folder (not in programs files). It should take seconds to download and a couple more seconds to install. Not this giant monolothic beast we have today full of features I will never use and wish weren't there taking up my time and adding to my confusion.

After installation, pop up the extension dialog and allow me to pick the features I want ala-carte, which will then be downloaded separately. For example, I will never use VB, I don't want it in VS at all. Make each language a separate optional feature. Getting C#, for example, would just give you Console and Class Library project types by default. If you want to make WPF apps, the templates for that would be available in a separate extension.

Also forbid any extensions to be shipped that aren't .vsix's. msi installers that are half a gig, take 20 minutes to install, require admin privs, require VS to be closed during installation and pop up console windows in the background, (windows phone SDK's I'm looking at you) are not acceptable. Make the emulators lighter weight and faster to install!

While you're at it make VS free and charge for each feature separately (or not, for most hopefully). Allow 3rd party extension makers to do the same. Since you're shipping each feature separately, do it on their own time tables, not in one epic annual drop full of surprises. Allow a user to log into VS with their microsoft account and keep track of all of the licenses they have purchased for extensions. Allow a user to have preconfigured feature sets so after they install VS clean they can easily get all of the extensions they want in a single click.

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    Justin ChaseJustin Chase shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    3 comments

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      • anonanon commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please post / blog about the usage stats for the different VS shipped tools. The editor, compiler, linker and debugger will likely be 85% of the tools used. Some of the rarely used tools could be put into an install on demand add-on.

      • Joel MirandaJoel Miranda commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I concur. For example, I have a VS 10 Pro licence, but often write code with the express edition because it's simpler and more comfortable (VS pro still has some features I cannot do without).

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