More on viewing datasets in VS2005 (and VS2003)

Ian Griffiths couldn’t understand why I was having a party because I could drill all the way into a dataset in VS2005 without having to retype each item in the quick watch window. eg. if I want to see the metadata for each table in a dataset, I currently have to explicilty enter dataset.tables(mytablename) rather than just starting with dataset and continue to open up the collections.

He sent me a screenshot from VS2003 showing the ability to drill a lot further than I have ever seen. I emailed him back and asked if he was pulling my leg. But in fact, he discovered that the debugger shows different information in C# than it does in VB! (This is in 2003). Ian explains further about this in his weblog.

Even though VS2005 now brings more drill-down functionality to both C# and VB, Ian and I both agree (along with Kathleen Dollard) that this is still not what we want to see when we debug a dataset. There is WAY TOO MUCH information in there. This is where the visualizers will come in. Let me look at the dataset or datatable in a way that I can just see metadata (and values) related to the data itself. SHow me the tables, the table names, the columns, the column names, the rows, the data in the rows (by column name please) and then maybe the state of the rows. Things like that. Or I can choose to see every single property exposed by the object. I know there are more default visualizers coming, so maybe this will be one of them. Otherwise, I’ll just have to write one, won’t I?

I had a good chuckle at Ian’s reference to “the VB.NET lifestyle”!

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