One of my most used features in Visual Studio over the last couple of versions has been the //TODO comment (apart from things like the code editor, the debugger etc before some smart arse points that out). Due to my over-enthusiastic social life as a youth I am not blessed with a great deal of memory, I mean in my brain as opposed to my computers where I have plenty. Consequently I find it difficult to keep track of everything I plan to do while I am writing code. I suppose, amnesiac or not, we all do when the classes start mounting up and the solutions swell.
So, for me the //TODO comment is a life saver, at least, it could be a life saver if the darned thing worked properly. I am sure it works as intended but I fail to see why the TODO Team or whoever was responsible for it limited the task list to only show TODO comments from currently open files. Not to say that this isn’t useful but, as the files are open, I could probably find those myself in a couple more seconds than it takes me to look at the task list. Valuable workflow time I agree but not as valuable as the time I lose on all of the TODOs that lurk unnoticed in all the unopen files.
Being a bit of a Flash and more recently Flex noodler I was pleased to find the TODO plug-in for FlexBuilder/Eclipse. Downloaded… Installed… works like a treat. As you add a TODO it turns up in your task list and there it stays until the TODO is TODONE. Why can’t we have this in Visual Studio?
To that end I rustled up a quick console app that you stick in the root folder of your project/solution and run. Tell it whether you are looking for .as (I did this before I started with Flex and its plug-in) or .cs files and it recurses through your folders and files and gives you a list of all your TODOs and where they are. It also counts the lines of code, excluding comments and lines that only have a curly brace on while it is at it. Am I particularly proud of myself? Well no, it is a stupid application with about ten lines of code in it but I was desperate to actually have something codesque on my blog and it was the only thing I could think of. It has also been really handy for keeping track of my TODOs so perhaps I’m being a bit harsh on myself there. I haven’t posted the source because there isn’t anything exciting in it, apart from a keylogger and a couple of trojans, but if any of my regular readers, sorry, if either of my regular readers would like it then let me know…
On that note, how the hell do you attract traffic to your blog? I have tried a couple of things with varying degress of success but am yet to pass 40 readers… Maybe that is another post.