Today I found out about a new resource from Microsoft, Visual Studio Gallery, that will host a directory of Visual Studio Add-ins. Ken Levy is the Microsoft manager for the project and made the official announcement about it earlier today. I like Add-Ins for the most part because they provide a much needed customizable aspect of Visual Studio. Mostly they give us some great productivity tools like CodeRush and Refactor. I also like the fact that my Bug tracking tool has a Visual Studio Add-In version. It makes things so much easier for me.
One thing I have found that some, well many of the free ones tend to eventually cause Visual Studio to either get really slow of just plain crash. I hope this new site helps us navigate through those issues. I look forward to some great tools. Scott Hanselman has a great list of must have add-ins on his ultimate tool list. I foresee his list of tools growing as the Add-on community if fostered through sites like the gallery. I also see problematic Add-ins being a thing of the past.
Here is part of the announcement from Ken Levy:
This new web site will a resource center for all Visual Studio extensions. It will include everything from free VS PowerToys like tools to VSIP products. Any developer will be able to post information and a link for their Visual Studio extensions. Our goal for this website is to give developers an easy way to find extensions for Visual Studio. Visual Studio extensions might include products and free applications in the form of macros, add-ins, packages, project templates, or other types of extensions to Visual Studio that are packaged up and ready to use by the developer to improve their development experience.
We would like to invite you to publish your VS extension(s) on the Visual Studio Gallery. You can just go to the website, click on the 'My Account' link near the top right and sign in with your Windows Live ID to start the process. We currently do not host the actual extensions, so you can simply link to where your extension is currently hosted.
I have already downloaded a Post-It note add-in. It allows you to store notes for each code file in your application and it has a really neat User Interface to boot! I hope to see the Visual Studio Gallery gain in popularity. It seems to be one of a growing trend of great resources Microsoft is managing for the developer community, www.codeplex.com.