GotDotNet.com is a great source for all kinds of .NET and Visual Studio 2005 related code, information, and resources and is worthwhile for developers to get to know in its own right. But it's also the home for Visual Studio Powertoys, a collection of community inspired and developed widgets that developers often find not only interesting and fun, but also occasionally downright helpful and useful in their work.
If you visit the Visual Studio 2005 Core Community Powertoys home page, you'll find pointers to a single pilot project available there -- namely, the HelpTopicOnlineFinder. This handy little widget searches for user-entered help topics online, and is easy to use to determine if online changes to a given help topic have been posted recently. It's something that any application with a built-in help system can benefit from including, and represents the kind of thing that makes a very good Powertoy indeed.
Other links outside the site point to some equally great Powertoys, including the following:
For many more such goodies, check out the Powertoys Weblog at MSDN. Now that Visual Studio 2005 has been officially released, look some for these Powertoys (and more) to be "officially released" on the MSDN Web site as well. It's a sure-fire way to find great, free code widgets for the Visual Studio .NET environment! Definitely worth spending some time digging into, anyway.
Ed Tittel is a writer and trainer whose interests include XML and development topics, along with IT Certification and information security. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, questions, or suggested topics or tools to review. Cool tools rule!
This was first published in December 2005