Virtual Earth JavaScript Intellisense Helper

Creating Microsoft Virtual Earth mashups and applications just got a whole lot easier. A group of 11 developers in the Code Plex community teamed up and in just 4 days produced a JavaScript library that generates Intellisense for the Microsoft Virtual Earth 6.0 AJAX library. This new library is being made available through the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) out on CodePlex, Microsoft’s open source project hosting website and comes complete with a sample project to host it so you can give it a test drive yourself. Also be sure to stay tuned to the project site itself for updates to this project.

Ok, so this is so money and you don’t even know it. Since the release of Virtual Earth I haven’t been using Visual Studio all that much (yes, that team is hating me right now); however, with the release of Visual Studio 2008 with JavaScript Intellisense things just got interesting. No more Notepad for me. Yes, I’m old skool.

For those who don’t know, Intellisense provides available methods within a class as you type in the editor with documentation about what the method does. Here’s a sample of me accessing the VEMap methods:

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Intellisense also provides you with documentation of the parameters available within a method. So, once you select a method you can see what parameters you’ll need to complete as you’re typing the respective method. Below, I can see all of the arguments in the VEMap.LoadMap method:

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I downloaded the .zip file, extracted the .sln, started editing and BAM! it was just working. So slick. VS, I’m back and I missed you. At the very minimum, all you need are 4 things:

  1. The VeJavaScriptIntellisenseHelper.js file
  2. The References folder containing all of the .js files for the helper
  3. A reference from your .js file to the VeJavaScriptIntellisenseHelper.js file and
  4. A reference from your .aspx page to your .js file

I announced this at MIX as being publicly available on CodePlex. It is awesome, so if you’re a JavaScript user and never had a use for Visual Studio, well, your excuses are now gone. And, yes, this works in VS Web Developer too.

CP