Announcing MZ-Tools 6.0 for VS.NET

Wow, it’s has been more than a month since I wrote my last post! No, no vacations yet 🙁 There was a good reason: I have spent the last weeks doing heavy work around my MZ-Tools add-in:

  • Using the nothing short of wonderful Help and Manual product I have given up HTML Help Workshop and now I am using a professional tool to make the HTML Help (.chm) files of MZ-Tools.
  • As a plus, that tool allows me to generate online help that is now on the web site.
  • I got the help reviewed by Omer Kircher, an American customer of mine, since English is not my native language. Omer has done a wonderful job pinpointing even the smallest errors. He is the author of, likely the most powerful unit converter that you’ll ever see. Now I can know how many square meters is a “Spanish (area) fanega” 🙂 (my grandfathers used that unit to measure the fields in their village).
  • I captured more modern (that is, Windows Vista) screenshoots for the help files.
  • I have converted the MZ-Tools web site from pure HTML to ASP.NET 2.0 (XHTML) with Visual Studio 2005 (bye bye FrontPage). I also ensured that the old links still work, specially for the MZ-Tools articles, very popular.
  • I am now using Perforce as my source control tool.
  • I created a tool to perform automatic MZ-Tools builds (bye bye .bat script file). I know that there are visual tools out there to do this but I am much more satisfied with my custom tool.
  • I created a new customer database much more flexible to add new releases and upgrades.
  • And finally, I created a new MZ-Tools 6.0 version that adds no new features (that will be in the future MZ-Tools 7.0) but targets all VS.NET IDEs from 2002, including Visual Studio 2008 (aka “Orcas”)!. So, the new setup (I had to create a new setup, of course) detects your installed VS.NET IDEs and allows you to select which ones to install MZ-Tools for. So, there is no more “MZ-Tools 4.0 for VS.NET 2002/2003” and “MZ-Tools 2005 for VS 2005”, just “MZ-Tools 6.0 for VS.NET”. As a good side effect now MZ-Tools uses the same XML configuration files for all the IDEs. Best of all, this upgrade is free for all MZ-Tools customers.

I have still work to do on the web site during the next weeks (animated pictures to show features, etc.) but hopefully I will have time to write two new articles about add-ins with things that I have learned these weeks. Stay tuned!

Did I mention that I will take soon some days off for a well deserved vacation? 🙂

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