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ViEmu/VS 2.2.8 Released – Better Resharper support!

I’ve just built & uploaded new version 2.2.8 of ViEmu for Visual Studio. Here is the link to download it, it will auto-upgrade any previous installation:

It brings two minor fixes and a hopefully very useful improvement:

  • It works better with LUA files when Visual Assist is present
  • It fixes the behavior of the motion “100%”, and  makes “{n}%” behave exactly like vim
  • And most importantly, it improves compatibility with Resharper. Read on if you use both ViEmu & R#!

The main complaint about ViEmu and Resharper interaction has always been what ViEmu does when using one of Resharper’s inline-mode features. When you issue a refactoring like “Rename” on a local variable, use one of the “Create class” / “Create method” / … refactorings, or when using a live template (type “for<tab>”), R# enters a special mode where you can edit the name of the highlighted element, while it changes all other instances too.

This is the problem: Resharper doesn’t know squat about ViEmu, insert and normal modes, and what have you. So ViEmu can stay in normal mode, while it should enter insert mode. Worse yet, since ViEmu auto-enters visual mode when it detects some external action has selected a range, it could enter visual mode, and ESC wouldn’t let you exit it (it would exit the inline mode).

Since as early as Resharper 1.x (around November 2005), I received reports of this from users of both Resharper and ViEmu, and added some provisions to ViEmu. The main way I did it was to detect and intercept the relevant R# commands (“Resharper.Rename”, etc…) and auto-enter insert mode. This was an acceptable fix sometimes, but it featured two shortcomings:

  • I had to add new commands to this code with each new version of Resharper, especially as the JetBrains guys are keen on renaming the commands in every release (“ResharperAddIn2003.Rename”, “ResharperAddIn2005.Rename”, “ResharperAddIn25.Rename”, “Resharper.Resharper_Rename”, etc…). This always had me on the losing end of the arms-race with them!
  • Some commands don’t use the VS mechanism (the red light bulb, etc…), so I couldn’t intercept them!
  • And finally, I couldn’t detect the moment the special “R#-inline” mode was exit! This meant you’d have to press Return to accept the changes, and then Esc to exit insert mode.

Well, finally I have implemented a new method that, although less elegant design-wise, works much better. I had tried this a few months earlier but was unable to make it work, but I finally got it to work properly. What I did? Since Resharper highlights in a special color the identifier you are editing, and since it uses VS’s marker mechanism to highlight it, I can check continuously whether any part of the buffer is highlighted with that marker (this is allowed by VS’s extensibility API). When I detect this marker is present, I make ViEmu auto-enter insert mode. The first great nice thing is that this supports *all* commands that use this mode, in all versions of R#, and in *all* versions of Visual Studio. And the second great nice thing is that I can detect when the mode is exit (no more  marker), and return to normal mode.  Hurrah!

I’d be happy to hear about how the R# interactions work for you with the new system! I hope to make ViEmu<->Resharper interaction still better in the future.

And there have been a couple of nice blog rants about ViEmu lately, one by Kyle Baley about R# interaction and another one by Tomas Restrepo about the actually very confusing keybinding configuration dialog. I’m hoping I can find time next week to respond to both, and some more time shortly to fix the actual underlying issues.

Finally, just wanted to let you know that I’m now neck-deep in Twitter, you can reach me there as @jonbho. It’s great to be in touch with so many customers and people whose thoughts I value!

I’m actually going to do my first release announcement via Twitter in a moment 🙂

PS:  This is actually the same interim 2.2.7.R#2 version I posted on the forums (at the bottom of, re-tagged 2.2.8. It’s been tested for a few days.

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