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"When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice".--William James
For 11 chapters, I have shown you how to develop various features in an add-in. You have seen code manipulation, control manipulation, window manipulation, and how to trap and respond to events that are raised in the IDE. In each subsequent chapter since Chapter 1, you have added some new feature that illustrated the subject described in that respective chapter. As you think back over all that has been covered, you may be wondering how to put all that you have learned together into one useful add-in. That is the purpose of this chapter.
In this chapter you'll create what I believe to be the best user interface (UI). In Chapter 7, I introduced several different methods for creating a UI, but I did not tell you which one I personally prefer. You'll draw on one of the methodologies that I've already shown you and introduce an additional feature that will make the UI truly appear to be part of the IDE.
You will incorporate most of the technology that you have explored and the features that you have developed into a new add-in. Additionally, I introduce new features that use the technology and methods I have shown you. This should give you seed thoughts for coming up with ideas of your own for features that you may develop in the future.
You will walk through the creation of a simple UserControl. Although this book is not on the subject of UserControls, I want to use one on the About box of the add-in for this chapter. Therefore, you will build a very simple UserControl so that you can see how easy the process is in Visual Basic .NET.
Where applicable and feasible, you will make the add-in work for any of the three currently installed .NET languages: Visual Basic, Visual C#, and Visual C++.
In addition to providing many features for the developer to use proactively, you will incorporate IDE event handling, described in Chapter 11, to implement the reminder features developed there. You will be adding new functionality in this area also.
Finally, you will attempt to modularize this new add-in and organize the code into classes that will promote ease of maintenance and enhancement in the future. Until this point, you have not been too concerned about that because you were covering new ground in each subsequent chapter. In this chapter you will use objects that you have already seen to build the final add-in of this book.
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