Free trial of Mole 2010

March 6, 2011

Due to popular demand, we have published a free trial of Mole 2010. You can learn more about it and get the bits here: http://www.molosoft.com/demo/

Happy debugging!

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Using Mole 2010 to compare objects

March 6, 2011

One of the most interesting features in Mole 2010 is the ability to compare objects. The tool enables you to effectively “diff” the property and field values of two different objects or of the same object at various points in time. If you are comparing two different objects they do not even need to be of the same type.

This feature makes it easy to track changes to an object while your application is running. It also makes it easy to detect differences (or lack of differences) between any two objects in your application. To my knowledge, Visual Studio 2010 does not natively support this type of debugging capability.

Here’s a quick walkthrough, showing how to leverage this feature in Mole 2010.

Suppose we have an application that shows information about people, and lets the user edit that information using a data entry screen. One day while debugging a problem with that data entry screen we open up Mole 2010 and navigate to a Person object that will be edited. 



Since we are about to test the data entry screen, we capture the state of the Person object and save it to disk. 



Next we close Mole 2010, continue executing the application, edit some values on the Person object, click a Save button, hit a breakpoint and fire up Mole 2010 again. After navigating back to the Person object we just finished editing, the MoloScope contains the object’s updated values. 



At this point, it is easy to verify whether the changes we made were applied to the Person object or not. Simply load up the file we saved moments ago and compare the property and field values in it against the values in the MoloScope. 



After loading up the comparison file, we can visually diff the two objects to see what changed and what didn’t change. The properties/fields whose value changed are bold and red, with a tooltip that displays the value loaded from the file. 



In case you want to see all of the changed properties at a glance, sort on the Value column by clicking the column header. When objects are being compared in the MoloScope, sorting the Value column will bring all of the changed items to the top of the list. 



As I mentioned earlier, this feature can be used to compare any two objects, regardless of their data types. The properties and fields are compared by name. Whatever properties/fields that exist in the MoloScope will be compared against whatever values are in the data file. 

You can learn more about the MoloScope here: http://www.molosoft.com/docs/moloscope/

You can buy a copy of Mole 2010 here: http://www.molosoft.com/purchase/


Using Mole 2010 to analyze collections

March 3, 2011

When debugging an application it is often necessary to review and analyze the data stored by .NET objects in a collection. Using the standard debugging tools in Visual Studio 2010 to inspect large amounts of in-memory data can be a time consuming task, especially if you need to look at values stored by multiple objects in a collection.

For example, if you wanted to look at each Person object in a collection, you might use Visual Studio’s Watch window to inspect each Person object one at a time. You would have to expand each collection item in order to view its properties, and there is no easy way to work with that data outside of Visual Studio.

Wouldn’t it be better if you could see the properties of all objects in a collection at a glance?

Or better yet, what if you could export the collection to Excel and analyze it there instead?

Mole 2010 makes it much easier to review and analyze your application’s data. It allows you to view all objects in a collection of data at one time. It also enables you to export that data to a file on disk. When you export a collection of objects to disk, it is saved as a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file that can be opened in Excel.

Learn more about viewing and exporting collections with Mole 2010 here: http://www.molosoft.com/docs/moling-collections/

You can buy a copy of Mole 2010 here: http://www.molosoft.com/purchase/

 

 


Mole 2010 has shipped

February 22, 2011

A few years ago, some friends and I released Mole for Visual Studio 2008. Mole is a debugger visualizer that runs in Visual Studio while you are debugging .NET applications. Our goal was to make debugging easier, which Mole accomplishes because it provides a comprehensive view into all of your application’s data objects. Although the tool was created as a pet project to help us with our own work, it became quite popular, and has been downloaded more than 100,000 times (that we know about).

When Visual Studio 2010 was released, we had to make a decision. Either we could just upgrade the old Mole so that it works in Visual Studio 2010 (which some people have already done), or we could take the plunge and make Mole all that we knew it could be. We decided to take the plunge…

After a year of dedication and hard work, we are thrilled to announce that our new version of Mole is now available! Mole 2010 is the next generation of the Mole debugger visualizer, built to work in Visual Studio 2010. The new version of Mole makes the previous one look like a half-baked prototype.

Mole 2010 has many useful new features, bug fixes, and performance optimizations. Not only is it a more powerful tool, but it also looks much better and is easier to use. We rewrote the entire user interface in WPF, and even brought a professional Visual Designer onto the team to make sure that Mole looks as great as it works.

Our hard work resulted in a useful, powerful, and elegant debugging tool. We are extremely proud of Mole 2010.

We are selling Mole 2010 for $49.99 from our company Web site: www.molosoft.com

A free demo version of Mole 2010 is available here.

If you are a .NET developer using Visual Studio 2010, check it out!


My alter ego published an iPhone app

November 22, 2010

I have been learning about iPhone development over the past few months, and enjoying it very much. The culmination of my learning so far is an app called Two Letters which is now available in the App Store. It’s a game that helps you learn and memorize the two-letter words used in Scrabble and crossword puzzles.

Two Letters can be found here: http://itunes.apple.com/app/two-letters/id404274803

Have a great day!


Free MVVM Guidance in Visual Studio

November 12, 2010

If you are curious about the Model-View-ViewModel pattern, or would like to have handy reference material at your fingertips, look no further.  My good friend Karl Shifflett has just released an amazingly comprehensive set of MVVM training material, called “In the Box.” Why is it called that? Because all of the guidance is displayed in Visual Studio!  If the topic you’re reading references some code or XAML file, you simply click on the link and that file opens.  Pretty slick!

You can visit this project’s home page here.  Enjoy!


The future of WPF

October 28, 2010

Pete Brown, a WPF Program Manager at Microsoft, recently posted an interesting collection of facts and thoughts about the future of WPF. With all the hype that Silverlight has, and now HTML 5, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that WPF is still growing and evolving.  Granted, the platform hit maturity years ago, so the enhancements we are seeing now don’t have the same flash and appeal as a newer technology’s vNext features.  But, in my mind, that is a good thing.  Hype is just marketing in effect.  When I am developing an application I would rather have a stable, robust, mature technology at my disposal.

Long live WPF!