What happened to “release early, release often”?

Since the project started, we’ve been releasing pretty much every 100 commits or so – actually more than that, given 13 releases in 1,003 commits. Our “next” branch stands at 1,375 commits at the time of this writing, and the next release will likely be well beyond the 1,400th commit. What’s up, duck?

Quite a lot actually.

Architecture changes

Since the 1.3 pre-release, we have moved the unit testing feature into its own project. This means starting with Rubberduck 1.4, upgrading your Rubberduck will not break any references because the .tlb will remain the same unless there are changes to the unit testing feature.

Localization

We’ve been working on extracting every single hard-coded UI string literal into resource files, and proceeded to translate them. The French translation is pretty much done, and we’ve been promised a Swedish translation. Surely more translations will be added in future versions. Rubberduck’s UI language will be selectable from a dropdown in the options dialog.

Grammar is fun

Our ANTLR grammar has undergone yet another little tune-up, which fixes a number of annoyances. And when our grammar fails, we’re now going to be showing you exactly where and why it’s failing, and you can double-click the error to navigate there.

Navigation

We already had the Code Explorer doing a great job with navigation, but v1.4 takes navigation totally elsewhere, by letting you locate all references to any identifier (including built-in constants, enums, functions, modules, etc.), and all implementations of any implemented interface class – this latter functionality is an awesome tool if you’re into coding against abstractions… which happens to be a great way to write unit-testable code.

But that’s not all: a find symbol functionality lets you search for literally anything, from variables to constants, procedures, modules, function parameters, …even subroutine line labels.

UX

Parsing a relatively large VBA project, and resolving all rerences to all identifiers, can take a little while. Instead of just freezing up the IDE while Rubberduck is working on that, we’re now going to be displaying a little progress dialog, showing you exactly what’s going on – and we only parse and resolve references for modules that have been modified since the last parse, so we’re doing everything we can to keep that waiting time to a minimum.

Moreover, the Code Explorer and Code Inspections now work on a background thread, so you can continue browsing your project while Rubberduck is parsing/resolving/inspecting – keep in mind though, that if you modify the code while it’s being inspected, you’re likely to get stale inspection results… and that’s not a bug.

Refactorings

1.3 introduced a rename refactoring, on top of the extract method introduced in 1.2; well guess what, 1.4 fixes a number of issues in both, and introduces brand new ones! You will be able to reorder parameters in any procedure, and automatically update all usages; or remove a parameter in a signature, and automatically update all call sites.

Source Control

It’s almost done. Most of it is already committed to our [next] branch, so 1.4 isn’t shipping without this feature – GitHub integrated source control for VBA. No, it’s not a joke.


So yeah, there’s a lot going on, and it’s all coming in the next release of Rubberduck. And more awesome features are coming up for 2.0; follow us on Twitter, and stay tuned!

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