News

Clippy the Office Assistant Reborn as Visual Studio Extension

Microsoft's Greg Duncan noted the return of Clippy, the infamous cartoon paperclip that served as an assistant for users of the Office productivity software suite many years ago.

"Eros Fratini recently released an open source v0.1 extension that brings Clippy to Visual Studio," Duncan said in his Coding4Fun blog this week. "Love Clippy or hate him, you have to admit Eros' project is kind of cool."

The ClippyVS extension, available in the Visual Studio Marketplace, is described as "an extension for Visual Studio that resuscitates Clippy in (almost) all his glory. It adds our hero inside the IDE and it will react to some of your actions. You can move it around, close it and retrieve it back from the menu Tools -> Clippy VS."

Fratini thanked the developers of Clippy.JS ("Add Clippy or his friends to any website for instant nostalgia.") for the original assets of the project.

Fratini noted that his extension was still a work in progress and asked for input from developers, who complied in a series of observations and comments. Though some noted some problems with the tool, others were quite enthusiastic, considering the spotty reception to the original Clippy. As Wikipedia notes: "The program was widely reviled among users as intrusive and annoying."

However, some developers seemed to have forgotten all that. "Clippy is the greatest assistant of ALL TIME, of ALL TIME!" read one comment on the project's review page. For the record, 10 reviewers have awarded it an average rating of 3.6, on a 0-5 scale.

Planned improvements include multi-monitor support, popup messages and perhaps support in earlier versions of Visual Studio. One developer asked about VS 2013 support, but Fratini replied that he didn't have that installed, so he couldn't test it.

The ClippyVS owner has already made several tweaks to the project in response to developer feedback.

The source code is available on GitHub.

While Wikipedia noted that the original Clippy offered Office users tips on actions such as using Office wizards, searching for help, or more effectively using Office features, it's unclear what help ClippyVS will provide in the Visual Studio IDE.

ClippyVS
[Click on image for larger view.] ClippyVS (source: Eros Fratini).

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

comments powered by Disqus

Featured

  • How to Create a Machine Learning Decision Tree Classifier Using C#

    After earlier explaining how to compute disorder and split data in his exploration of machine learning decision tree classifiers, resident data scientist Dr. James McCaffrey of Microsoft Research now shows how to use the splitting and disorder code to create a working decision tree classifier.

  • Microsoft: Move from Traditional ASP.NET to 'Core' Requires 'Heavy Lifting'

    There are plenty of reasons to move traditional ASP.NET web apps -- part of the old .NET Framework -- to the new cross-platform direction, ASP.NET Core, but beware it will require some "heavy lifting," Microsoft says.

  • Purple Blue Nebula Graphic

    How to Compute Disorder for Machine Learning Decision Trees Using C#

    Using a decision tree classifier from a machine learning library is often awkward because it usually must be customized and library decision trees have many complex supporting functions, says resident data scientist Dr. James McCaffrey, so when he needs a decision tree classifier, he always creates one from scratch. Here's how.

  • Blazor's Future: gRPC Is Key

    Blazor guru Steve Sanderson detailed what Microsoft is thinking about the future of the revolutionary project that enables .NET-based web development using C# instead of JavaScript, explaining how gRPC is key, along with a new way of testing and a scheme for installable desktop apps.

  • Don't Do It All Yourself: Exploiting gRPC Well Known Types in .NET Core

    If you're creating business services that send dates and decimal data then you may be concerned that gRPC services don't support the relevant data types. Don't Panic! There are solutions. Here's how to use them.

.NET Insight

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.

Upcoming Events