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Managing Options in ReSharper and CodeRush

In our August issue, we reviewed JetBrains ReSharper and Developer Express CodeRush (Two Productivity Tools for Visual Studio 2010). Today's I'll look into dealing with one of the quirks of these useful tools.

Both ResSharper and CodeRush have their very own Options dialogs, separate from Visual Studio's Tools | Options dialog. There's a reason for this: both have an enormous set of options that you can use to customize the behavior of the tools. While you may normally be the kind of person who just accepts the default settings for your tools, getting to know these options can be useful if you find that, after installing one of these add-ins, Visual Studio gets sluggish in its response time.

Any Add-In for Visual Studio has the danger of impacting performance. And Add-Ins like ReSharper or CodeRush are especially prone to slowing down Visual Studio because they both, effectively, run in the background all the time, analyzing code and keeping up with your changes. If you're considering using either of these two tools you should first make sure that your computer can comfortably run Visual Studio.

However, if you want the benefits of these add-ins -- and they're worth having -- and you find that Visual Studio is getting sluggish, you do have the Options dialog. One option is to try turning off some of the tools' features in their respective Options dialogs. The first choice for improving performance is to turn off the code analysis tools, if you're willing do without them, of course.

But you don't necessarily have to decide which features you're willing to do without. On occasion, I've found that I can speed up performance just by giving the tools a little more time to respond. In Resharper, for instance, delaying the time that ReSharper takes before displaying its enhanced IntelliSense lists seemed to give me improved performance on an underpowered computer.

It's also worth keeping up to date. ReSharper released an update on July 7th that, among other things, addressed some performance problems. DevExpress released an update for many of its products on August 14, including one for CodeRush.

Some things can't be helped though: Multiple Add-ins can have... interesting... interactions. It's not impossible that add-ins can conflict and you'll have to decide which one you'll keep and which one you'll turn off.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 08/19/2010

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