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Homing in on Final Release

May 11 is it: the final release of ISESteroids 2.0! We’ve been polishing the RC, plus again added a bunch of very cool new features.

Here’s a quick write-up of what to expect next week.

Private Fonts and Font Themes

Fonts are crucial, they make reading code so much easier (and slicker, too). Yet, installing fonts is another issue, and you need Admin privileges. Since ISESteroids can be run as portable app, without touching the host computer in any way, installing fonts sounds semi-cool anyway.

ISESteroids 2.0 Final Preview

Preview of ISESteroids 2.0 Final with Monokai Theme, Private Fonts, and Audio Theme

This is why ISESteroids now supports private fonts. Simply drop font files in ISESteroids’ font folder, and you are good to go. You can use these fonts immediately in ISESteroids, without the need to install or register them.

This was so much fun to play with that I decided to include 90 really cool and useful coding fonts with the upcoming release. That’s right, there are plenty of cool fonts to choose from, right out of the box.

And to make things even more fun, we added “Font Themes”. Font Themes compliment the existing color themes. They simply focus on font compositions. This way, you can combine your favorite combination of fonts with your favorite color theme.

Audio Themes and WarGames-like Coding Sessions

You remember the movie “WarGames”? You now can feel like David Lightman when coding PowerShell. We added Audio Themes. They are simply a collection of WAV sound files. ISESteroids picks them up, if you want, and plays them. There are currently three supported sounds: whenever PowerShell outputs data to the console, when runtime errors occur, and when the current command completed.

This is hilarious, and really really cool – if you are not sitting in a room with others. Since audio themes are completely customizable, you can record your own WAV files, and make ISESteroids curse on runtime errors, or use a typewriter sound for text output – whatever. Of course, there is a “Silence” option as well.

As you may have guessed by looking at these features, ISESteroids is running pretty well, so I had the chance to play around a bit. Honestly, while the latter two are not exactly “productivity features”, they are tons of fun – and fun is good.

But there are new productivity features as well, of course.

WPF Design

With the new support for WPF design, ISESteroids can now use VisualStudios built-in WPF designer to manipulate and design WPF code in your ISE editor. It also adds the code behind to turn XAML strings into real windows, and you can list, edit, and insert event handlers easily.

You know KAXAML? That’s a very light-weight XAML editor. Of course, it’s not as powerful as VisualStudio, but perfect for anyone who knows XAML a bit and just wants a quick text editor with XAML Intellisense.

I just had a talk with the KAXAML inventor, Robby Ingrebretsen. And I’ll do a special KAXAML edition, tailored to ISESteroids. Dunno if this will make it into the upcoming release, but as you know, ISESteroids will improve every day, regardless of the final release. A good time to remind anyone that ISESteroids licenses are a one-time investment, and come with an unlimited update guarantee for the version you purchased. No subscriptions or other follow-up cost. But I am drifting away…

Presentation Support

You can now use ISESteroids to do presentations, too. It’s like “PowerPoint for real geeks”. It now comes with two things: a stopwatch feature (set a time or duration, and a small progress bar will guide you through your presentation, making sure you stay in time) – and WPF flip. For every script file, you can save a XAML file with the same name.

Once you do this, you simply double click the editor tab to “flip” between the code view and whatever you have on your XAML view.

XAML can be simple bullet lists, or sophisticated animations. Admittedly, it’s not kindergarten to create XAML slides, but it’s a great incentive to play with WPF and XAML, and once you got the idea, it offers unlimited room for creativity.

Rapid PowerShell Function Creation

ISESteroids now has a super-efficient way of creating simple or even extremely complex new PowerShell functions:

Simply type the desired syntax, including optional parameters or multiple parameter sets. ISESteroids will then derive the PowerShell function from your syntax. This will save tons of time and headaches.

New SKUs and Introductory Offer

Next week, with the release of the final version, our introductory offer finally expires. We have had this offer now for 8 months. So anyone without a license: hurry up, until May 11 you get Enterprise licenses for just EUR 99,- plus VAT (where applicable).

Effective May 12, there will be a bunch of SKUs, and pricing will vary depending on the SKU you choose. But rest assured, even the most costly Enterprise SKU will still be considerably less compared to what other vendors charge, plus include all maintenance and subscription fees for the current version.

We’ll make sure that Community, User Groups, Startups, and Individuals will continue to have access to all ISESteroids features at a reasonable and fair price. The “Helping Hand” initiative will also continue, so if you cannot afford a license at all, you get it for free providing your are willing to give back a couple of hours of your time to help the project.

Talking about licensing and prices: There are no open source Bagels at our local bakery (I asked). We want to invest more time and brains into ISESteroids, and implement the many feature suggestions that you submit. This is what license revenues are for. They go right back into the project.

Looking forward to next week,

Cheerio,

Tobias