Republished With Permission - Original Article
One of the cool new features in VS 2005 is a debugging
extensibility feature called "Debugger Visualizers". Basically
this provides a way for developers to build and use UI extensions within
the VS debugger that provide richer data visualization and analysis of
types and variables within a running program.
Feb 6th Update: Frans
Bouma just posted a good
article that talks about some tips for writing new Debugging Visualizers.
K. Scott Allen published a cool
sample today of an ASP.NET control graph visualizer that allows you to
obtain a graph of a server control and its children. Simply hover over a
"this" (in C#) or "Me" (in VB) reference on your page while
in the debugger, and you'll be able to see the entire server control hierarchy
for your page while on a breakpoint in the debugger:
A quick search on the web also found this cool Regex Debugging
Visualizer by Roy Osherove:
van Rooijen's really cool XML
All of the above visualizers are free (and most ship the
source code). Definitely some cool things to add to the tool-chest!
Hope this helps (and a special thanks to the guys above for
building these -- they really rock),