Making the Console Window More Discoverable

Sep 24, 2010 at 12:00 AM

We need to make the console window more discoverable after installing NuPack. Any ideas? :)

Just brainstorming, here's a few:

  • Add an extra menu item "Add Package Reference Via Console"
  • Make sure the console is visible by default and docked at the bottom after installation. I'm not sure what's possible here. I think maybe if it were possible to find the Output window (and if we don't find that, Immediate window), we could dock in the same place. That might be a reasonable assumption.
  • Play a video with Scott Hanselman's big head after installing NuPack that tells you where everything is.
  • ???

Anyone have better ideas?

Sep 24, 2010 at 12:18 AM

What about having a smaller (perhaps read-only) console *in the dialog* that shows the dialog's activity (I think Nu did this) and having a link in that area along the lines of 'Open Package Manager Console'?

Sep 24, 2010 at 12:44 AM
NuForVS does this yes.. I think Drew's suggestion would be awesome.
"Be passionate in all you do"

Sep 24, 2010 at 12:47 AM

Oh, and I think a menu item on Tools, 'Package Manager Console' would be nice too. Other Windows is not an intuitive place to find it.

Sep 24, 2010 at 1:02 AM

We hit this on another thread a while back.  Here are some suggestions.

- add a NuPack top level menu with the following sub menus.
    - package manager console
    - add pacakage reference
    - Get Started with NuPack

Add the previous menu to the tools menu

Load an html window with geting started content in the editor pane. Do this after inital installation of the vsix. I did this in solution factory and it was a easy way to lead a newbie to the next step.

When loading the console show the help or the command to get help.

I think the elimination of NuPack from the console and UI dialog hurts the nupack branding. That is the main reason I like addinf the top level menu, it ties the addin name to the commands it adds to VS.

On Sep 23, 2010 6:47 PM, "drewmiller" <> wrote:
> From: drewmiller
> Oh, and I think a menu item on Tools, 'Package Manager Console' would be nice too. Other Windows is not an intuitive place to find it.
Sep 24, 2010 at 1:06 AM

Yes, I was *very* sad to see NuPack branding leave.

Sep 24, 2010 at 1:32 AM

It think it's clear that we would ideally all prefer to have NuPack show up all over the UI.  Hopefully, the reasons we had not to do it can be revisited later.

Sep 24, 2010 at 5:05 PM

I'll follow up with seeing if we can have "NuPack" show up in the dialog. Now that we may have a way to update NuPack via the VS Extension gallery after installation, that might address some concerns.

I'm not a fan of having a console within the Add Package Reference dialog for two reasons:

  1. We already have a console, why have two?
  2. This is my own bias, but when I saw that video, it reminded me of early versions of FTP software I used in the past that were simply thin wrappers over the command line rather than applications that understood the FTP protocol directly. I always felt they looked hacky and fragile.

As for making the console window more discoverable, I like the menu idea, though I'm not so sure we want to add yet another top-level menu. The Visual Studio team might get on our case that we're just adding to the clutter.

In combining Eric and Drew's menu ideas, let's do this:

We add a "Package Manager" menu (or "NuPack" if we get our way) item within the top-level "Tools" menu. Within that menu, we add:

  • Package Manager Console
  • Add Package Reference (if a project is selected, otherwise this is greyed out or not there?)
  • Get Started With NuPack (links to our Getting Started page)

What do you think?

We should log separate bugs to load the help content when the VSIX is installed and to display the help command when the console is first loaded.


Sep 24, 2010 at 5:21 PM

I agree with making a Package Manager sub-menu within the Tools menu, rather than a top-level menu. There are already so many top-level menus in VS.

Sep 24, 2010 at 5:33 PM
Having a feasibly console within a dialog reinforces the concept that there IS a console. Unless you can popup the actual console when Add Reference comes up? Let them play off each other.
Sep 24, 2010 at 5:34 PM
That was supposed to be "readonly" console. IPhone fail.
Oct 25, 2010 at 5:40 AM
Edited Oct 25, 2010 at 6:18 PM

Ok, I wrote up a quick little spec of what I think the menu options should be:

Also, after we install NuPack, is it possible to make the console window be opened by default?

Oct 25, 2010 at 5:40 AM

BTW, I'll just copy the spec here. It's short. ;)

Menu Bar Menus

We'd like to add a menu item within the Tools top level menu.

Tools | Library Package Manager

Within the Library Package Manager menu are the following options:

  • Package Manager Console
  • Add Library Package Manager Reference (only active if a project is selected)
  • Package Manager Settings

Context Menus

Right clicking on the Project node or in the References node includes an Add Library Package Reference menu option. Clicking this launches the Add Package Reference Dialog.


Oct 25, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Do we still have a menu item under View - Others ?

Also, is this supposed for CTP2 or RTM release?

Oct 25, 2010 at 6:08 PM

At this point, probably RTM since we only have till Wed right? Unless we can close on the design right away and there's not more urgent items. If we go to this new menu option, do we even need the View | Others window? Would it make sense to have the console window menu option in both places? I guess it's even *more* discoverable that way. ;)

I'm not up to speed on VS conventions. :)

Oct 25, 2010 at 6:15 PM

It’s not uncommon to have a command appear at several places. For example, the Output command appears in both View and Debug menus.

Oct 25, 2010 at 6:17 PM

Ok, so let's keep it there. I'll update the spec and assign the bug to you. It'd be nice to get it in for CTP 2 if you don't have too much on your plate.

Oct 25, 2010 at 6:20 PM

Note, this is being tracked in the bug

Oct 25, 2010 at 6:23 PM

Feel free to assign to me. I'll get it in for CTP2.