The best of intentions ....

Posted Tue, Dec 4 2007 0:11 by bill

With VB9 (aka 2008), there's tool-tips and intellisense everywhere... and I mean everywhere.  And that's possibly a good thing for some folks.  But do I really need to see a 3 line tool-tip every time I use the Dim statement ?  It's a little patronising annoying. Sure for first timers or those with severe memory problems it's probably helpful.  For me, it continually gets in the way.

Why didn't the tool-tips have a feature such as "don't show me this one anymore" ?  Or an option to disable them for common keywords, or don't show me the same tool-tip more than 1000 times !!!!!!!!!

No doubt there's probably some arcane rule written in the tinniest print that says you will be tortured with the return of  Clippy if you do the following, but you could always open up the msvb7ui.dll and modify the string table.  Perhaps add some motivational messages in there.... Hmmm, maybe I should write a utility that inserts random messages into it :)  Of course you can do this yourself at home.. Just open msvb7ui.dll in Visual Studio, open the string table and start with resource 50140. 

If you were to do that, you'd find that empty strings weren't allowed.  Mine is a smiley at present :)  All you need do is save the dll somewhere, close Visual Studio and then copy over the original (of course you'd make a copy of the original too just in case ;) ).

So what would you replace that tooltip with ?  Something inspiring ?  Something *Mort*ifying ??  Perhaps "No you're not dim, you're very bright", or "the world was dim before Edison" or "it's always dim'est before the dawn", or "you're about to enter another dimension ....." (hmm, could we add twilight zone music to that ??).  Or maybe something more motivating, like "yo, go d00d, you declare that variable !"  or "u own3d that var bro"


Aggh, see what reading the same tool-tip over an over can do to a person ......

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# re: The best of intentions ....

Monday, December 03, 2007 12:52 PM by Daniel Moth

I don't generally mind them cause they are out of the way.. When they are in the way I just hold the Ctrl key down to make them transparent... Clearly YMV...

# re: The best of intentions ....

Monday, December 03, 2007 4:52 PM by bill

Making them transparent is of little use if I don't want to see the same tip again and again.  It's easier and better to press Esc than press and hold the Ctrl key.

The tips are most annoying when you are editing existing code where they not only display over the line you are editing, but in doing so often interferes with positioning the cursor anywhere underneath the tooltip

# re: The best of intentions ....

Tuesday, December 04, 2007 4:36 PM by Lisa Feigenbaum

Hi Bill,

I'd like to delve deeper to understand the precise complaint here. Is it that the tip is too long (i.e. too many lines)? Is it that the tip contains syntax? Is it that there needs to be a delay on the tooltip? Is it that you want to be able to click on a tooltip and have the cursor placed underneath? Or is it that you don't want tooltips to be placed on select words at all?

All items in intelliSense have tooltips, and I haven't heard this feedback before, so I'd like to better understand the precise complaint with this one.


Lisa Feigenbaum

VB IDE Program Manager

# re: The best of intentions ....

Tuesday, December 04, 2007 5:48 PM by bill

Hey Lisa,

The tip is fine for first usage, so line length is good.  

Placement is problematic if you are editing and existing line of code because it covers the line of code you are working on.  And yes, trying to potion the mouse cursor anywhere that is covered by a tooltip requires multiple clicks.  That's probably not too much of an issue if it's only once to twice, but having it happen time after time after time is a real pain, especially when the tooltip doesn't tell you anything you don't already know.  Imagine if word did this when you were editing a document.. they wouldn't.  

So what would be good is if I could right click on a tooltip and say don't show me this one anymore. It'd be even nicer if this was loaded from a XML file so as we could easily customize and have an attribute about don't show.

Thanks :)