Visual Studio Discouragement
Visual Studio Discouragement
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Monday, 11 August 2014

Two Visual Studio extensions have been created to cater for both optimists and pessimists.

The extensions are designed either to encourage you in your coding, or to point out how useless you’re being in the hope of driving you to do better. Both have been posted (with source code) by Phil Haack on his blog,

Phil's argument for creating the encouragement extension is that when things are going badly with your code, a quick word of encouragement from your VS editor can cheer you up. The idea is that the code for the extension hooks into the DocumentSaved event on the DTE and then uses an IIntellisenseController combined with an ISignatureHelpSource to provide the tool tip.

According to the blog post, this means that every time you save your document, this extension gives you an unobtrusive bit of good cheer and encouragement, telling you (patently false) things such as 'Nice job!', 'Way to go!', and 'Wow, nice change.’




Being of a less than cheerful disposition, this seemed drivel to me.

The latest incarnation seems much more sensible. It takes a more dour view of the coding world, and instead of cheering you on, has comments including ‘Seriously?’; ‘Have you ever considered another career’; and

‘Are you just hitting keys at random?’:

The last one is particularly stinging because let's face it most of the time we are. 




Back in my student days, the Pascal compiler on the machine I was using would report failures with the message

‘Try again, this time with a program, blockhead’.

It’s a motto I’ve heard echoing in my head over the years, so this particular extension is one I welcome wholeheartedly. There’s too much cheerfulness in the world, bring on the bah humbugs.

Details of how the extension was written are on the blog post, and the source code is available on GitHub. The extension for changing it to be discouraging is


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