Looks promising. Here's some info from the website:
AddOn Studio for World of Warcraft is an open-source development tool aimed to bring the Visual Studio experience to building World of Warcraft addons. This is the first release of the project and we have lots more ideas around how we can better improve addon development in the future.
Visual Design Surface - AddOn Studio includes a set of toolbox controls that you can drag-and-drop onto the designer to visually design the layout of your addon including popular Visual Studio features like Snap lines which enable you to visually align controls.
Lua Code Editor
AddOn Studio includes a powerful Lua code editing environment including syntax highlighting, colorization, collapsible functions, built-in IntelliSense support for Warcraft functions and events, IntelliSense Code Snippets for common Lua language constructs, code navigation features like bookmarks and Go To Declaration, and all IDE settings are customizable.
AddOn Studio provides built-in support for FrameXML schema validation for addon developers who want to manually edit and customize FrameXML markup.
Auto-Generate Table of Contents
AddOn Studio also takes the hassle out of building the Table of Contents (TOC) file by automatically building it based on what files are in your project.
Auto-Generate Lua Events
The Addon Studio property window shows all of the properties and events available for a Lua control or frame and enables one-click creation of event handlers like a button_OnClick event.
AddOn Studio includes lots more features including project templates for creating Ace2 addons, automatic deployment to your Warcraft directory, Task Window, Error List for FrameXML and Lua parsing errors, TGA and MP3 file format support, powerful search-and-replace features, and its fully extensible so that developers can build additional tools and editors to improve addon development.
I'm gonna give it a go, I especially like the visual XML editing. If more join in we can help to improve on the tool over time. Cheers
This is interesting, but not all of us use VisualStudio. I tend to use Eclipse (with a few plugins) just because it has SVN, syntax highlighting and doesn't look too ugly, and it's cheap.
FWIW, VisualStudio has SVN too, and syntax highlighting (in fact, as much as I hate to admit it, M$ was one of the first people to offer chroma-coding in their IDE), and IIRC WoW addon studio comes with either the free visual studio express version, or can use it.
Having said all that I am not a fan of WoW addon studio at all. ViM all the way for me. Does all the syntax coloring you can shake a stick at, auto-indenting, and there's plenty of macros for SVN support, although I don't use any of them and just drive the svn command line client myself.
When people think of VisualStudio supporting a language they probably think more about the IntelliSense rather than simple syntax highlighting (any decent programming editor has syntax highlighting). But as its been said before, especially by me, the Lua IntelliSense in AddonStudio fucking sucks.
Beating a dead horse here but for anybody thats new to Lua and programming for WoW, AddonStudio does not provide nearly as good of a gui (xml) and code (lua) as VisualStudio does for VB. Once you figure it out enough that you understand exactly what I'm referring to, you'll be spending so much time hand holding the xml creator to make it actually do what you want that you'll realize its better to just do all frames in lua.
Everything else about AddonStudio is greatly surpassed by any of the other many programming editors out there if you spend some time personalizing it. Vim, Emacs, TextMate, Eclipse, Netbeans, SciTE, Notepad++, and too many more to mention so just pick one.
Personnaly I tried the Addon Studio for World of Warcraft 3.0 (version for visual studio 2010) as I am myself a noob in lua programming, but as others rightly said it will do more harm to your programming skills than doing it "the hard way". Even on their own claim the visual xml editor is not working properly. Like trying to make it movable: if you do not also select the title bar toggle, it will not be movable at all. If you change the sizeable prpoerty to true, it will not respond to any mouse click or drag. You'll end up moving the camera in the game, just as if you would not have any addon activated.
Now that I am trying to learn it by coding by hand, it is easier to figure out what does and what doesn't work. So for now on I use the Ace3.0 libraries to create addons, and Notepad++ to enter my code. IMHO coding everything by hand is the best way to learn how to create addons, and sometimes it can even be the fastest way. Makes me remember programming BASIC on a TRS80 Color Computer 3. There was no IDE at all, no internet to get information about how to create programs. But it came with a handy user guide with all the keywords, tutorials, examples on most of the different keywords, and how to do some usefull stuff with it. And of course some magazines where available at the time (Rainbow, Hot Coco; those twp where dedicated to TRS80 coco 2 or coco 3 programming).
It might be a good evolution to have visual programming like the Visual Studio software, but we might leave it to the very languages that are intended for it. But for addon creation, it is still best to avoid this, since any graphical aid for that matter will still be a limited way of doing things. Windows Form Application is a good way to go with a WYSIWYG, because it seems to be the best approach concerning Windows applications programming. And still there is a lot of hand coding involved.
Until a complete, fully implemented, good working visual programming interface sees light, hand coding everything is still the way to go for a long while.
And FYI, the next Addon Studio will be called Lua Studio, without the visual designer. They themselve say that it was too hard to be correctly implemented, so they will just cancel the visual xml designer.