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Mercurial is quickly gaining momentum in the open source world, and the need for great tooling to make developers lives easier is always essential. Most developers using Mercurial know of the the explorer shell plugin, TortoiseHg, but what many don't know about is VisualHG. In summary, VisualHG is
- A source control plugin for Visual Studio (works with 2005, 2008 and 2010)
- It sits on top TortoiseHg exposing common commands in Visual Studio
- It tracks file status changes automatically indicating the state in Visual Studio
- There's absolutely no SCC bindings!
- It's absolutely free!
An occasional gripe we hear from CodePlex users, is that when they download and open a project from CodePlex that contains SCC bindings, they quickly get annoyed by the Visual Studio warnings of working temporarily uncontrolled. This is why the second to last bullet point is even listed, it's that important! The mere fact that it's free is just a bonus :)
To get started working with VisualHG is very simple.
- Download and install TortoiseHg and VisualHG.
- Open Visual Studio and go to Tools -> Options.
- In the options tree view, select Source Control. (You may need to click the Show all Settings checkbox)
- Select VisualHG from the drop down list, and click OK.
- Open your Mercurial based solution to see the plugin installed and determining your files' statuses.
So, why am I writing this post? Well, I wanted to highlight and recommend a great Mercurial based project hosted on CodePlex that we, the CodePlex team, use every day. Don't get me wrong, a few of us still use Mercurial from the command line (myself included), but I wouldn't even go without having VisualHG installed for simply tracking file status changes (necessary when doing lots of refactoring).