A Creative Interface for the Harp

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Topic Description


The aim of this project was to produce a working, robust and usable tool that would improve the
commenting features within the Visual Basic Integrated Development Environment (VB IDE). Previously,
developers could only comment out lines of code by placing a comment delimiter at the start of every line,
which meant that commenting out several lines at once was a time consuming task and discouraged
developers to comment their code properly. The first and main problem to overcome was that of how to
connect a solution to the VB IDE – an executable file with no source code available. Since Visual Basic is
built on Microsoft’s Component Object Model (COM), a good understanding of this technology was
necessary in order to connect my solution to the VB IDE. The focus of the project then fell onto how to
distribute the solution to the millions of developers who used VB, how to make sure that the solution could
be installed easily into the VB IDE after distribution to the users, and most importantly how to ensure that
the solution would not cause the VB IDE to crash if something went wrong. The objectives of the project
were therefore:
· To analyse the commenting problem in Visual Basic and any existing solutions
· To research and gain an understanding of COM and how to connect to the Visual Basic Integrated
Development Environment (VB IDE)
· To develop an add-in that provides a solution to the commenting problem
· To test the software thoroughly
· To package the software for distribution
· To build a web page so that the software can be distributed to users
· To provide installation of the software
The project successfully achieved the objectives outlined above. The following chapters describe and
explain the decisions that were made and the processes that were used in order to attain these objectives.