Designed to lend a helping hand to students venturing into the world of computer programming, Microsoft Visual Studio Learning Pack is a collection of components available as a free download from Microsoft. Version 2.0 of the Visual Studio Learning Pack 2.0 ( formerly the Visual Studio Middle School Power Toy) comes as a package of various software solutions, which has been tailored to the Redmond company's development suite, and which supports the free edition of Visual Studio 2008
, namely the Express SKU, but also features deeper integration with Visual Basic. The five components of Visual Studio Learning Pack 2.0 weigh in at 3.8 MB and include Sort Designer Control, Search Designer Control, Visual Declarative Designer, Assistant Class Designer and Visual Programming Flow Chart.
“Sort Designer Control is a supplementary teaching tool developed to help students learn the basic concepts, algorithms, and implementations of popular computer sorting algorithms. It supports bubble and insertion sorting. The control generates initial values automatically and demonstrates intermediate states in the sorting process. It also generates sorting source code for both Visual Basic and C#,” Microsoft revealed.
The Search Designer Control is very similar in purpose to the Sort Designer Control, only that the tool is focused exclusively on popular data search algorithms, with support for binary and sequential searches. Microsoft's promise is that Visual Sort Designer and Visual Search Designer Controls can be used to easily put together sample search programs and visual demonstrations.
Programmers will also be able to use Visual Declarative Designer, a variable declaration tool, which is highly intuitive according to the Redmond company. The software is set up to streamline learning tasks associated with variable declaration and the associated source code.
“Assistant Class Designer is a visual class designer for novice programmers. This designer guides students through the processes of adding classes, properties, methods and events,” Microsoft added. “Visual Programming Flow Chart is a supplementary teaching tool designed to help students understand program control flow. It generates flow charts for functions and saves them in the JPG picture format.”
Microsoft Visual Studio Learning Pack 2.0 is available for download here
Visual Studio Express Edition with SP1 is available for download here