The Main goal of "Managed Menu Extensions" is to provide easy access to adding Right Click menus in the Visual Studio Solution Explorer. This means developers will no longer have to use the cumbersome Visual Studio Add-In model. It should be as easy as inheriting an abstract class, and copying the assembly to a specific location.
The second goal is to explore the new .NET 3.5 System.AddIn namespace. The Extension model will be implemented using the functionality provided in this namespace.
The second beta release provides Add-In functionality for Visual Studio 2008, later editions will feature Add-In functionality for Windows Explorer and perhaps even for SharpDevelop.
A release of Managed Menu Extensions consists of a number of MSI packages. One designed for each specific environment, one containing the contract, wiews, and adapters (from the System.AddIn namespace), and one containing af few simple samples (one sample shows how to use Linq to XML to create a simple XML document with class info when right clicking a class file).
No matter what environment (of the above mentioned) your a developing right click menus for, you can do it by using the same simple programming model.
One of the interesting points is that the same Add-In can potentially provide Right Click menus for many different environments. E.g. you do not have to develop different Add-Ins for Windows Explorer and Visual Studio, although you will rarely need the same functionality in both environments Managed Menu Extensions will give you the opportunity to do so if needed.
Further ideas might "pop up" later.
Managed Menu Extensions is concieved and implemented by Jesper Niedermann