Generated by a tool?

[Update: This is a repost of a post I made on Friday 5/6, since the original post was lost due to a problem in the server software. Unfortunately, I don't yet have the comments I received on the original post, but I will reinstate them if/when they are extracted.]   

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, the MSDN Product Feedback Center is a great way for customers to report bugs and suggestions directly to the product teams in Microsoft. I think this has been a great success especially for VS 2005/.NET 2.0 and we have had a steady stream of issues come in.

The issues range from very specific bug reports to creative suggestions about how VS 2005 can help increase developer productivity. Here is a recent suggestion that falls into the latter category:

(quoted from

Problem Statement: Opened by asaeman on 2005-04-26 at 11:50:42

Autogenerated code in Visual studio is preceeded by the comment section that includes:
<autogenerated>This code was generated by a tool.</autogenerated>

The word "tool" may be used as an insult, describing someone who is being manipulated without their knowledge - implying they are naive and ignorant. []

I don't mind this showing up in code that others write and in fact when I first saw that phrase I started laughing. "What a tool!, I can't believe he(she) wrote that code - no wonder it doesn't work!!!". However, when it shows up in projects that I'm developing, it's kind of insulting. "Are you calling me a tool?"

Proposed Solution:

I would change the line: "This code was generated by a tool" to:
1) "This code automagically appeared here" - automagically is a great word.
2) Or for a more serious solution:
"This code was autogenerated" - Maybe move it underneath the runtime version and just above. "Changes to this file may cause incorrect behavior and will be lost if the code is regenerated." so it's not immediately underneath the <autogenerated> tag.
3) Just remove the line - the comment is enclosed in an autogenerated section.

Note: I checked Faster Development below because I develop code faster when I'm not insulted.

I agree - in fact, as one of the developers that works on the code generator/serializer in VS, I think the insult is directed more at me than the user, since in some sense, I feel responsible for the code being referred to. Anyway, the issue is somewhat mitigated in VS 2005 because this generated code is hidden away in a partial class. Hopefully no one will ever look in that file :-)