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Visual Studios 2012 has been released for 8 months now, what are your current opinions about it?


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#1 tom_mai78101   Members   -  Reputation: 568

Posted 02 April 2013 - 01:39 AM

Due to homework assignments, I've been heavily developing Android apps for a year now, and have been out of touch with Visual Studios 2012.

 

I thought it would be nice to have a recent discussion of how do you like the recent VS edition, now that there's an Update 2 CTP4 out in public.

 

What are your opinions on VS2012?


Edited by tom_mai78101, 02 April 2013 - 01:40 AM.


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#2 Nurgle   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 268

Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:23 AM

Slower than 2008, but not as slow as 2010 - the new user interface takes a bit of getting used to, but other than those little niggles, it's nod bad.


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#3 Promit   Moderators   -  Reputation: 6669

Posted 02 April 2013 - 11:03 AM

It's nice, I like it. Interface can be glitchy at times but basically it's a solid step forward. The graphics development tools that are integrated are a nice start too, though they need plenty of work still.



#4 _SX_   Members   -  Reputation: 162

Posted 02 April 2013 - 11:18 AM

A silly question: I heard somewhere that with the Visual C++ 2012 Express edition you can only develop for windows8. Is it true or it's has all the features what the VS2008 Express?



#5 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6974

Posted 02 April 2013 - 11:51 AM

A silly question: I heard somewhere that with the Visual C++ 2012 Express edition you can only develop for windows8. Is it true or it's has all the features what the VS2008 Express?

I'd be shocked if that were the case, seeing as you can run VS 2012 Express on Windows 7...


Edited by Cornstalks, 02 April 2013 - 11:52 AM.

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#6 Schrompf   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 954

Posted 02 April 2013 - 12:10 PM

I like it so far. It's a classic "The lord giveth, the lord taketh away" like any other Visual Studio release. I immediatly googled for the Registry Key TO SWITCH OFF THE ALL-CAPS MENU (god, that was annoying), and I wasted quite some time in the theme editor to make the current line stand out better, break point lines, marked lines, all that... they really wasted a lot of clear communication potential with them limiting themselves to either black or white as background color. Now that the theme is set and Visual Assist is installed again, life could be beautiful.

 

Except it isn't. It still leaves its whole stack of MSBuild zombie threads on occasion. Sometimes the whole UI deadlocks when switching from debugging back to editing. Intellisense has gotten faster, I admit, but it still needs 10s upwards to find a function defined one page below the cursor. The project properties are still locked in size and uncomfortable to edit, especially with multiple build configs. Edit&Continue, the one major feature that really makes my workflow fly, is in a desolated state. I even had a skype call scheduled with some guy from Microsoft who contacted me after I took the E&C survey, only for him to never show up at the scheduled date and time, and never since.

 

The one thing why I still think VS2012 is worth upgrading is the new C++11 features. I'm not the template master so I'm not that fixated on Variadic Templates, but range-based loops really made my life easier and std::async() is a nice thing to have, too. Just to point out two examples, I can name more if you give me some time. Still waiting for delegating constructors and default operators, though, and the uniform initializers are still unusable, even though my bug report was tagged as "fixed". Delegated constructors are there, technically, but they're implemented in the CTP compiler updates which is unusable with Edit&Continue and is a burden to deploy for all programmers. So I'm still hoping for them to actually come out with an ServicePack or whatever that incorporates all the new features.

 

There's a profiler integrated now, which is also a really nice thing. Hasn't been there since... VC6? Nice to have. I have yet to try the graphics debugger. An integrated PIX would be a really cool thing to have, especially because PIX keeps getting worse with every other Windows update.


----------
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#7 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6974

Posted 02 April 2013 - 12:16 PM

There's a profiler integrated now, which is also a really nice thing. Hasn't been there since... VC6? Nice to have.

The profiler has always been there, it's just required the Team/Ultimate edition until now.
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#8 Ravyne   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7120

Posted 02 April 2013 - 12:26 PM

A silly question: I heard somewhere that with the Visual C++ 2012 Express edition you can only develop for windows8. Is it true or it's has all the features what the VS2008 Express?

 

Partially true. The Express SKUs are all separated by platform now, rather than by language as they were in the past. There's an express SKU for Web developers, for Windows Phone developers, for Windows Store developers (Windows 8-style apps, formerly known as Metro), and for Windows Desktop developers (traditional windows desktop apps). You can, of course, download and install multiple express versions side-by-side, so just grab the one's you're interested in and you'll have all the core libraries and languages you'd want to use on each platform--even DirectX is now included in the Windows SDK directly, no more separate download.

 

The express SKUs are limited in other ways though, as they always have been. Certain high-end and "enterprisy" features are only found in the Professional, Premium or Ultimate SKUs, for example, the Graphics Diagnostics capabilities. But I think that the Express SKUs even support a limited amount of Team Foundation Server features (and there's a TFS Express download too), so that a small team can collaborate effectively.

 

The UI isn't great, but there's been more than enough value added to it in other ways to forgive that particular sin.



#9 Matias Goldberg   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3178

Posted 02 April 2013 - 08:55 PM

Improvements:
The compiler produces much smarter SIMD code. The 2008 & 2010 was plain stupid. I've seen the compiler spit out "xorps xmm1, xmm1 -> movss xmm1, xmm2" to transfer a float from one register to another instead of just doing movaps (what 2012 does). The xorps is there to avoid false sharing, improving pipeline in the CPU. However that's useful when moving from memory to registers; using the xorps trick to move between registers is moronic.

Code like that in vs2008 & 2010 when using /arch:SSE2 & SIMD intrinsics was embarrassingly all over the place. Finally 2012 does something good.
Vs2008 & vs2010 horribly failed to remove dead code when using sse intrinsics, sometimes it even failed to do constant propagation properly. VS 2012 has improved a lot in that aspect.

Also, the express edition can now switch to x64 targets without doing magic. In vs2008 express edition (didn't bother finding out in 2010) you had to tweak the registry settings and stuff like that to get x64 working. Someone thought it should be a "professional" feature. In VS2012 it is available for express edition users too.

C++11 features. I didn't have the need to use them yet. But they're supported and it's a plus for whoever needs them.

Failures:
The IDE is slower than in 2008. It also uses twice the RAM. At least it's faster than VS2010. That IDE (2010) was so slow that in big projects I could even type faster than the ide could render. Even with an Intel Quad Core Extreme X9650, AMD Radeon HD 7700, 8GB RAM, and an SSD. wth!??!
Apparently, I was not alone

Compilation time, particularly linking time, takes much longer.

Intelisense is more accurate than 2008, but laggy & often unresponsive. The problem is that VS2008, while rebuilding it's ncb database, would still throw you the results from a query (i.e. go to definition) using the old database, thus it felt faster. In VS2012 it shows the goddam "Please wait..." window with a cancel button that doesn't really cancel. In other words, it's a blocking database and stalls until it hasn't finished updating. Worst part is that it starts reworking the sdb database as soon as you made a change, while ncb database waited for a couple of seconds (like 10s or so), thus using intellisense would feel faster (again, using older results, but still often accurate)
At least it's faster than VS2010 where I just had to turn it off. I could sit waiting literally minutes, often I ended up killing the process and use find in files as a better alternative.

Aesthetics: The GUI went for 'minimalistic' design I get it, but it could do a lot of work.

Neutral:
You can develop in a non-Windows 8 environment; and there's even a switch to tell the IDE to target XP OS as well. Good thing Microsoft stepped back on their decision to make everything Win 8 only.

Edited by Matias Goldberg, 02 April 2013 - 08:58 PM.


#10 cowsarenotevil   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2013

Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:38 PM

I haven't used any kind of visual studio for a long, long time but I tried installing Visual Studio 2012 Express for Web Development today as I am interested in learning Javascript and HTML5 and I had heard it was a good environment. Unfortunately the installation died halfway through; I tried uninstalling and reinstalling but it still didn't work. Anyone had this happen to them and have a quick fix?

 

Anyway, I'll let you know what I think of it when I get it working.


-~-The Cow of Darkness-~-

#11 Xanather   Members   -  Reputation: 703

Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:01 PM

At first I actually hated like the style (looked like windows 8), but after a while of using it I now I like it, the dark theme is really nice on the eyes - VS2010 didn't have such a out of the box theme.



#12 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 20363

Posted 03 April 2013 - 12:03 AM

I'm curious about it too, but in all probability I'll never get to see it in action at work.

We've got a very large existing code base. (Nine years of accumulated cruft.) We found we cannot move to VS2012 thanks to its ungodly memory requirements. We'll likely be on 2008 until the project stops making money.

Most of our projects are minimalistic, but we do have a monolithic "everything" solution that contains ALL the tools and engine and game code and, of course, all the cruft. Opening that monster in VS2008 takes about five minutes and 1.2GB of memory if the machine hasn't had the intellisense DLL's deleted. Intellesense removal saves minutes of load time and a quarter gigabyte of memory... and that's on VS2008.

For us, attempting to migrate to 2012 is impossible thanks to its eating memory like candy and Microsoft's decision to keep with a 32-bit IDE. We were able to get project files converted, but the IDE takes up so much memory that it sometimes crashes out of memory when compiling, and if we were lucky with incremental builds it would crash out of memory when debugging. Even hacking it to set the LARGEADDRESSAWARE flag isn't enough to satisfy its hunger.

<sadface>
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#13 MJP   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10949

Posted 03 April 2013 - 12:14 AM

I wasn't too enthusiastic at first, but I like it better now. I'm glad that the incremental search now highlights all current matches as you're typing, it might make the smug vim users in our office shut up for half a minute. We still can't get the graphics debugger to work at my office, despite it having the less functionality than the tool they stopped updating 3 years.



#14 hawkeye_de   Members   -  Reputation: 197

Posted 03 April 2013 - 12:39 AM

I'm using it to code in C#/.NET and together with Resharper 7 (a third-party tool to boost productivity/instant code guarding and so on) it is really the best IDE I think, worth all the money...



#15 Khatharr   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2964

Posted 03 April 2013 - 02:25 AM

Do they ever update VS releases to fix the ridiculous nonsense or are they just going to wait for the next excuse to release a newer version that uses more resources in order to break more things?

 

Oh wait, it's MS. They'll do both, but fail at the first.

 

Honestly the main reason I installed 2010 was to get access to auto typing and some of the new C++ stuff, but that apparently isn't going to happen and oh baby does it run poorly and look awful. I really don't understand the MS mindset. I just want an IDE that does its job. If I upgrade it's because I want access to new features, not because I want the UI scrambled all to hell and the performance trashed.

 

I've held off on going for 2012 because it was pretty new when I was upgrading. Is it worth my time to upgrade? I'm not exactly running a cutting-edge box here; I'm on an Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (2.41 GHz) with 2GB RAM. I'm running 32-bit Win7. I have to check at school and see if they require a certain IDE. If not I may actually go back to 2008. (I always just nuked the ncb files, lol.)

 

Ah, maybe I'll get lucky and the school will use gcc. I've noticed that I have cygwin and a bash account on my workstation at the school.


Edited by Khatharr, 03 April 2013 - 02:26 AM.

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#16 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 8568

Posted 03 April 2013 - 03:38 AM

I'm curious about it too, but in all probability I'll never get to see it in action at work.

We've got a very large existing code base. (Nine years of accumulated cruft.) We found we cannot move to VS2012 thanks to its ungodly memory requirements. We'll likely be on 2008 until the project stops making money.

Most of our projects are minimalistic, but we do have a monolithic "everything" solution that contains ALL the tools and engine and game code and, of course, all the cruft. Opening that monster in VS2008 takes about five minutes and 1.2GB of memory if the machine hasn't had the intellisense DLL's deleted. Intellesense removal saves minutes of load time and a quarter gigabyte of memory... and that's on VS2008.

For us, attempting to migrate to 2012 is impossible thanks to its eating memory like candy and Microsoft's decision to keep with a 32-bit IDE. We were able to get project files converted, but the IDE takes up so much memory that it sometimes crashes out of memory when compiling, and if we were lucky with incremental builds it would crash out of memory when debugging. Even hacking it to set the LARGEADDRESSAWARE flag isn't enough to satisfy its hunger.

<sadface>

 

Who would've thought text could take up so much space? wink.png


The slowsort algorithm is a perfect illustration of the multiply and surrender paradigm, which is perhaps the single most important paradigm in the development of reluctant algorithms. The basic multiply and surrender strategy consists in replacing the problem at hand by two or more subproblems, each slightly simpler than the original, and continue multiplying subproblems and subsubproblems recursively in this fashion as long as possible. At some point the subproblems will all become so simple that their solution can no longer be postponed, and we will have to surrender. Experience shows that, in most cases, by the time this point is reached the total work will be substantially higher than what could have been wasted by a more direct approach.

 

- Pessimal Algorithms and Simplexity Analysis


#17 Krohm   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3052

Posted 03 April 2013 - 04:53 AM

Due to other issues I haven't played a lot with it.

 

The new search interface pisses me off. But I'm ok with it in general. Some new C++ features are good, albeit I'd rather not take them on a daily basis. Except std::function and labdas. Those are cool.



#18 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 856

Posted 03 April 2013 - 07:20 AM

I'm glad to hear 2012 is an improvement (UI speed-wise) over 2010.

A silly question: I heard somewhere that with the Visual C++ 2012 Express edition you can only develop for windows8. Is it true or it's has all the features what the VS2008 Express?

You may be thinking of the original announcement to make the Express version of 2012 only compile for Windows Store ("Metro") programs, but they backed down on that (e.g., see http://www.crn.com/news/applications-os/240001856/microsoft-drops-metro-only-approach-for-visual-studio-express-2012.htm ).
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#19 Memories are Better   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 769

Posted 03 April 2013 - 03:07 PM

I love it, no issues yet, the offline help is great too (not sure if that is new), I was a site a while back where VS2012 got flamed purely because of the design choice.

 

I like the Gfx addition too, so glad I can finally say good bye to PIX and I haven't used V2010 in months so I cant really remember other new features.



#20 MJP   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10949

Posted 03 April 2013 - 05:33 PM

Do they ever update VS releases to fix the ridiculous nonsense or are they just going to wait for the next excuse to release a newer version that uses more resources in order to break more things?

 

They actually already put out an update.






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