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VC++ Wishlist

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John's next version of Visual C++ wish-list

  • A way to view unicode strings in the debugger. When you quick-view (or simply hover the mouse over) an ordinary string, you are shown the contents of the string. Unfortunately, this doesn't work for unicode. The only way to view unicode strings in the VC++ debugger is via the memory viewer, and even then it's not as nice.
  • A warning for variables that are unused in a class. VC++ warns if you have an unused variable in a function, but not in a class. This might be something that appears if you crank the warning level up, but I doubt it.
  • Give up on the Class Wizard. It was a halfhearted effort to duplicate the neat editor motif of VB/Delphi/C++Builder, but it just never worked that well.

The bitmaps are working beautifully. It took a bit more debugging than I thought, because I had a nasty bug in my String class that was causing an endless loop when reading in the high scores. One-bit bitmaps still aren't working, but I don't even know if I'll use that mode. The other modes (2bpp, 4bpp, and 8bpp) work just fine on my little Uniden UniPRO test critter.

One problem I see is that nothing in the world (except for MS Paint for CE palmtops) supports the new 2bpp BMP file format. It was something created for CE, so it's not very widespread. I've been toying with writing a Photoshop import/export filter that'll handle 2bpp BMP files. In the latest version of JTGame, the author wrote his own little filter to write custom bitmaps, so I've got some nice source code to cannibalize. I looked at it just a bit, though, and the Photoshop API looks like a bear to program. Because I'm a lazy bum, I might just write a little command-line utility that converts 4bpp bitmaps to 2bpp. We'll see.
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