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daniel_i_l

Visual C++ 2005 Express Vs Dev C++

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If your developing for win32, Visual Studio is certainly the way to go. You can design your forms with a few mouseclicks instead of filling in a big data structure for every button or so.
Also, in some situations, VS compiles code more efficiently and smaller.

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There's plenty of comparisons out there, some even in GameDev.net IIRC. I use both quite regularly though.

I find VC's interface, (code completion etc) is ahead of Dev C++'s, and since this is my main criteria, I use VC most often.

But Dev C++ is quicker, especially for small projects - there's not so much setup involved.


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Quote:
Original post by Skarsha
I find VC's interface, (code completion etc) is ahead of Dev C++'s, and since this is my main criteria, I use VC most often.

But Dev C++ is quicker, especially for small projects - there's not so much setup involved.


Skarsha accurately reflects what I think about both IDEs (and probably what most people think). VC is way more "mature" when it comes to code completion and more important, the debugger. The gdb debugger which comes with DevC++ is actually quite good too, but it is not implemented very good with the IDE.
Furthermore, VC employes a much cleaner interface.
However, when I first started C++ programming and the debugger didn't matter that much, I was quite happy with DevC++. For beginners, it's interface doesn't seem to be so "blown", because all the little features that come with VC don't mean anything to beginners, at all.
I would, however give VC 2005 EE a try, since it is also free now!
Code::Blocks should be great too (heard that from many people) and I think there is also a way to use Eclipse with C++, another very good IDE. I've however, never used them since I'm pretty comfortable with VC now...

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Personally, I don't like VC++. However, I don't like Dev-cpp even more. I personally use Code::Blocks (CB), it's a great IDE, and I use it with Dev-cpp's compiler (gcc??). I believe CB's IDE is better in every way to Dev-cpp's IDE, so I won't bother with comparison between the two, but, comparing to VC++:
- VC++ and CB have the "blocks of code" feature (where code between curly brackets can be minimised)
- CB has MUCH better code completion than VC++, I find VC++'s very... buggy. CB's isn't perfect, but it leaves VC++'s "Intellisense" for dead.
- CB is much easier to approach for noobs than VC++. It has less options though (part of the reason it is easier to use), so as you progress in your C++ing ability, you may require more/better options
- VC++'s error reporting is state of the art. I am yet to see a better error reporter than what it's got.
- People have said that VC++'s compiler out-performs gcc greatly (well, at least the version of gcc that ships with dev-cpp)
- VC++ has the ability to create windows forms. And a large set of tutorials in its help teaches you how to use that.
- VC++ is a VERY large download (well, I think so). The first file you will download (unless you get the ISO) is quite small, but that file will download everything else... which is quite a lot. This isn't a problem for most hard drives, but can take a toll on your download limit. It could be more hassle than it's worth.

To sum up:

Reasons for CB:
- CB is much easier to get started with, and you don't go over your head with features
- CB has better code completion, and seems less buggy and cluttered than VC++
- VC++ is a very large download

Reasons for VC++:
- VC++ is more configurable (for the advanced user, can be daunting)
- VC++ has terrific error reporting and (apparently) a much better compiler
- VC++ can create windows forms (in a WYSIWYG IDE), CB can't.


If you want to develop for windows, using the form maker thing, VC++ all the way. If this isn't going to be your forte, you'll have to weigh up VC++'s advanced options, terrific error reporter and much better compiler against CB's simplicity and much better code completion. Overall, I believe it comes to personal taste (except if you want windows form maker).

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Guest Anonymous Poster
- CB has MUCH better code completion than VC++, I find VC++'s very... buggy. CB's isn't perfect, but it leaves VC++'s "Intellisense" for dead.

I don't know if you are comparing to the .NET 2003 IDE but I find that IntelliSense has VASTLY improved in 2005.

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
I don't know if you are comparing to the .NET 2003 IDE but I find that IntelliSense has VASTLY improved in 2005.


I agree on this. Maybe you should give the VC++ 2005 another try and see how the code completion improved. However, with very large code files the code completion may take a few seconds to update if you (re)load the file, this is sometimes annoying, but since having large files is generally an indication of bad design you won't run into this "problem" very often.

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I've been trying out VC2005 Express, when the cursor is over a variable/function/etc the definition is shown in a seperate panel.

So for example, if the cursor is over a class member variable in a cpp file, the definitions window will automatically show it in the header file.

Very usefull feature which I havn't seen in other IDE's (or perhaps they do?).

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I prefer VC++ 2005 mainly because it's close to proffesional software at no cost. I myself use Visual Studio 2005 and find it a lot more efficient and easier to use when it comes to Microsoft specific API's.

I did use Dev C++ for a while, and I must say a couple of the features stuck on me. I liked the simple IDE design and its "unclumpiness". But that can only get you so far. When you go into higher API's such as DirectX or Win32, your going to need some of that "clumpiness" yourself. Fortunatley, the Visual Studio Editions provide you with that. The only thing from Dev C++ I most wise hated was the crappy debugger though.

But the choice is truly yours, it does not matter what tool you use, just what you are able to make.

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