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NUCLEAR RABBIT

Visual C++ Express Edition Debugger!

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Hello, I've been programming for about 3 months now, and I've been mainly using DevC++. I also have been using Visual C++: Express Edition, and have read a plethora of threads that say wonderful things about its debugger. The problem is, is that I feel like im not in the party with the rest of the crowd. When Im using Visual C++ Express Edition, the debugger, seems to be practically the same as DevC++ (not the same words, but the same message). Im not sure how to configure the debugger so that it is as good as everyone says it is, but can someone please help me figure out how to use the debugger to its fullest? Any Help is greatly appreciated!

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If you're using the Express Editions of the software you will find that it will lack a lot of the features that you'll expect from Microsoft's full compilers.

If you want a full-featured compiler you'll have to buy one, like the Standard Edition of Visual Studio.

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Really? Name three debugging features that the standard edition has that the express edition doesn't. Don't rush, I'm not going anywhere.

In any case, for the OP, you might want to check out this article on debugging.

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Quote:
Original post by SiCrane
Really? Name three debugging features that the standard edition has that the express edition doesn't. Don't rush, I'm not going anywhere.


Thanks for politely pointing that out, SiCrane. I meant 'Professional' onwards.

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Quote:
Original post by NUCLEAR RABBIT
...When Im using Visual C++ Express Edition, the debugger, seems to be practically the same as DevC++ (not the same words, but the same message). ...

Are you talking about the debugger or the compiler?

Quote:
Original post by NUCLEAR RABBIT
...Im not sure how to configure the debugger so that it is as good as everyone says it is, but can someone please help me figure out how to use the debugger to its fullest?

Perhaps you should mention exactly which features you are looking for. I use the debugger out of the box without any special configuration.

Quote:
Original post by Mathematix
Thanks for politely pointing that out, SiCrane. I meant 'Professional' onwards.

Perhaps SiCrane was a little hasty with his flame (he has been a little cranky lately), but OTOH, somebody that has been programming for only 3 months is unlikely to need the Professional version features that are missing from the Express version (whatever they might be).

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The point of my original post, which was aparently too subtle, is that saying that someone should buy a new IDE is not a helpful suggestion without mentioning what new features that the new IDE comes with that would be relevant. Otherwise you're asking that they spend money without benefit.

Now let's try this again: Really? Name three debugging features that the professional edition has that the express edition doesn't. Don't rush, I'm still not going anywhere.

(Of course, what would be even more helpful would mentioning things that would help the OP use what he already has. Fortunately, superpig has already written a nice article on using the debugger that I already linked to.)

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Quote:
Original post by JohnBolton
OTOH, somebody that has been programming for only 3 months is unlikely to need the Professional version features that are missing from the Express version (whatever they might be).


I know. I was just pointing out that the more professional compilers need to be paid for. :)

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And just which of those features were you suggesting that the OP use? Or are you just posting to increase your post count without any regard for the actual topic of the thread?

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SiCrane

I'm getting a little tired of you hounding me and displaying prejudice given your supposed high standing in this community.

I'm asking you politely, please stop.

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If you can post a cogent explanation of why a $800.00 (USD) software upgrade is necessary to have a debugger has more features than that present in DevC++, then I'd be more than happy to apologize. However, since you have consistently failed to address any of the actual questions asked either by the original poster or myself then my posts have a simple purpose that is independent of any prejudice: it informs other forum members reading this thread that you don't know what you are talking about.

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Having used both the Professional and Express editions quite a lot, even I was hard pressed to find even small differences between them regarding debugging support. Anyway, here's what I found:

-Conditional breakpoints
In Express editions, you can simply toggle breakpoints on and off, and add and delete them. In other versions, you can define additional conditions to the breakpoint, such as "break when hit for the fifth time" and such.

-Remote debugging
Versions other than Express and Standard support remote debugging - that is, debugging a process that runs on a remote machine.

-Attach to running process
Express editions only support debugging inside the current project. With other versions, you can also attach the debugger to an existing process handle.

-SQL Server debugging
Express doesn't support this; I'm not sure if Standard does but Professional can handle it.

These features are very rarely needed by hobbyist programmers or even professionals at the beginning of their career. It would be foolish for a beginner to purchase the Visual Studio Professional just to use these particular features. For people who develop applications to earn their paycheck, I wholeheartedly recommend VS Professional, even though primarily for other reasons than the debugging enhancements.

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Also, a few tips to maximize the Visual Studio debugging experience.

-You can move the execution pointer around when in breakpoint. This is useful if you want to temporarily skip a certain piece of code from running, without modifying the actual code.

-The Watch and QuickWatch windows are your friends. You can examine any variable of the program and change the variables' values at will. This is useful when tracking logic errors in your code.

-Exception filtering allows you to set breaking conditions globally for almost any type of runtime error. This is especially useful if you're bughunting against existing code written by someone else, as it allows fine control on which exceptions cause the breakpoint to occur, and whether on handled or unhandled exceptions.

I hope these help someone. I have much more tips up my sleeve, but now I'm going to sleep instead of writing here (2AM here in Finland).

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Quote:
Original post by Nik02
Having used both the Professional and Express editions quite a lot, even I was hard pressed to find even small differences between them regarding debugging support. Anyway, here's what I found:

-Conditional breakpoints
In Express editions, you can simply toggle breakpoints on and off, and add and delete them. In other versions, you can define additional conditions to the breakpoint, such as "break when hit for the fifth time" and such.

-Remote debugging
Versions other than Express and Standard support remote debugging - that is, debugging a process that runs on a remote machine.

-Attach to running process
Express editions only support debugging inside the current project. With other versions, you can also attach the debugger to an existing process handle.

-SQL Server debugging
Express doesn't support this; I'm not sure if Standard does but Professional can handle it.

These features are very rarely needed by hobbyist programmers or even professionals at the beginning of their career. It would be foolish for a beginner to purchase the Visual Studio Professional just to use these particular features. For people who develop applications to earn their paycheck, I wholeheartedly recommend VS Professional, even though primarily for other reasons than the debugging enhancements.
I don't know about the other Express products, but I'm pretty sure Visual C++ Express lets you do conditional breakpoints and attach to running processes. I use them all the time at work.

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Given that Sicrane continues to challenge but himself offers no solution, I'll point out the differences that appear to be available from the professional (or standard if indicated) edition onwards:

- Just-in-Time Debugging (Available from the standard edition onwards).
- Remote Debugging.
- SOS (never used this, but it's availble from the standard edition onwards).
- Crash Dumps (Also available from the standard edition onwards).
- SQL Server 2005 Debugging.

These are all that I recall right now, and for those pointed out that are available for the standard edition I would recommend to the serious novice.

For the record, I am not saying that my list is complete nor am I suggesting that the original poster purchases the pro edition. I was just pointing out that the fuller featured compilers cost money.

Now can we let it rest, SiCrane?!

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