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Markie

Which MS Visual Studio to get?

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Hi all, Here's a quick question: I plan to polish up my windows programming and eventually start a large scale project which should run on windows 2000. Which Visual Studio should I get for programming large-scale games? Is the newest version always the best? I have an old Visual Studio 6.0 Standard lying around, but it's in German and I just *hate* that (makes you have to figure out all the translations when reading an English tutorial, etc.). I read the new .NET framework of the later Visual Studios doesn't translate code into machine code anymore, but in some kind of Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Visual_Studio). Do I want that? I also have the first Visual Studio .NET from my brother. Should I use that? I hear Visual Studio is the best compiler for Windows. Do "pros" always just use the latest (and most "pro") version? Regards, Mark

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Quote:
Original post by Markie
I have an old Visual Studio 6.0 Standard lying around, but it's in German and I just *hate* that (makes you have to figure out all the translations when reading an English tutorial, etc.).
VC 6.0 is a terrible compiler, don't use it - really.

Quote:
Original post by Markie
I read the new .NET framework of the later Visual Studios doesn't translate code into machine code anymore, but in some kind of Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Visual_Studio).
Do I want that?
Visual Studio .NET 2003 and Visual Studio 2005 can compile CLR code optionally. They'll still compile C++ code to an EXE as you'd expect.

Quote:
Original post by Markie
I also have the first Visual Studio .NET from my brother. Should I use that?
I hear Visual Studio is the best compiler for Windows.
I wouldn't bother. You can download Visual Studio 2005 Express for free, which is perfectly fine for most development. You'll need the Platform SDK too for doing C++ development.

Link to VC2005 Express, and Read this for Platform SDK stuff.

Quote:
Original post by Markie
Do "pros" always just use the latest (and most "pro") version?
Pros will use whatever version is most suitible. If you have hundreds of thousands of lines of code in a project, you don't want to have to change a load of it because of differences in compilers. Usually you'll upgrade to the latest compiler (if all the build tools support it) at the start of a new project.

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Original post by Evil Steve
Quote:
Original post by Markie
I have an old Visual Studio 6.0 Standard lying around, but it's in German and I just *hate* that (makes you have to figure out all the translations when reading an English tutorial, etc.).
VC 6.0 is a terrible compiler, don't use it - really.
If you think VC6 is a terrible development environment then I hope you never have to deal with any embedded platforms..
In other words everything is relative, but the fact remains that the more recent versions of Visual Studio are far better once you get used to them.

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Original post by implicit
Quote:
Original post by Evil Steve
Quote:
Original post by Markie
I have an old Visual Studio 6.0 Standard lying around, but it's in German and I just *hate* that (makes you have to figure out all the translations when reading an English tutorial, etc.).
VC 6.0 is a terrible compiler, don't use it - really.
If you think VC6 is a terrible development environment then I hope you never have to deal with any embedded platforms..
In other words everything is relative, but the fact remains that the more recent versions of Visual Studio are far better once you get used to them.
Fair point [smile]

Any version of Visual Studio is better than CodeWarrior, which is what I have to use at work :(

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Original post by implicit
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Original post by Evil Steve
Quote:
Original post by Markie
I have an old Visual Studio 6.0 Standard lying around, but it's in German and I just *hate* that (makes you have to figure out all the translations when reading an English tutorial, etc.).
VC 6.0 is a terrible compiler, don't use it - really.
If you think VC6 is a terrible development environment then I hope you never have to deal with any embedded platforms..
In other words everything is relative, but the fact remains that the more recent versions of Visual Studio are far better once you get used to them.


Environment aside, I think the real point he was getting at is that VS 6.0 is broken with regard to the C++ standard, that it is missing features with regard to the C++ standard, and that it comes, by default, with a broken, hackish and buggy implementation of the C++ standard library... If it's the standard version it won't even try to optimize the assembly output at all either.

On an embedded device, you often have little or no choice as to what compiler you use, because the number of choices is so small. On the desktop we've moved on, several times now, and even the most basic, free options will run circles around VS 6.0.

For Windows Programming, VC++ 2005 Express Edition and the Platform SDK are exactly what the OP needs (assuming that he cannot afford, or doesn't need, VS 2005 Professional). Either will give you a more modern IDE, far better adherence to the standard, a much improved implementation of the C++ standard library, and a compiler that will actually produce optimized assembly output (even the free express version).

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Side note, Windows 2000 isn't really properly supported anymore. Targeting XP & Vista would be better.

As far as what to use, right now you can download Visual 2008 Beta for free and get a taste of the newest version - which is due for release later this year.

The Express versions give you a pretty good starting point though, and those files can be imported in to Pro.

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Original post by ravyne2001
Environment aside, I think the real point he was getting at is that VS 6.0 is broken with regard to the C++ standard, that it is missing features with regard to the C++ standard, and that it comes, by default, with a broken, hackish and buggy implementation of the C++ standard library... If it's the standard version it won't even try to optimize the assembly output at all either.
Well.. Yes, but the OP was asking about Visual Studio in general.

Once upon a time, before Visual Studio Express, when newbies asked the "experts" whether to choose VC6 or some free GCC-based development environment they were often counseled to choose GCC because it's more standards compliant. Which is monumentally fucked up because there are so many other important aspects to consider. I mean I'd rather write C code in VS6 with it's awesome integrated debugger then C++ code in a fully-compliant environment with a crappy debugger (which includes just about everything except Visual Studio). I mean how much template magic are you willing to give up the get edit-and-continue?

Of course what with Visual Studio Express being free that's thankfully not a choice we have to make anymore, I guess it just still bugs me that's all.

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Jesus, guys!

Thanks a ton! Really!
Great answers! Thanks!
Much more than I expected! :-))
All questions satisfied! - Free beer for all!
;-)

No seriously, thanks all, you're all really great guys!

Thanks especially ravyne2001 for your details about the broken C++ standard. I think that weighs *very* heavily against using the Visual C++ 6.0 compiler. - I had *no* idea!

Thanks,
Mark

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Original post by paulecoyote
Side note, Windows 2000 isn't really properly supported anymore. Targeting XP & Vista would be better.



You would exclude the entire windows 2000 userbase on the basis that it's not "properly supported"?
How long will windows xp be "properly supported", and how does a win2k <-> vista ratio truly compare?

Avoiding xact and agaia is pretty much all it takes to get it running on Windows 2000, unless required, there is absolutely no reason not to target it.

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Any version of Visual Studio is better than CodeWarrior, which is what I have to use at work :(


haha i second that and ive only started using/looking at it today!

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