Friday Miscellany #2

Friday Miscellany #2

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We recently requested feedback on native debugging ( and your C++ build experience ( These surveys are still open, but I wanted to share some of the written feedback we have received:

  • "Listen to the community, solve bugs from Connect. :p"
  • "Performance Open C++ solution with 500 projects takes forever"
  • "Over half of my users are still on XP, please never forget them"
  • "I'm OK with all the changes in 2012 except the toolbar icons." There are a number of comments about the UI, favorable and not so much.
  • "Keep pounding on C++ conformance." We got a few like this as well.
  • "I would be ecstatic to have reversible debugging support in C++, even if it had lots of restrictions and massively slowed things down when enabled."
  • "LNK 1000 gets annoying when you get it regularly"
  • "Also the profiler right now is good at finding pieces of code that are slow on average, but not so good at finding spikes that occur infrequently. Spikes are also very important to find in real-time applications."
  • "Property sheets have come in real handy for augmenting the build process. We use them beyond what can be done in the UI..."
  • "it would be nice if there were a way I could go to /Wall only without all the warnings from the Windows SDK headers dragged in"
  • "C++/CLR FTW!"
  • "Very good that you are using surveys!" We appreciate your time and thoughtful answers. Thank you!

Look to future posts to share more about each of these surveys.

Some links for your consideration.

Submit items for future miscellany posts to

*spoiler: marketing spam* How about liking Visual C++ on Facebook? Can we triple our likes to 1500?

  • "Listen to the community" sounds like good advice. =^)

  • @Ed Price,

    Agree, its a really great idea to involve community in development. :-)

    I have a question guys. I have an old desktop or network/socket CPP application written in C++ (targeting Windows 2000 and XP). If I use VS 2012 to recompile it, would it make a significant difference in binaries?

    And is it a good idea to recompile all my previous C++ projects with VS2012 to get the best results?

  • I think it is really desperately needed to get XP remote debugging in native C++ / MFC when using VS2012 ! Its a must have feature. Greetings, Moritz

  • ++ on disabling /Wall on sdk files!

  • I left feedback on the debugging survey and I'll repeat it here (the issue is important to me).

    We have an application that can be built as a C++/CLI application to talk to the .NET world. It's experimental, the intent is to play with it and see if we can move components over to C# piecemeal and ditch MFC in favour of WinForms/WPF.

    However debugging C++/CLI applications is almost impossible in Visual Studio 2012, stepping or evaluating expressions (just putting your mouse over them) makes the IDE unresponsive for 10+ seconds. Even with Update 1 installed.

    The issue's closed, noting that C++/CLI debugging has "less than desirable drawbacks".

    Instead of C++/CLI we're looking at exposing a COM object out of a C# project and using the magic of RCW to allow our application (now native) to communicate with the managed world. This might require SxS's registration free COM to work on our client machines. Real PITA instead of C++/CLI debugging just working.

    Very disappointing that we stayed on VS2008, waiting for VS2012 because VS2010 didn't have Intellisense for C++/CLI. Now VS2012 has Intellisense but impossible C++/CLI debugging.

  • Fix the VS 2012 UI and I'll like Visual C++ on Facebook. As it is, I find it unusable. (It's not just the colorless toolbar icons, but how no differentiation is done to distinguish the various window elements in just the plain app. Moreover, the lack of custom icons in VS 2010 is bad enough, it's all been made worse in VS 2012. Finally, the purple makes me want to tear out my eyes. In short, you have embraced form over function--no, not just embraced, you have stabbed function to death, burnt the body and poured the ashes in acid )

  • > From XKCD, Can't Sleep (<>)

    Solution:  Never take short naps.

  • @JoeWoodbury, to me, among all the IDEs out there, VS2012 is the most NEAT and NIFTY.

    Usually real developers don't care much about the colors and fonts of IDE, but more concerned with the tools and performance, in which VS2012 is overwhelmingly satisfying and there is no competition where it stands.

  • @stan, my complaints aren't whimsical. The point of good UI design is to increase productivity. My direct experience is that Visual Studio 2012 reduced my productivity. The normal clues as to what icons did were missing. In several cases, even with a little color, the VS 2010 icons were much more clear and less ambiguous (for example, several icons in VS 2012 look the same, but have tiny arrows for differentiation. In VS 2010, the arrows for the same icons were dominant.)

    The title, menu and button bars all use the same color and become a giant colorless blob, which is hard on my eyes and which hide visual clues that Microsoft's own usability studies have shown to be important. Even though you can change the capitalization, it's addition shows even more arrogance and cluelessness. Studies show that lower case letters are easier to identify and read; the VS 2012 designers acknowledged that, but said it didn't matter. I believe the reason was that the rest of the UI is so badly designed, that they were forced to make further horrible design decisions in a failed attempt to fix problems that shouldn't have existed in the first place.

    In the end, there was simply no reason to change the Visual Studio 2010 UI. None.

    As for the claim that Visual Studio 2012 is fabulous. Compiler/linker aside, I fail to see it. It has some nice features, but as a C++ programmer they haven't sold me (I'm not a C++11 fan, so that isn't a big selling point.) Frankly, VS 2010 is pretty pathetic with C++ (the intellisense is a joke; how can Whole Tomato do it so much better and faster?) As I said, an updated VC++ 6.0 would run circles around both VS 2010 and VS 2012 for us native developers. (Ironically, while VS 2010/2012 have some better optimizations, x64 and better memory management, the VC++ 6.0 is still pretty good and can actually create smaller, faster applications (due to bloated CRT and MFC libraries and very bloated startup code.)

  • I actually love the new UI in 2012, much less clutter, better use of screen.  

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