Open source VS?

August 16, 2005

I saw over on Dru’s blog that he is asking Microsoft to open source Visual Studio 6.1.

Interesting idea, but I’m actually not that familiar with why people don’t like VS.NET 2k3… it has support for C++ and you can compile unmanaged code. But of course, I haven’t really done my share of C++/MFC/WTL so I can’t really say what would make VS6 superior to the newest incarnations. Is Microsoft really dropping the ball for native programmers still?

I do know that VS.NET 2k3 does have a “debugger [that] actually [has] the threads window as a dockable view (which makes it super easy to switch to a different thread when debugging)”. It’s pretty sweet.

Man, I remember the first time I figured out how to use a visual debugger… it was sweet. No more crappy cout/printf/echo statements every other line. I was actually surprised when I was watching Terry hack up some PHP and to debug, he was printing out variables. I asked him, where’s the debugger? and he replied: too much trouble, this is faster.

That was an interesting response I thought, especially since I know Terry is quite familiar with using a debugger. Perhaps it’s the hack-ish spirit of PHP that makes people shy away from debuggers?


No Responses Yet to “Open source VS?”

  1. Dru Says:

    Actually, the debugger is good in all of their products. It’s the specific lack of a classwizard and other little things that add up to people using 6.0.

    As far as Terry not using a debugger. There is a simple reason for that. People usually don’t use Apache/PHP in a multithreaded environment, it is usually multi-process system. This makes it hard to use something like gdb. The other options are to pay for some $300 product.

    But why? PHP never really crashes. PHP is usually a simple script for a single page. When debugging, you are mostly concerned with what branch was taken based on the state of some variable. This is easy to just echo out.. which means it is easy to just refresh, fix the issue and move on.

    Also, a whole separate discussion would ensue on logging vs. debugging. Most of the more public and accomplished programmers recommend a good logging system over a debugger any day.

  2. terry chay Says:

    I use a debugger for PHP: XDebug. It pretty prints my var_dump() 🙂 (and in a pinch it can generate a valgrind profile and a integrates with Komodo). There is also APD which I think Y! uses. Oh yeah, Wez made a PHP extension that enables dtrace which kicks Microsoft booty.

    I first use a symbolic debugger when programming x86 ASM for my CS 51 calculator project. I hated how much time I wasted stepping through shit that I could have solved if I took two steps back from the problem. IDE’s for PHP development on the Mac are slow right now.

    My posse rides with vim! It’s not like PHP is rocket science.

  3. rose Says:

    hehehe. have you seen this?
    (kinda off topic, but very funnie)

  4. markjen Says:

    If I ever get around to doing more with PHP, I’ll probably come around to logging just as you guys have.

    Also: Terry, that shirt is awesome.

  5. BenB Says:

    Of the requests I have seen for this – it usually involves Visual Basic 6. As you note, it does not make a whole lot of difference to C++, as there are many products (including Microsoft ones) to use, but for VB6 there are a lot of issues moving to the .NET platform (more related to runtime size, needs).

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