Wednesday, August 11, 2010
After using the great free Java IDE's Eclipse and Netbeans for a while, and also because I bought a nice new Core i5 laptop recently, I thought it might be worthwhile installing something more modern than my slightly antiquated Visual Studio 2005 on it. I love those new features like code completion and refactoring, the fact that you can just hover your mouse over variables in the code during debugging and it shows you what they are and all the other nice bells and whistles in the Java IDEs. Having also gotten used to not having to pay for a nice programming environment, I decided to install Visual C 2010 Express. Upgrading my old projects (such as CheckerBoard, Cake, book and endgame database generators, Connect 4 and my chess engine Muse) turned out to be quite a bit of a hassle - the upgrade wizard failed to convert about half of my projects, and I had to restart them from scratch, and had some more trouble because some libraries that used to be added automatically are not added any more, causing linker errors. I had another smallish disappointment when I noticed that there is practically no refactoring support in the express edition, and a bit a larger disappointment when I noticed that there is no 64-bit support either. While I do appreciate that M$ is giving away a free more or less modern IDE, I still would wish for more. So here's my question to the C programmers out there: is there anything else that you would recommend for the Windows platform - something that would also allow me to import my Visual Studio projects with as little trouble as possible?