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First Look At Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 236

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the you-mean-there-are-people-who-don't-use-vi? dept.
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Martin Heller takes VS2010 Beta 1 for a test drive and finds the upgrade promising, particularly with regard to improved thread debugging and a revamped UI. But the biggest enhancements have to do with parallel programming, Heller writes. 'I'm not sure that I've completely grasped the power of the new .Net Framework and native C++ support for task and data parallelism in VS2010, but what I've seen so far is impressive.' Heller points to intriguing parallel programming samples posted to CodePlex and offers numerous screenshots of VS2010 Beta 1 functionality. He also notes that the beta still lacks support for ASP.Net MVC, smart devices, and the .Net Micro Framework."
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First Look At Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1

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  • More security? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by johannesg (664142) on Friday June 05, 2009 @05:22PM (#28227715)

    Look at that fourth screenshot. What possible harm could loading a project do, I wonder? Does it already (partially?) execute even when it is just sitting there in the development environment? Is this an attempt to banish evil compilers from accidentally compiling source?

    And why is the answer always "make the user choose" even though there is absolutely no way to make an informed choice (same problem as with UAC or sudo: I don't want to hand over the keys to the kingdom, I only want to give out narrow and specific permissions, based on useful information, rather than some nebulous feeling of 'trust')?

    • by rob1980 (941751)
      Does it already (partially?) execute even when it is just sitting there in the development environment?

      Visual Studio picks through whatever classes you write and adds support for them to Intellisense. Maybe they've observed security issues with that in the past?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The visual designer actually instantiates the backing class and executes its constructor when opened for editing, to be able to render the component in a wysiwyg fashion.
    • Re:More security? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mr2001 (90979) on Friday June 05, 2009 @05:32PM (#28227801) Homepage Journal

      Look at that fourth screenshot. What possible harm could loading a project do, I wonder? Does it already (partially?) execute even when it is just sitting there in the development environment? Is this an attempt to banish evil compilers from accidentally compiling source?

      As it says right there in the screenshot, the possible harm is from custom build steps.

      Unix developers are already used to this, because makefiles have the same risks: if you untar an untrusted project and type "make", you might find that one of the build steps erases your home directory.

      • Re:More security? (Score:5, Informative)

        by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday June 05, 2009 @06:18PM (#28228209) Journal

        As it says right there in the screenshot, the possible harm is from custom build steps.

        To clarify (since it may not be obvious to those who haven't used VS, and, in fact, even to many who did) - Visual Studio projects are nothing more but MSBuild [microsoft.com] makefiles, which has roughly the same expressive power and extensibility as, say, Apache Ant. In particular, the build steps can include file system operations, and execution of arbitrary shell commands. By default, VS-created projects have nothing like this, and so the verifier lets them load without asking. But if the file was hand-edited to include any such things, you'll see the dialog such as one on the screenshot.

    • Re:More security? (Score:5, Informative)

      by wzinc (612701) on Friday June 05, 2009 @05:37PM (#28227853)

      Does it already (partially?) execute even when it is just sitting there in the development environment

      Actually, it kind-of does execute. Most controls, even user-created ones, have "design mode." That's a special view that gets rendered while you're designing pages or forms. I never thought about it, but it is just code that executes. I don't know if there's anything that prevents you from opening up an FTP connection or calling "del /f /s /q C:\*" from a control in design mode.

    • If the projects have custom build steps set up they can execute any program they like before / after / to compile.

      That's all it's warning about.

  • by tylersoze (789256) on Friday June 05, 2009 @05:28PM (#28227761)

    Heck no one I've worked with has even upgraded to 2008 yet, it's been either VS 2005 or 2003.

    • by snl2587 (1177409)

      I'm using 2008. Do I get a cookie?

    • by sys.stdout.write (1551563) on Friday June 05, 2009 @05:35PM (#28227839)
      We run it at work. It is pretty much the same as VS 2005. The only relevant advantage that I see is access to the .NET 3.5 Framework, which may or may not matter to you depending on what you guys program.
    • by zlogic (892404)

      Visual C++ hasn't changed much since VS 2002. In fact it looks abandoned compared to .NET languages, it has worse Intellisense, debugging and code formatting. And no refactoring or decent GUI toolkit. Both MFC and Win32 API are incredibly difficult to code.

      2008 has a lot of nice features, but only for .NET.

      • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday June 05, 2009 @06:07PM (#28228109) Journal

        Visual C++ hasn't changed much since VS 2002.

        Eh? It's got C++/CLI since then, for starters. It has become much closer to ISO C++ (before 2003 it was a total joke, it didn't even get the scope of the for loop right - and 2003 was only so-so). It's got checked STL containers & iterators in 2005, and C++TR1 in 2008. And it is getting significantly improved code completion [msdn.com], and on-the-fly error checking [msdn.com] in 2010. Doesn't sound "abandoned" to me.

        On the language front, Visual C++ in 2010 gets a bunch of C++0x features: lambdas, type inference (auto), static_assert [msdn.com], rvalue references (&&) [msdn.com], and decltype [msdn.com]. This is quite a lot, and lambdas are especially nice since they actually let you use STL algorithms as God intended without writing tons of boilerplate code for function objects.

        Then also there's Parallel Patterns Library [microsoft.com], which provides STL-like algorithms with automatic parallelization.

        And no refactoring

        This one is interesting. I do not know of any C++ IDE or plugin that would provide working C++ refactoring, for very simple reason - it is extremely hard to properly parse C++, taking into account all templates and template specializations, and other context-dependent things. Heck, something like a<b>c can be parsed either as expression (a < b) > c, or as a variable declaration a<b> c, depending on the context - and that context, again, includes template instantiations, which form a Turing-complete language that has to be interpreted correctly to produce matching results. I once wrote a C++ program, for fun, which had in it a piece of code as described above, which was parsed and compiled either as expression or as variable declaration depending on whether char type was signed or unsigned was for a given compiler - so you could play with compiler options and get different results. How can IDE possibly handle this?

        You can say that it does it for code completion, but the truth is that a lot of it is guessing and heuristics. And there's the catch - when it guesses wrong, at worst, you get a wrong code completion list, or no list at all. But when you do a refactoring like, say, "rename class", and it fails to correctly determine that the class is referenced at some line of code, and doesn't rename it there, then your program no longer compiles...

        That said, VS2010 IDE C++ parser (used for code completion and "Go to definition") is EDG-based, so it should be much more accurate - so hopefully we'll get reliable C++ refactoring eventually. Just not in this release.

        ... decent GUI toolkit. Both MFC and Win32 API are incredibly difficult to code.

        I agree with that, but there are many good third-party libraries out there - most notably, Qt.

        • by zlogic (892404) on Friday June 05, 2009 @06:58PM (#28228537)

          Eclipse does C++ refactoring, I think Netbeans can do it too. I've used Eclipse for renaming values, implementing methods and generating getters/setters, it didn't ever break anything and showed all code that was about to be changed before doing something irreversible. Even if it breaks something, there's Local History which acts as a simple version control server, committing code on every save operation.
          If a compiler can parse the code, the IDE should be capable of doing that.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Eclipse does C++ refactoring, I think Netbeans can do it too. I've used Eclipse for renaming values, implementing methods and generating getters/setters, it didn't ever break anything

            Did you use it with more-or-less advanced templates (e.g. anything that actively uses STL or Boost)?

            If a compiler can parse the code, the IDE should be capable of doing that.

            A compiler parses the code once. It doesn't have to reparse the code constantly as you keep typing or deleting lines, and to do it fast enough that the updates are near-realtime, and yet the user doesn't complain about the sluggishness.

          • I'm not a big lover of Visual Studio for C++ development - my preferred environment was KDevelop before it was broken in the rush to KDE 4.0, so, I would love to agree with you about Eclipse being good for C++. I just wasn't all that impressed. Right now, a pretty good pair is Visual C++ and a plug-in that Microsoft lets you download that works pretty well.

        • by AceMarkE (154966)

          Actually, I think the Eclipse CDT plugin provides some amount of C++ refactoring. I know it can at least do some simple variable renaming, since I did that the other day. Not sure how much it can do beyond that, though.

          Other than that, yeah, automated refactoring is just going to be much harder for C++ than for most other languages.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by oiron (697563)

          And it is getting significantly improved code completion [msdn.com], and on-the-fly error checking [msdn.com] in 2010.

          If you read the comments in that post, it looks like C++/CLI isn't supported [msdn.com] by the new, improved intellisense.

          Honestly, we took to calling it "Intellinonsense" at work, given the number of times it fails to complete; you can rate it by failures per second...

          Doesn't sound "abandoned" to me.

          On the language front, Visual C++ in 2010 gets a bunch of C++0x features: lambdas, type inference (auto), static_assert [msdn.com], rvalue references (&&) [msdn.com], and decltype [msdn.com]. This is quite a lot, and lambdas are especially nice since they actually let you use STL algorithms as God intended without writing tons of boilerplate code for function objects.

          Then also there's Parallel Patterns Library [microsoft.com], which provides STL-like algorithms with automatic parallelization.

          Yes, the actual c++ compiler and library support has definitely improved. But there seems to be no corresponding improvement in the IDE's functionality. When Visual Assist X becomes a requirement for working with any kind of productivity, it's a rather

    • by Acer500 (846698)
      I am, and I'm extremely happy with it (of course I migrated from VB 6, so anything would look good).

      I'm probably at the "feature abuse" level, but I'm in love with LINQ, the amount of help you get from the IDE for everything is great, and it saves time like nobody's business.

      I've used Eclipse for university projects until I graduated a couple years ago, and while it was good, VS 2008 blows it away (to be fair I should compare the current version of Eclipse though).

      On to the dark side of the framewo
    • by Xest (935314)

      Yes, it has much better intellisense which is the most glaring feature because it's the one that you encounter every second whilst programming.

      Makes writing code a breeze, as a fairly fast touch typist, not having to type the full variable never ever because the intellisense is generally good enough to get the right variable/function name the first time (due to the fact it narrows down not just by name, but by context) I can churn out code like no tommorrow. You can put together a full, fairly complex line

    • Anybody writing plugins for 3ds Max 2010 will have upgraded to 2008, as you practically need 2008 to compile your code into plugins compatible with that release of 3ds Max.

      That's a small market, but it serves as a demonstration that there's probably more people using 2008 - maybe not altogether by choice, as in this case - than you'd think.

      • by tylersoze (789256)

        It's funny you should bring up Maya. That's another another one that I'd haven't seen upgraded. Maya 8.0 or 8.5 is the latest we're using. There's much to be said for the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it mentality" when it comes to software upgrades. If it works fine and you've been using it for years and don't want or need the latest version, why upgrade?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by pebs (654334)

      I have all three installed - 2008, 2005, and 2003, though I mainly use 2008 these days (just have the other ones around just in case). I don't get what people like about Visual Studio. I personally like Eclipse much much better, and like using Emacs even better than that. Maybe I'm just scarred from having to use Visual Studio's awful Winforms designer. But they could do so much more for C# editing. Intellisense is good and all, but they should look at Eclipse's quick fixes and try pressing CTRL-1 and

  • Themes (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wzinc (612701)

    Whenever MS apps get themes, Office 2k7 for example, they get slower. I'll admit VS 2k10 does look nicer, it really does, but even my Core i7 with cheetah blood thermal compound sits there drawing slow UI. MS, please use native widgets, allow us to disable theming, or whatever it takes to make it go as fast as 2k8.

    • Re:Themes (Score:5, Informative)

      by WarwickRyan (780794) on Friday June 05, 2009 @05:44PM (#28227911)

      Yes, it is slower. However, being able to put form designer on one monitor and code-view on another makes it all worth while.

      • by snkline (542610)
        This is one of the features I've been looking forward to in 2010, and while it is nice in the beta, I hope they can improve upon it before release. I think the most irksome thing, is that while the windows can float, they are still linked to the main interface. So for example, if I've pulled a code window out to my right monitor, and bring something up above Visual Studio in my left monitor, as soon as I click the code window VS in my left monitor comes to the front. If I minimize VS, the ripped away code w
  • Not just parallel (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday June 05, 2009 @05:41PM (#28227885) Journal

    ParallelFX is definitely interesting, but I'd say that another very major addition is Visual F# [wikipedia.org] - to the best of my knowledge, this is the first time a primarily functional language goes mainstream, and gets documentation, tooling (IDE/debugging/profiling), and general support on par with the likes of C# and VB. It's not Haskell (read: no typeclasses), and it's not quite OCaml either (no functors), even though the core language is recognizably ML. But it's got most of the nice FP bits OCaml has to offer, some syntactic sugar on top of that (e.g. ability to declare locals as mutable when needed, and arithmetic operators overloaded for all numeric types), and it's got direct and full access to one of the largest class libraries on the market today.

    (I'm sure someone will remind me of Scala, which is in many ways similar to F#. It's definitely comparable, but its tooling support is lagging behind, and, most importantly, it's not backed by any of the "big players" in Java land - not Sun, not Google, not IBM - or indeed, any other company.)

    The second, smaller, but still interesting bit is improved language interop. It seems that, as new core (i.e. MS-supported) .NET languages are added to the batch, the framework itself is extended as needed to provide primitives for them where more than one language uses them. For example, both F# and IronPython work with tuples, but they have previously each defined their own type for that - and so .NET 4 introduces the standard System.Tuple type, and all languages are changed to use that. So now you can actually make a tuple in IronPython, and pattern-match it in F# - nice.

    Another bit along the same lines is C# 4 dynamic type [wikipedia.org] - which is nothing but opt-in duck typing - and the associated DLR framework for exposing runtime dynamic type information in a common way. This means that static/dynamic language interop on .NET is now two-way - previously, you could easily call C# class methods from IronPython/IronRuby, but there was no easy way to call methods on IronPython/IronRuby objects in C# - but now you can do the latter just as easily.

    • by Abcd1234 (188840)

      the first time a primarily functional language goes mainstream, and gets documentation, tooling (IDE/debugging/profiling), and general support on par with the likes of C# and VB.

      a) Being included in VS != mainstream. We'll see if it actually gets used by anyone (I'm betting not, but who knows, I could be wrong), and

      b) Erlang, a functional language, has had quite advanced tooling (fancy IDE, GUI builder, debugger, etc) for some time now (and it wouldn't surprise me if other languages did, as well).

      • So totally wrong on point b. As usually, I'm convolving Eiffel, the OOP language with a fancy IDE, with Erlang, the functional programming language that's focused on parallel programming... *sigh*

        I stand by my first point, though. :)

  • Regarding C++ (Score:5, Informative)

    by xquark (649804) on Friday June 05, 2009 @05:52PM (#28227979) Homepage

    Compatibility and conformance with standards (TR1), also going that extra step forward and implementing some of the upcoming 0x features I can truly say that since VS05 MS has gone a long way. WRT Language/IDE/Debug integration nothing comes close in the OSS world for the C++ language (and please don't say CDT, I've tried using 5 and it can't even do the simple C++ syntax properly let alone templates or even simple metaprograms).

    Disappointing/sad thing with VS10 is that a lot of the interesting source code metric/analysis stuff is only available for C++\CLI. For pure C++ code metrics I've been pinning my hopes for the past 5 years on someone getting around to implementing to-do #6 of doxygen.

  • I wish they'd fix the d@mn VS help files. Visual Studio 5/6 had easy to read, easy to use help file system that reached its end with the MSDN Library of October 2001.

    The VS.NET help files have been Crap from the very beginning, and at least through 2008 have remained Crap to try to read and understand compared to their VS 6 predecessors. Whatever "genius" they hired to revamp the system into something more trendy should be stripped naked, dusted with itching powder, and hung out to rot!
  • I tried out VS2010 and found it to have some nice improvements; though nothing earth-shattering for me personally, it has some little things that are nice-to-have, and I can see how those things would improve productivity. But I had such severe performance problems I had to give up using it.

    In a solution with 12 C# projects and 3 C++ projects, compiling takes around 5 minutes (took under a minute with VS2008) and hangs the UI completely for nearly the entire time. It also seems to not honor dependencies q

  • by wandazulu (265281) on Friday June 05, 2009 @06:07PM (#28228105)

    VC6, to me, is the '57 Chevy of IDEs; it's out of date, lacking in features, isn't to everyone's tastes, but just keeps on runnin' with a strange magic that Microsoft has never been able to reproduce in its later versions. I've used every VS version since 2, and all the versions after 6 were plagued by bugginess, general slowness, and, here's the real subjective part, a feeling of fragility that I never experienced with VC6. I have used VS8 quite a bit and while I appreciate having a more up-to-date compiler (stupid BS "security warnings" aside), VC6 still, for whatever reason, remains the IDE I want to use if I have to write Windows-specific C++.

    Frankly, I don't *want* to use VC6, just like I don't want to put a bottle of lead-substitute into my gas tank every time I fill up, it's just that it has that perfect mix of speed, usefulness, and the ability to get out of my way that none of the .net versions have been able to capture.

    • Long ago... VS6 was my first contact with C++. Well, yes, I'm young ;P

      I don't have any particular feelings about that tool... Just as I don't have about any other. I always use whatever fits the task, what I know the best, what I'm comfortable with. It's usually Emacs nowadays... It was VS6 back in the day because I was a clueless newbie, that is what I had at hand, and what has worked for me.
    • VC6, to me, is the '57 Chevy of IDEs; it's out of date, lacking in features, isn't to everyone's tastes, but just keeps on runnin' with a strange magic that Microsoft has never been able to reproduce in its later versions.

      Sufficiently advanced magic is not easily reproducible, even by those who have originally made it. ~

    • Where I work we have 2 small file processing apps that were written in VB6. They are slated to be converted/upgraded/made obsolete at some point, but new features keep taking precedence over changing the 2 working apps.

  • I gave VS 2010 a try on several machines.

    If you have an SSD, it's fine, if a little sluggish, especially the more complex designers like the Entity Framework stuff.

    On a harddrive, it's almost unusable, it just churns and churns and churns for what seems like hours. Previously, serious developers needed a big monitor and lots of RAM. Now it's a big monitor, lots of RAM, and an SSD.

    Still, the new WPF editor has promise, I like the subtle gradient shading and transparency effects. I think it's a beta issue, bu

    • by Saija (1114681)

      If you have an SSD, it's fine, if a little sluggish, especially the more complex designers like the Entity Framework stuff.
      On a harddrive, it's almost unusable, it just churns and churns and churns for what seems like hours. Previously, serious developers needed a big monitor and lots of RAM. Now it's a big monitor, lots of RAM, and an SSD.

      No trying to be a troll or something, but i think a ssd its a hard drive...

      • by bertok (226922)

        I think the technical term is 'mass storage device', which encompasses both hard drives and SSDs. Even the term "Solid State Drive" is a bit silly, as there is no "drive" (motor). It's really a Solid State Mass Storage Device, but I guess SSMSD just doesn't roll off the tongue. 8)

  • ...where VS Rots the Mind [charlespetzold.com]?
  • by NullProg (70833) on Friday June 05, 2009 @10:18PM (#28229585) Homepage Journal

    Doesn't exist in Visual Studio anymore without some tweaks. If your program targets multiple platforms beyond Microsoft your in for a few headaches.

    I wonder if Martin Heller used the VS10 compiler for cross platform Wx/Gtk/Qt development (Check Audacity out). I (or someone) should do this in a future slasdot review.

    The OpenWatcom, g++, and Intel compilers are a much better solution if your targeting multiple platforms (ARM, Mac, Power5, Mainframes, cellphones etc.) I use VS6 and GCC, but your mileage may vary.

    I appreciate the fact that Microsoft is pushing for VS studio C#/.Net acceptance. As of today, that solution is just as slow and portable as Java is/was ten years ago. For some strange reason I refuse to write a program that takes twenty to thirty megabytes of RAM to run when it should only take two. Why? Because that RAM belongs to the user and the other programs they may be running, not me. Waste not, want not. If you can do it faster and for less RAM in a different language then you owe your users to do so.

    And no, I've never written a C/C++ program that was un-secure (yet), thanks for asking. And yes, I like C#/Java programming, I just have deployment issues that I've never recovered from.

    My opinion or experiences may not be yours.

    Enjoy,

  • I tried it out with one of the smaller C++ projects we've got at work, and I couldn't get it either to compile or put out useful error messages. I had a similar problem with a C# project. I'm particularly interested in C++. Has anybody gotten it to work converting a VS 2008 project?

    One blogger noted that it wouldn't compile the standard "Hello, world!" program without fiddling with the properties. Apparently, it didn't like having a main() function, and wanted something like _tmain(). That should be

    • by gparent (1242548)

      One blogger noted that it wouldn't compile the standard "Hello, world!" program without fiddling with the properties. Apparently, it didn't like having a main() function, and wanted something like _tmain(). That should be fixed by the next available version.

      Probably, since this doesn't happen in the 2008 version. It can be fixed by making an empty project instead of a Win32 Console one, I think.

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