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Talkin' C++ with Boris Jabes: C++ Intellisense, Game Development, and Boris Faces His Demons

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Boris Jabes is fun guy to talk to about C++. He has the distinction of being the first guy to share the news about the removal of C++/CLI intellisense support in VC10. He also has a great perspective on why the decision was made and understands the complexity of intellisense projects and complex C++ projects in general. I wanted to talk to him about all this because I remember the customer outcry and the amount of respectful abuse poor Boris took (all in good stride, of course) from incensed programmers. Boris is a trooper and a strong advocate for the native development community using Visual C++.

After our discussion of intellisense in VC++, we move on to exploring game development in C++ and potential directions VC may take to make it easier to build high-performing, graphically rich games. Boris is a long-time Niner and the last time I interviewed him was in the Visual Studio 2005 timeframe—he wanted to talk about C++/CLI, IDE tips and tricks, etc., and I kept asking questions about the C++ language (last comment on the post: "Charles seems so disinterested" LOL. Not true! Just wasn't thrilled about IDE stuff back then, that's all! Smiley ).

Welcome back to C9, Boris! It's always a treat to converse with you. Keep up the fantastic work—there's lots of dark matter out there that needs more light!

This is one of the typically open-minded-with-candor conversations with the C++ team that have become the norm here on C9 lately. True C9 Old School. Much thanks to the VC++ team for being so open and helpful, and for truly listening to what the VC++ community wants and needs.

Enjoy!

Related links:

Boris' infamous post on rebuilding C++ intellisense and the hard decision that was made to remove intellisense support for C++/CLI for one release of VC++ => http://blogs.msdn.com/b/vcblog/archive/2009/05/27/rebuilding-intellisense.aspx

Updated information from Tony Goodhew on the state of C++/CLI today and going forward in the next release of VC++ => http://blogs.msdn.com/b/vcblog/archive/2011/03/03/10136696.aspx

A younger Charles interviews Boris in 2005 =>http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/Charles/VC-2005-IDE-Tips-and-Tricks (WMV only. Sorry about that—it's an old post!) 

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  • felix9felix9 the cat that walked by itself

    one more link: GDC 2009: The Beauty of Destruction
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=f4899690-2006-413a-827a-1504eb66171c

  • Boris Jabes [MSFT]Boris Jabes [MSFT]

    @felix9: thanks! single greatest feature of the language...

  • felix9felix9 the cat that walked by itself

    well, sounds like VC++ team is building a GPU debugging tool like Parallel NSight or GPU PerfStudio

    https://careers.microsoft.com/JobDetails.aspx?jid=25991

  • Eric AguiarHeavens​Revenge Know Thyself

    Hello,  We need a.... "Library Library" which could be executed inside a little VM holding one library/header inside which could be used to time defined functions or call sites.  Could even have all the functions described with comment extraction you could search with Bing.  
    Having dev-defined input to those functions for giving baseline and scalar time tables to show how functions benchmark being called with specific values.  Should allow the library library to not only classify its contents, but filter the libraries by its functinos and their behaviour, speed, and characteristics by running and timing the calls insinde the secure/reduced functionality library library VM being hosted on an limited VM like Azure or whatnot.

    So yes, interesting idea Charles Tongue Out Id love a resource like that.

    Edit: The only place which I have in my bookmarks was http://www.gotapi.com awesome in way ways, it even has the Dinkumware C++ libraries refrenced there too Tongue Out Isn't easily findable by search engines either as its classified specifically for documentation. So enjoy this URL while it lasts Smiley

  • CKurtCKurt while( ( !​succeed=try​() ) ) { }

    Great video! I would love to here more about the relationship they have with the XNA team because the XNA team has a lot of experience in this area. When they first started is was also to make game development easier, better and more productive (but without keeping the C++ perf).

    They came up with stuff like Services and Gamecomponents to help build an engine. This makes life easier. You talked about more and more stand allone people get into C++ and Games, wouldn't Microsoft want those people on the XNA wagon?

  • GoogilyGoogily

    im disappointed"GDC 2009: The Beauty of Destruction"Doesn't seem to have been recoreded and uploaded to the web at all

  • I don't think there's a need for some kind of wizard that generates a game based on existing genre. Well unless that genre is Elite-style games with seamless surface to space transition that also allows to walk on planet surfaces and project the world in both 3d and pseudo-2d. That kind of thing could cover all current game genres just by changing the camera view/projection.

    Maybe MS could license this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-Novae_(game_engine)

    so that all Visual Studios would come with a wizard to create game based on that? It uses C# as scripting language which is cool.

     

    (Then again it's a good question whether it's better to have less of Elite-style games than more, since ideally you'd have lot of resources spent into building a handful of those well and avoid fragmentation of the potential player population into multiple similar games since there's not enough players to populate even single Elite style MMO very well unless the ability to travel in the galaxy is either limited or the players are encouraged to stay within close proximity)

  • Eric AguiarHeavens​Revenge Know Thyself

    @androidi: I always wanted a game based on word map date pulled from Google Maps, but depending if Bing Maps would suffice isn't up to me, but then the game would literally be... the size of Earth Tongue Out and able to travel to the moon and Mars and whatever we have mapped Tongue Out Have in-game profiles be based on actual location and what you do and where you go most often, so you never have to list you like a resteraunt, it shows your total visits etc Tongue Out Possibilities are endless wether its a fictional game based on real map data or a "real" game with physics and all. Imagine a Physics engine bolted inside Google Maps Big Smile mmmm  yummy, so many research areas available.... Tongue Out

  • zurazura

    Nice talk! Good to hear that native development is still a priority for MS.

    Slight off-topic, though:
    Startup time of VS2010 is now comparable to Eclipse (which is bad...). Compared to this, VS2008 was a Notepad (in terms of startup times). I even had splash screen turned off, because it wasn't needed...
    So, maybe this is not the main reason but anyway, the less .NET/WPF in VS, the better. At least when only Visual C++ is used/installed.

    Zura

  • Let's just claim the name right now:  nuget++

    Glad to see Boris has not left C++ behind after the beatdown. Yes, we're still waiting for C++/CLI intellisense!

    Thanks for the C++ video. More please!

  • Loved the talk, thanks so much!

    But hey I feel uneasy when I hear such great stuff from MS about power and performance but Windows Phone gets excluded. When will we have support for native C++ development for it? I actually feel mad about it. Why close the platform and limit the hardware? Is it the cost of keeping stability on Windows CE when all the power is provided through native code? Or is it caution about releasing only the APIs that can be kept compatible in the long run?

    An answer would bring a bit of comfort and patience.

    Thank you very much.

    Best regards!

    Mello

     

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