Steve Teixeira and Bill Dunlap: Visual C++ Today and Tomorrow

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How will VC++ evolve? How has the advent of managed code affected the evolutionary trajectory of VC++? What's the VC++ team up to these days, anyway? How much time are they spending innovating C++, the native language?

Tune in and learn first hand from two people who know the answers to the above questions (and much more); Steve Teixeira, Group Program Manager, and Bill Dunlap, Program Manager.

If you want to know where Visual C++ is heading, then you definitely want to watch this interview. If you are a C++ developer, the message should be very loud and clear: Microsoft has not forgotten about you!

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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    mwirth
    haven't seen the video yet, but i need to reply right away!

    Thanks for this interview on vc++ ! the "quiet" aura surrounding c++ at microsoft has concerned me for quite some time.. actually since the advent of the CLI languages. i think it's a top priority to not only cheer the c#,vb.net crowd but also to make the native c++ people feel at home. this might have been handled in a non-optimal way in the last few years.

    i haven't posted in a long time .. my frustration with CLI centric evangelism being part of the reason. but i need to thank Charles and the team for not forgetting about c++ which is what keeps us alive under the hood, imo.

    Cheers,
    Martin

    edit:
    08:06: ".. moving forward we will increase our emphasis on native code development."

    made me spontaneously perform the typical bowler's "score a strike" - move.

    the whole video seems to present a 100% wonderful direction for vc++. this is making me really happy.
  • User profile image
    hypermatt
    Jeez finally! I'm worried that it may be to late, this news would been great 1-2 years ago but now the benefits of c# is getting to be overwhelming. Seriously things like the ide not even supporting the updated windows controls was a nightmare, I remember how much time we wasted on projects just manually changing styles so controls looked right. Maybee if they got WPF/E (since its a small runtime) fully integrated, I would start to consider c++ again for desktop apps. Really C++ main benefit now is that it doesn't require a 20mb redistrib.
  • User profile image
    nightski

    7k+ new unmanaged APIs?  Awesome!  I have used a few but I had no idea there were that many.  Is there a place available that lists these new APIs (most or all of them)?

    Thanks.

  • User profile image
    megame

    Thank you!

    Can't wait for the next version of MSC++.

  • User profile image
    Charles
    nightski wrote:
    

    7k+ new unmanaged APIs?  Awesome!  I have used a few but I had no idea there were that many.  Is there a place available that lists these new APIs (most or all of them)?

    Thanks.



    I pulled that number out of thin air. Probably closer to 5K. I am actively trying to track down where they are all exposed. Stay tuned.
    C
  • User profile image
    Charles
    Re New APIs: Look here.
    C
  • User profile image
    nightski
    Thanks for the link!
  • User profile image
    Charles
    Note that, strangely, the new Shell APIs are absent from the list. MSDN is aware of this bug and working on it...  (There's a lot of them...)
    C
  • User profile image
    ScaleOven​Stove
    I think they forgot to mention one reason why native code development is still an option for so many people: Microsoft failed to deploy the .NET Framework to XP as a required update. For people who want to target 90%+ of the market, without relying on distributing the .NET Framework, there really isn't an option to use managed code.

    They finally got it right with Vista, but now it will be 3-5 years before saturation.
  • User profile image
    stevetei
    Framework deployment is certainly an issue for some folks, such as those that require fast, minimal dependency binaries (e.g., for deployment as a small web download).  I would say, however, that the group of customers in this category shrinks a little everyday as the frameworks become ever-more pervasive and developers continue to find value in managed code.
  • User profile image
    RichardRudek
    ScaleOvenStove wrote:
    They finally got it right with Vista, but now it will be 3-5 years before saturation.

    Unless your unfortunate enough to do some sub-contracting work for a large Corporation or Government who are just now deploying Windows XP to Desktops with IE6 and Office 2003...
  • User profile image
    littleguru
    Nice to hear that MS C++ is moving on. There is so much legacy code out there and interop should made better.

    This video is like a massage to all existing C++ devs out there Tongue Out
  • User profile image
    staceyw
    RichardRudek wrote:
    
    ScaleOvenStove wrote: They finally got it right with Vista, but now it will be 3-5 years before saturation.

    Unless your unfortunate enough to do some sub-contracting work for a large Corporation or Government who are just now deploying Windows XP to Desktops with IE6 and Office 2003...


    In that case, why not just deploy .Net 2.0 with the image?
  • User profile image
    staceyw
    ScaleOvenStove wrote:
    I think they forgot to mention one reason why native code development is still an option for so many people: Microsoft failed to deploy the .NET Framework to XP as a required update. For people who want to target 90%+ of the market, without relying on distributing the .NET Framework, there really isn't an option to use managed code.

    They finally got it right with Vista, but now it will be 3-5 years before saturation.


    I could be wrong, but is this really an issue anymore.  I mean how many people have not downloaded it already?  I don't see this a big issue anymore.  It can be installed with your program and they have a few different option there to make it pretty seemless.
  • User profile image
    RichardRudek
    staceyw wrote:
    
    RichardRudek wrote:Unless your unfortunate enough to do some sub-contracting work for a large Corporation or Government who are just now deploying Windows XP to Desktops with IE6 and Office 2003...


    In that case, why not just deploy .Net 2.0 with the image?


    What image ?  You mean the new desktop deployments ?

    Note that as a sub-contractor, I have very little say about how the client runs their IT departments or infrastructure.

    To that end, these types of clients are so anal about what is supplied to them, that even when you follow everything to the letter, it takes a year to deploy really simple stuff.

    I can understand their motivations, ALL of the stuff which becomes part of their SOE (Standard Operating Environment) needs to be regression tested, which includes security audits.

    So the reality of the situation is that deploying something like the .NET framework to desktops or servers will fail the security audits, because they are basically overworked (perhaps lazy) and/or incompetent - the better safe than sorry principle ; when in doubt, leave it out... To achieve "breakthrough", there has to be a significant amount of back-pressure from many vendors. Usually yielding without having actually performed any competent form of security audit...

    Hell, just trying to have them setup Integrated Security between their Servers is a non-starter. So you have this insane situation where as a developer, you have to involve myself in their security administrivia - violating the "need to know" security principles. Stupid stuff, really.

    But then again, these IT departments are just appendages - their core business/purpose is not IT.

  • User profile image
    Scott.​Esbrandt
    It's great to hear that Microsoft has such good things in store for VC++.  With new interoperability with .NET and LINQ integrated, I can't wait to check it out.  I thought Microsoft was going to drop the ball with C++ and native code in general, but it looks like they'll prove me wrong.  Great Video!!!
  • User profile image
    mwirth
    scott, the way i understood it linq won't be integrated into c++/cli in the near future. i think the interviewees were talking about the new data interfaces that might show up in iso c++0x (which ones will make it remains to be seen).
  • User profile image
    stevetei
    Indeed, there will be no direct LINQ support in VC++ for Orcas, as least as far as new language enhancements go.  There are some LINQ APIs that are accessible from .NET languages without the LINQ-specific language features, and these kinds of things are accessible from C++/CLI, although I wouldn't be so bold as to call this "LINQ support."

    However, we intend to get better and better about our level of interop with C#, so that it becomes increasingly easy to take advantage of C# as well as C++ innovations from VC++ applications.

    What I mentioned in the video is that some of the language enhancements planned for C++0x (automatic type inference, for example) dovetail well with features need by LINQ, so it's possible we could chose to directly support LINQ from C++/CLI sometime in the future.
  • User profile image
    troff
    I don't know.

    TR1 was finalized in 2005. When exactly was this video shot? How do you innovate about standards compliance?

    I am by the way finally quite happy about the level of (C++98) compliance with VS2005. It was a giant leap forward, so I'm really glad to hear that we're not heading back to the bad old days of having to dumb down your programs for VC interoperability when the new standard(s) come(s) into effect.

    Other than that I am really quite disappointed that C++ will continue to be a 2nd class citizen in VS "Orcas", but on the other hand it's nice to know that the whole toolset is being rethought.
    Even with the single digit MLOC that I come into contact with, really simple stuff like being able to propagate changes to a class or member name in most cases would have been a big help, but hey, sed is great for metametaprogramming.
  • User profile image
    bdhc73a

    Here are some more links to the new Vista APIs:

    Windows API: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa383874.aspx

    GDI: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms536794.aspx

    And a download which has "New Windows Vista APIs.xls" and TopTen.chm

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/D/9/B/D9BEB875-BC1D-4338-A655-251F4F353B2E/Top10Wave.exe

    And an actual c++ class library:
    GDI+: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms533798.aspx

  • User profile image
    DannyJ
    Oh thank goodness for that! Microsoft seems to give the impression that .NET is the way forward, so I've always wondered where the future is heading for native C++ development. Glad to hear the future is bright for us Cpp devs out there. It seems that most of the world uses C++ as their primary dev method of choice, and that isn't going to change any time soon. - Even doing a Compiler ID on popular executables of the latest commerical apps confirm that.

  • User profile image
    dcsoft
    "Bill has gotten us better at naming things"

    Huh?  When I see names like the "Visual 2005 Service Pack 1 for Vista" that is different than "Visual 2005 Service Pack 1", and other mile long product names (e.g. Windows Presentation Foundation, and not Avalon), etc.,  the person in charge of naming things at Microsoft definitely needs to be put out to pasture.

    -- David
  • User profile image
    stevetei
    dcsoft wrote:
    Huh?  When I see names like the "Visual 2005 Service Pack 1 for Vista" that is different than "Visual 2005 Service Pack 1", and other mile long product names (e.g. Windows Presentation Foundation, and not Avalon), etc.,  the person in charge of naming things at Microsoft definitely needs to be put out to pasture.


    I'm afraid the VC++ team can't take, uh.... credit for those things.  We're happy when we call things like our marshaling library the "Marshaling Library." I supposed we could also have called it the the "Microsoft Super Fancy Data Converter Template Classes Foundation," but that's just more typing.

    But I hear you... we can often come up with some pretty head-scratching names as a company.  Although we do also get it right sometimes (Windows, xbox, and C# come to mind as good names).
  • User profile image
    swe
    Hi!

    Please give us something better than MFC. Smartwin++ is very nice and BSD. If you develop an IDE for it, I'm sure it will be popular.

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