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A question on XP support in VC11

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  • User profile image
    Jaukku

    @evildictaitor: You clearly do not understand the issue at hand. Please try not to post about things you have no idea about.

    What we are complaining about is being able to compile C++11 (<thread> and others, ranged based for loop, etc.) code to into binaries that run on XP SP3 and above. While you can use the VC10 compiler from VC11, this does NOT allow you to use the new C++11 features (which the whole point of VC11 for many of us).

    In other words, multi-targeting is useless for what we want.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , cheong wrote

    Why not just continue using your old VS2010 or earlier?

    Visual Studio is more than just a compiler. You might want the IDE, Intellisense and so on of VS2011, but if you care more about XP than about speed, new language features and security then perhaps you'll want the VS2010 toolchain at the backend of it.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , Jaukku wrote

    @evildictaitor: You clearly do not understand the issue at hand. Please try not to post about things you have no idea about.

    Back at 'cha.

    What we are complaining about is being able to compile C++11 (<thread> and others, ranged based for loop, etc.) code to into binaries that run on XP SP3 and above.

    Yeah. You can't do that - and that's the fault of your customers. They want XP. Give your customers what they want. And that's a program written in C++ < 11 using a toolchain < VS2011.

  • User profile image
    cheong

    @evildictaitor:We may want the IDE, but we're not going to be able to justify the cost to upper level with just a better IDE, but without significant difference to the apperance/performance of the application we write. People who buy their own tools like me is the minority, most people just be able to use whatever programming tools provided by the company.

    That's the reality, I think.

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  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , cheong wrote

    @evildictaitor:We may want the IDE, but we're not going to be able to justify the cost to upper level with just a better IDE, but without significant difference to the apperance/performance of the application we write. People who buy their own tools like me is the minority, most people just be able to use whatever programming tools provided by the company.

    That's the reality, I think.

    If the new VS2011 IDE improves the productivity of your staff, that's still a valid reason to upgrade - regardless of new UI/perf in the compiled application. If you have 100 staff and they all become 20% more efficient, you're working as hard as if you had 120 staff - and that 20% spare time that just opened up will make more of a difference to the look and features of your product than any amount of fancy new perf or UI that comes out of the compiler.

    Just for instance, intellisense and the static analysis (warnings) in VS2011 use the VS2011 toolchain not the VS2010 toolchain, and hence even if you're compiling in VS2011 with the VS2010 toolchain there's still added benefit.

    Whether that's worth the price of the upgrade is not my call - that's up to whoever pays the bills in your company and how more (or less) effective VS2011 would actually make your team.

  • User profile image
    cheong

    @evildictaitor:You can't prove something will improve productivity to the point that justify the additional cost. You can say that there's feature here and there that will improve the productivity, but try present that to upper management and see if they can understand!

    But trying to quantify the improvement usually is wrong too. A productive team is used to current tools, so additional tools - except a long wanted one - will add little to productivity. A poor performing team won't get much improvement too becasue their problem is on another level that's not something development tool can improve. So the estimation have high chance to not look impressive enough to justify the cost, or just plain wrong.

    So the XP support is really a issue for developer needing a new tool, especially since most developer is still using WinXP as development OS in companies, the cost of moving to VS11 will be "the cost of using VS11 + the cost of migrating to Vista+ systems" in their eyes. Whoever want to push buying this would certainly need impressive report to let the upper levels approve the budget.

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  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , cheong wrote

    @evildictaitor:You can't prove something will improve productivity to the point that justify the additional cost. You can say that there's feature here and there that will improve the productivity, but try present that to upper management and see if they can understand!

    I do it all the time. Upper management always wants you to be more productive for low cost. What they don't want is spending money for stuff developers don't want, or spending lots of money on stuff you don't need. If you say to the CEO of your company "This tool will allow us to make your products faster, safer and ready-for-market sooner" then he'll get out his check book.

    But trying to quantify the improvement usually is wrong too. A productive team is used to current tools, so additional tools - except a long wanted one - will add little to productivity. A poor performing team won't get much improvement too becasue their problem is on another level that's not something development tool can improve. So the estimation have high chance to not look impressive enough to justify the cost, or just plain wrong.

    If that were true, why did you ever leave Visual Studio 2003? And what possible scenario could there be where your CEO would ever allow you to buy VS2011, XP-support or not?

    So the XP support is really a issue for developer needing a new tool, especially since most developer is still using WinXP as development OS in companies, the cost of moving to VS11 will be "the cost of using VS11 + the cost of migrating to Vista+ systems" in their eyes. Whoever want to push buying this would certainly need impressive report to let the upper levels approve the budget.

    Your CEO doesn't care about XP or Vista or anything. she/he cares about profit margins. If 90% of your customers are using XP, you're probably not going to be able to upgrade to VS2011, but if 5% of them are, and your team will be 10% more effective with VS2011 than without, then the CEO will happily ditch those customers in order to reap the 5% marginal improvement.

  • User profile image
    cheong

    , evildictaitor wrote

    *If that were true, why did you ever leave Visual Studio 2003? And what possible scenario could there be where your CEO would ever allow you to buy VS2011, XP-support or not?

    No. I quit using VS2003 since I change company. The company I worked still using VS2003 at the time. They have components that use .NET v1.1 runtime and the boss don't want to pay for the upgrade because there's no visible benefit, and .NET v4.0 which allow things be run side-by-side aren't invented yet.

    EDIT: Btw, that company is a Microsoft Certified Partner which have MSDN subscription. Cost of buying VS2005 was non-existant, only the inerta of old codebase and various components.

    The next company is outsourcing company that must use whatever the customers provide, be it VS2005, Java Eclipse, Foxpro or just VB coding interface of Access VBA. The programming languages and tools just varies each project.

    The next company uses Java and just migrated to .NET last year, so decision for VS IDE is irrelevent.

    My current company also use VS2010 from the beginning, so the decision is irrelevent too.

    Your CEO doesn't care about XP or Vista or anything. she/he cares about profit margins. If 90% of your customers are using XP, you're probably not going to be able to upgrade to VS2011, but if 5% of them are, and your team will be 10% more effective with VS2011 than without, then the CEO will happily ditch those customers in order to reap the 5% marginal improvement.

    Err.. first, let me correct you that the new VS is VS11, not VS2011. It's just VS2010 is also the 10th version of VS so it's shortened to VS10. (VS2008 is 9.0, VS2005 is 8.0, VS.NET 2003 is 7.1, VS.NET 2002 is 7.0, VS6 is the one with VB98... Tongue Out ) If anything, please name it VS2012.

    Back to the topic... Except the increase in margin is generally not be seen in a short time. Remember what I said? Most users (including me) using VS2010 is still running it in WinXP. And there'll be lots of work to do for upgrading developer's machines to (Win7 I suppose). The environment needs to be set up to make sure old tools doesn't break in the new machine. There's expected dayloss to the upgrade time (okay, I'll stop here... just everything you need to do for upgrading development machine)

    It's just reasonable to say that the greatest pushback is from the OS, no matter customer side or developer side. So no... having support for IDE and the runtime for longlife OS like WinXP stopped in the same version of VS doesn't sound too wise. I'd say Microsoft should drop IDE support for WinXP in VS2010, then upgrade to this version would have faced less resistance. (Just like what you said, a new IDE with productivity feature that could be available in no time - just install the new IDE and use it)

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  • User profile image
    PFYB

    , evildictaitor wrote

    *snip*

    If the new VS2011 IDE improves the productivity of your staff, that's still a valid reason to upgrade - regardless of new UI/perf in the compiled application. If you have 100 staff and they all become 20% more efficient, you're working as hard as if you had 120 staff - and that 20% spare time that just opened up will make more of a difference to the look and features of your product than any amount of fancy new perf or UI that comes out of the compiler.

    Just for instance, intellisense and the static analysis (warnings) in VS2011 use the VS2011 toolchain not the VS2010 toolchain, and hence even if you're compiling in VS2011 with the VS2010 toolchain there's still added benefit.

    Whether that's worth the price of the upgrade is not my call - that's up to whoever pays the bills in your company and how more (or less) effective VS2011 would actually make your team.

    Now, this is what I would call grasping at straws.

    You are right, whether improvements to the IDE are reason enough to upgrade to a new version of Visual Studio is not your call. Let me tell you, I have *never* seen any C++ team to upgrade on that merit alone. Never. The compiler and the tooling were *always* what the upgrades were all about.

    Now, this is a big world, so I am sure you will find some developers who wouldn't care much about the compiler and would upgrade just for the IDE. But you'd be hard-pressed to show if this type of behavior is at all typical. We are not exactly newbies here. We do C++ for a living, did it for umpteen years. The compiler and the tooling always go first. End of story.

  • User profile image
    PFYB

    , evildictaitor wrote

    What we are complaining about is being able to compile C++11 (<thread> and others, ranged based for loop, etc.) code to into binaries that run on XP SP3 and above.

    ---

    Yeah. You can't do that - and that's the fault of your customers. They want XP. Give your customers what they want. And that's a program written in C++ < 11 using a toolchain < VS2011.

    This is simply bizarre.

    We say that a lot of our customers, as well as a lot of users in general, worldwide, are still on XP. We ask Microsoft to please reconsider their decision to drop support for XP. We say that without such support we won't be able to use VC11, which would be a shame.

    Your reaction is: we have bad customers. What? Really??

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , PFYB wrote

    *snip*

    Now, this is what I would call grasping at straws.

    You are right, whether improvements to the IDE are reason enough to upgrade to a new version of Visual Studio is not your call. Let me tell you, I have *never* seen any C++ team to upgrade on that merit alone. Never. The compiler and the tooling were *always* what the upgrades were all about.

    Now, this is a big world, so I am sure you will find some developers who wouldn't care much about the compiler and would upgrade just for the IDE. But you'd be hard-pressed to show if this type of behavior is at all typical. We are not exactly newbies here. We do C++ for a living, did it for umpteen years. The compiler and the tooling always go first. End of story.

    That might be true for you, but it's certainly not what I've seen in the several companies I've worked at.

    Developers where I've worked have cared more about intellisense working and being able to use new tools like WPF and static analysis tools to any 5% improvement from new and clever optimisations in the toolchain.

    I've even worked at a company where they used VS just as an IDE, and toolchained to GCC because they were compiling for Linux, but wanted intellisense. So I'm not going to buy your "We only want a command prompt, the IDE adds nothing" argument.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    Anyway, this thread is getting old and boring. The long and short answer is that VS11 doesn't ship with XP as a backend, but that you can toolchain it with VS2010.

  • User profile image
    Ted.w

    , evildictaitor wrote

    Anyway, this thread is getting old and boring. The long and short answer is that VS11 doesn't ship with XP as a backend, but that you can toolchain it with VS2010.

    Microsoft has officially replied that they will take a look.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/vcblog/archive/2012/04/18/10295093.aspx#10296691

    quote from Steve Teixeira: "The ball is now in our court, and we will follow up on this issue in the coming weeks to talk about our plan for Dev11 RTM."

  • User profile image
    PFYB

    , evildictaitor wrote

    I've even worked at a company where they used VS just as an IDE, and toolchained to GCC because they were compiling for Linux, but wanted intellisense. So I'm not going to buy your "We only want a command prompt, the IDE adds nothing" argument.

    I bet the VS team is thrilled about this arrangement. Perhaps they can do away with the compiler and become just an IDE, since there are so many people who'd buy VS just as an IDE. /sarcasm

    The IDE does add value, of course. But don't overestimate the value of "one more" IDE, which is what VS11 is. There are plenty of good IDEs, including previous versions of VS, which people can use already. It *is* all about the compiler.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , PFYB wrote

    The IDE does add value, of course. But don't overestimate the value of "one more" IDE, which is what VS11 is. There are plenty of good IDEs, including previous versions of VS, which people can use already. It *is* all about the compiler.

    I write a lot of code in C++, and to be honest, having worked with a completely broken intellisense in 2005, I can confidently say that intellisense (read: the IDE) has made more of an impact to my productivity than any optimisations passes or language features introduced since then.

  • User profile image
    PFYB

    , evildictaitor wrote

    I can confidently say that intellisense (read: the IDE) has made more of an impact to my productivity than any optimisations passes or language features introduced since then.

    So?

    Like I said, don't overestimate the value of "one more" IDE, which is what VS11 is. There are plenty of good IDEs, including previous versions of VS, which people can use already. These IDEs have Intellisense.

    Meh.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , PFYB wrote

    *snip*

    So?

    Like I said, don't overestimate the value of "one more" IDE, which is what VS11 is. There are plenty of good IDEs, including previous versions of VS, which people can use already. These IDEs have Intellisense.

    Meh.

    There are plenty of great compilers and toolchains out there too. If you don't like the Visual Studio IDE and you don't like the Visual Studio toolchain (because it won't compile for XP), why are you bothering to use Visual Studio?

  • User profile image
    MrChris

    evildictaitor, no one else in the C++ community shares your opinion, you're alone in all this. Go see latest blog entry in vcblog. If most of your productivity comes from IntelliSense rather than language features and libraries then it's just unfortunate. IntelliSense if of course very good, but if you can't do without it you're not a good programmer.

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