Aquarium Blog

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Please include MFC and ATL with Visual C++ Express and Visual C++ Toolkit

I left this comment on AprilR's blog a few days ago:

I am a pro developer, but I don't use C++ as often as I wish during the day. So, I recently found that I could play with the language by getting involved in some open source projects. I found an interesting group that produces a free program for Windows.

While getting acquainted with this area of the “ecosystem”, I learned how much the community appreciates your recent release of the C++ Toolkit and the upcoming Express version.

Free or inexpensive software is necessarily built with free or inexpensive tools. In this case, using a commercial compiler had been limiting the reach of the project among developers. However, there is a big challenge: Big chunks of Visual C++ the product relies on, namely MFC and ATL, are absent from the “free” versions.

I can see why Microsoft would consider those libraries only belong to the professional version of Visual C++. But reality is that if MFC and ATL are not available, some existing projects like the one I have mentioned have few chances but to look somewhere else for alternatives. New free software projects have scarce motivation to target Microsoft tools and platforms.

I have also seen a huge number of compiling errors while porting from the Visual C++ 2003 to Visual C++ 2005 Beta 2. It seems that better ISO conformance, while a great feature, makes lots of errors surface. Perhaps you could add better aid tools for this task, even if it out of cycle. Thanks. Diego.


  • Please include....
    MSDN docs

    Wouldnt mind paying a little more for these
    extras... but not interested in full blown studio prices for hobby projects...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:57 PM  

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