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The Sad Reality of Visual Studio 2012

February 10, 2013

After so many years working almost exclusively with GNU/Linux, I had to put my hands on Visual Studio 2012 (not that I felt excited about it - quite the opposite, actually).

Having done plenty of Windows programming in the past (with Borland C/C++ 5.02, Visual C++ 4.2, Visual Studio 6.0, just to name a few), I thought this job wouldn’t bother me too much. Oh man, how wrong I was!

Microsoft used to provide a reasonable programming toolset. What’s happened then?

I don’t have answers. But one thing I know: the whole experience was like running one of those over-bloated Java IDEs. Under old hardware. Abstracted by a buggy JVM. (overall unresponsiveness almost drove me nuts; long delays were common place, and everything was sooo slooooww…)

Compared to VS 2012, GNU Emacs for Windows doing ‘M-x rgrep’ on a big solution felt like a walk in the park (Emacs is my editor of choice, but the Windows version isn’t a speed demon either).

The GUI “flatness” (and lack of color) reached a depressing point. Now, I finally understand Paul DiLascia. He’s joked in a prehistoric MSJ article that, one day, Windows 3.x GUI would come back as a fashion trend.

IDEs like this are very efficient at sucking the soul out of your body (specially when doing “corporate” programming). Take care.