Visual Studio 2010 observations

For my basic programming concepts series of tutorials, I did not have to go very far into detail for the aspects covered and was able to show effective examples without having to utilize an full fledged integrated development environment for C++ and C#. However, the next series of tutorials that I am looking to do (Which currently has a working title of "Moving Past Basic Programming Concepts") is not as universal in their respective implementations. As a result, I have opted to use Visual Studio 2010 Professional as my IDE for C# and for C++ use both that and Eclipse. (I rotate between Windows and Linux so I wanted something for both operating systems.) There are a few observations I have made about Visual Studio that I figure I should share.

The installation process has a few major issues. One being that the program forces installation of many parts of Visual Studio on the primary drive, which makes life miserable for people with split partitions such as myself who intentionally kept their main windows partition small. Also, the installation process is unnecessarily long compared to other installations of programs of similar size. The biggest issue I saw though was of instability as it took me three times to make the program install correctly. Fortunately, there was nothing that breaks the program, but these are serious issues.

Another matter is that while the program is functional, it does not perform as well as it should. I ran the program on a laptop that is actually capable of running practically any PC game with no problem. (This includes running Crysis on high settings.) With that in mind, I find it odd that the program can often have a considerably longer than normal startup time and uses more resources than other IDEs I have used. I will mention though that it is better than some of the experiences I had with Code::Blocks.

The one thing I have mixed feelings about the most though is how it handles GUIs. The designer allows for handling GUIs to be not too bad, but that is a bit of a double edged sword as I feel that the code generated is not very well formed since all of it was shoved into one method. I have not attempted to manually code the GUI on my own yet, but I plan on doing so shortly as one of the programs I have done requires more flexibility.

As a result, I feel that Visual Studio is an ok IDE, but the professional version is simply not worth the pricetag. There are too many downsides to justify it. There are plenty of things I do like about it though and hopefully Microsoft will work to fix the weaknesses.