Has anyone been able to debug with VS2005?

Jim Hewes jhewesNOSPAM at ix.netcom.com
Sat Nov 11 17:36:26 PST 2006

I've been loosely following the D forums for a while as a lurker. Perhaps 
this post is more appropriate for the main D forums but I'm really still a 
beginner so I'll post here.

Is is possible to debug with Visual Studio 2005? I use VS2005 regularly with 
C++ and to some small extent C#. It would be nice to be able to use this 
IDE. My beginning attempt to debug the sample D code with it didn't work.

This kind of brings up a point. I realize that the D language is considered 
to increase your productivity by 30% or so, based on line count. But I think 
that productivity results from multiple factors, only one of which is the 
language. When I try to evaluate which language would be a good choice for 
my application, I think of the whole development experience. Have you ever 
tried C# within VS2005? I can get going rather quickly. No environment 
variables to set up; no INI files to configure. You can start a project from 
a template and immediately compile and run it. If you want a GUI control, 
just plop it onto the dialog and it generates the code. All this is due to 
the IDE, not the language.

I don't mean to sound like an advertisement for VS2005 and C#. My point is 
that by comparison, even though the D language is productive, some of that 
is negated by the whole development experience. When I look at the big 
picture and think which total package is going to make my life easier, it's 
probably going to be C++ or C# on VS2005. True, D is a better language than 
C++. And I have a couple of dislikes about C#, namely the questionable 
support for the RAII paradigm, that I'll require users to install the .NET 
Framework, and that it's not cross-platform (is MONO a serious option?). Of 
course, MS has many more resources than the D community. All I'm saying is 
that I think D would have a better chance of success if the entire 
development experience is improved, not just the language itself.

I recently came across Harmonia, and I downloaded it and preceded to build 
it. The documentation is somewhat lacking. I was a bit puzzled at first by 
what was supposed to happen. I guess I was assuming a .LIB file would be 
built but I didn't see one and I didn't see any instructions describing what 
was going on. What exactly was it building, and where is it? Of course I 
discovered that it builds just the OBJ files, that you link your application 
with these, and you need to set up a path to the Harmonia source code since 
D doesn't have header files. No doubt, the Harmonia regulars know all of 
this unconsciously at this point, and so documentation isn't needed for 
them. But to the new guy who has just happened across it for the first time, 
it not so obvious right away how to piece it all together.

Hey, I'm getting to be a relatively old fart and did my time in the 80's 
doing everything on the command line. However, I'm not a proponent of the 
"real manly programmers use the command line and build everything with make" 
philosophy. I'll become a programming wimp if it means a nicer environment. 
I love Intellisense.

Sorry if this is a rant; I didn't mean it to be. I guess I just wanted to 
mention---and I know that everyone does understand this---that to make D a 
realistic and practical choice, there are plenty of things to worry about 
besides the language itself.


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