Has anyone been able to debug with VS2005?

Bill Baxter wbaxter at gmail.com
Sat Nov 11 18:03:02 PST 2006

Jim Hewes wrote:
> 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.

Howdy.  I tried it recently with VS 2003.  Using "Attach to process" you 
can step through the code set breakpoints etc, but VS apparently doesn't 
know what to do with D's variables, so you can't actually do much of 
anything.   I have no idea if it's possible to make some kind plugin for 
Visual Studio that would make it possible to view variables, but if so 
it would be fantastic.  I have a friend who worked on the debugger at 
Microsoft, so maybe I'll drop him a line about that.

> 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.

Agreed.  C++ with a good IDE can still beat the pants off D for 
productivity.  Even though C++ as a language may not be as productive.

> 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. 

I think most people would agree with you here.  Just someone has to 
write it.  There's some momentum picking up recently on an Eclipse 
plugin, but even that's aiming more for the Intellisense side, with no 
plans for debugging support just yet.

If you'd like to get involved in that project I'm sure they'd welcome a 
seasoned command-line hacker from the 80's.  :-)  Particularly if you've 
got expertise in writing debuggers. :-D


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