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Well here we are on CodeInsight.com! I’ve been writing code for a very long time now and I have a lot to share. I am working on a .Net wrapper for the GNU GSL (See GSL it here) Here’s what I’ve got so far: Gnu.dll. It is a bit generous for me to use the namespace Gnu, but there is a lot of open source legacy “C” code that I’d like to wrap for use in .Net, and the “Gnu” namespace seemed the most appropriate.

I really like .Net and think that it is long overdue. I have been writing code pretty much entirely on MS-DOS and Windows since 1986 and I have used Microsoft products pretty consistently the entire time. As far as MS code development, the only MS products I haven’t used are COBOL and Fortran (although I have use Fortran on other platforms). I have also had the pleasure of dealing with MS for support over the years. When MS came out with Visual Studio 1.0 for use on Windows 3.0 in 1992 they really took a step backwards from Programmer’s Workbench. PWB was almost as good as emacs as a code development platform. But heck, VS 1.0 didn’t even have regular expressions in the editor- how lame is that? Plus it came on 22 floppies and took over 3 hours to install! But the telephone tech support was pretty good, and VS did improve over the years. I was really happy when VS 5.0 came out and had incremental compiles and “Edit & Continue” for C+. I thought that was just soo coool!

When .Net came out in 2002 I thought that VS took another leap forward. I really liked VS 6.0, but VS.Net was missing something I always took for granted in VB: Edit & Continue! How could they take it away??? At least they still had it in C++, which was really killer. When VS.Net 2003 came out I was happy with it too. But when VS.Net 2005 came out I was immediately disappointed!

Sure, VS.Net 2005 had lots of great new features and it claimed to have Edit & Continue, but the debugger was broken! At least the debugger was broken for use in “mixed mode” development (managed/unmanaged solutions). Back in the day, a mixed mode project was using different development platforms like C, assembly, and VB, and then linking them together, something I have done since ‘93 when I got VB 3.0. I still like to use VB as the GUI and C++ Dll’s for the implementation. The legacy code I use interfaces quite nicely with .Net, if you know how to do it (thus the port of GSL).

You see in VS.Net 2005 in the unmanaged code you can either set a breakpoint or edit the code during a break in a debug session, but not both! And it is a hassle to switch the modes.

One week before the official release of VS.Net 2005 I created a bug report on this at the MS web site. The lame-o’s at MS tech support kept insisting that this was a feature not a bug, since Edit & Continue was not supported in mixed mode. My point was that I didn’t care if the code didn’t compile and run on the fly, I only want to edit it while I stepped through the code, so as to correct and improve it during the debug session!

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