Stuck on MFC

I had just installed Visual Studio 2005 on my workstation. And I needed to do some rapid application development. There was no time to come up to speed. So I fell back on the framework that I was most familiar with. That is the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC). Almost all of my Windows application programming has been done with MFC. It proved to be beneficial when every second counted towards completing an application.

But this was not the point of installing Visual Studio 2005. I heard somebody say that, even if you have experience with Dot NET version 1.0, you are obsolete. And I have not even reached that point yet. I am wondering if it is even worth getting into the Dot NET framework at all. I have a rapid application development tool set, albeit an old one. The new is that there is a new version of MFC out for Visual Studio 2008.

There may still be some application for which Dot NET is the best tool to use. So it would be best if I at least learned the basics to be able to tell which technology to use. It seems like this skill would help on interviews as well. Everybody is either into or going towards Dot NET. I met a developer that needed some expertise in my client's particular domain. He was impressed with my C# book library. I told him I just played around with it and found it similar to Visual Basic. He told me that F# was more hard core, and was something I should look into. Too bad I know little about it.

Time to hit the books and documentation. I have the IDE. Now its time to get to work. Good luck to me. If in the end I discover that this Dot NET business is all hype, at least I will have done the research myself and formed an opinion. I hope that Microsoft has not come out with a new methodology by then.

Visual Studio 2005 Installation

I got a trial copy of Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite from Microsoft. And today I finally got around to installing the darn thing. The trial version remains active for 180 days. Should be enough time to get my bearings.

One confusing thing was that my trial copy got shipped with 4 DVDs. It was not intuitively obvious which of these 4 DVDs I should install. The SQL Server 2005 DVD was obviously not the right one. But there was a Visual Studio 2005 Foundation Server DVD. There was also a Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals DVD. In the end I chose the DVD entitled Visual Studio 2005 and hoped for the best. I guess Microsoft assumes you know what to install.

I chose to do a full installation. This amounted to 4G worth of disk space. Should not be a problem as I have a large hard drive. But what is all this stuff? Once I was done, I found that the version I had chosen to install was officially called "Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite". All I really care about is Visual C++ 2005. So I should be covered. In fact, the first time I fired up Visual Studio, it asked me to choose a setting. Since Visual C++ was one of the default choices, I felt confident I was going down the right path.

It was funny to see an advertisement from Microsoft during the install saying that I could "write less code" if I chose Visual Studio. I understand where they are coming from. But I like writing a lot of code. Installation took a while. So I browsed the Microsoft site to see how much this thing would cost if I wanted to buy it. Apparently they are not selling Visual Studio 2005 any more. But they do list the prices for Visual Studio 2008. The full version of professional costs a whopping $799. However standard goes for $299 for a full version. Still expensive.