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Offline An_dz

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Microsoft launches free version of Visual Studio 2013
« on: November 15, 2014, 01:48:35 AM »
Microsoft has released a free version of Visual Studio 2013, entitled Community, for individuals and small business. It has all the functions form the professional version but with some tweaks for individual us (couldn't find any specific info, it was released 2 days ago).

I'm posting here so that anyone willing can now build Simutrans way easier. No need for MinGW and its complicated setup. I haven't tested as I have the pro version but it should work.

You can download it from Visual Studio official website:
http://www.visualstudio.com/products/visual-studio-community-vs

Offline DrSuperGood

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Re: Microsoft launches free version of Visual Studio 2013
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2014, 05:59:43 AM »
Wow, looks great.

I guess the economic model behind it is Microsoft trying to encourage independent developers to get hooked with their systems. Not only do they get profits from paid apps on their platforms, but also from any licences from startups that grow beyond its legal licence capacity.

Offline Ters

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Re: Microsoft launches free version of Visual Studio 2013
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2014, 09:18:57 AM »
I believe Microsoft has provided free versions of Visual Studio for some time, although with some advanced features removed.

I'm posting here so that anyone willing can now build Simutrans way easier.

Just for building, Visual Studio is overkill. All you need is run make. And I found making libz and bzip2 (and SDL, if one uses that) available to the compiler the most difficult part of setting up a build environment, and that must still be true with Visual Studio. Visual Studio is probably more useful for getting into coding Simutrans, as it's an IDE that lets you get around from file to file more easily. (Or so I guess, I have never done C++ in Visual Studio, just C#.) CodeBlocks is also a free alternative, but since Simutrans contains Visual Studio project files already, Visual Studio wins by default, even if it otherwise turns out to be as unhelpful as CodeBlocks. (Compared to how much help Java IDEs provide.)

Debugging is also likely better with Visual Studio (or even just the SDK, which I'll come back to later), since Microsoft's debugger understands the Windows libraries (including their internal data structures) and Microsoft's C++ runtime. GDB just gets lost once you leave the code compiled with GCC.

I guess the economic model behind it is Microsoft trying to encourage independent developers to get hooked with their systems. Not only do they get profits from paid apps on their platforms, but also from any licences from startups that grow beyond its legal licence capacity.

That has been their plan for years/decades. Even way before Visual Studio came in any kind of free version, the SDK, complete with all command line build tools, comparable to MingW, has been freely available. The command line tools lacks some of the advanced features of the corresponding GNU tools. I have in fact part modified, part duplicated Simutrans' makefiles to work with the Windows SDK command-line tools.

Around the time of the release of Windows 8, there was talk of withdrawing the free version of Visual C++ in favour of its sibling for creating Modern UI apps. They quickly turned around after a massive protest storm. Now it seems they might have gone further in the other direction.

This is a two-edged sword, however. That everybody could just start coding Windows applications was probably an important part of what made it the dominant consumer OS. As I've understood it, it was normal to have to buy a license to develop for a platform. On the other hand, the fact that every idiot could start writing Windows applications outside of Microsoft's control meant that there was made a lot of crappy Windows applications. These in turn caused Microsoft lots of compatibility headaches, when applications relied on specific quirks or bugs in a particular version of Windows, that had to be replicated in subsequent versions of Windows less Microsoft be blamed for breaking things.

Offline Markohs

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Re: Microsoft launches free version of Visual Studio 2013
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2014, 04:24:46 PM »
The debugger is indeed very good. If you plan to actually code I'd suggest adding "visual Assist", it's comercial but they have a demo version for 15 days I think. 2013 has a new profiler that's worth having a look at. Also remember to turn off the SAFESH mechanism that's enabled on all projects now by default, or you'll have problems linking libgz, bzip2, sdl...

Offline prissi

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Re: Microsoft launches free version of Visual Studio 2013
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2014, 06:05:49 PM »
Visual Studio EXPRESS has been free for ages. It became first free with Visual Studio 2005 (before there were no local variables in for loops and so on. I think almost all this extra code for VC 6.x has been removed by now.)

Currently we support VC Express 2010 as minimal version. Anyway, upgrading the project file will be done the first time you load it into the Studio.

The differences between Visual Studio Pro and Express is that you are not allowed to sale your stuff (maybe now in the App store?), no Fortran (if this still exists), no plugin support, and that there is no profiler. However, while Microsoft certainly got their debugger right, their profiler is not very useful since it includes swapping main memory and other time spent during system calls.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Microsoft launches free version of Visual Studio 2013
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2014, 07:41:53 PM »
This is interesting. I currently use Visual Studio Express 2012 for developing Experimental. I wonder whether the advanced features are worth the upgrade?

Offline prissi

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Re: Microsoft launches free version of Visual Studio 2013
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2014, 09:16:54 PM »
This may not run on Windows 7; at least it states that it wants windows8 (probably because of the windows store for Apps)

Offline DrSuperGood

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Re: Microsoft launches free version of Visual Studio 2013
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2014, 02:27:26 AM »
Quote
This is interesting. I currently use Visual Studio Express 2012 for developing Experimental. I wonder whether the advanced features are worth the upgrade?
I was using express 2010 and as far as I can tell there is no reason not to upgrade (free is free).

Quote
This may not run on Windows 7; at least it states that it wants windows8 (probably because of the windows store for Apps)
It works perfectly on Windows 7 Ultimate.

Offline Ters

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Re: Microsoft launches free version of Visual Studio 2013
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2014, 08:47:16 AM »
I don't remember if it was for 2012 or 2013 I read this, but I did read once that what required Windows 8 was the Windows Phone emulator.

Offline Markohs

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Re: Microsoft launches free version of Visual Studio 2013
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2014, 06:21:17 PM »
I use vs 2013 in w7