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Can I have my VC6 project build back, please?

You might have noticed at this point that I spend a lot of time blogging about issues with Visual Studio. The reason is that I spend a lot of time using it -- both in a professional and hobby capacity. When it works well, I work well, and when it doesn't... well, I'm told that I swear a lot and that a Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro is not meant to be used with a fist. I broke a plastic keyboard tray in college that way.

For the most part, I'm fairly pleased with Visual Studio 2005. However, there is one major area that still causes me problems, and that is the build system -- specifically, that it doesn't work like Visual C++ 6.0's. It's a lot better than the one from Visual Studio .NET, but still has the following flaws, IMO:

That blog entry I wrote on Visual Basic's Dim command? Well, that arose out of me trying to write a VBA macro for VS2005 to fix the first problem. It's been suggested that SolutionBuild.BuildProject() with the active configuration will accomplish "build startup project," but it fails miserably if you have both x86 and x64 configurations -- seems that both configurations get the same name and BuildProject() can't distinguish them. Argh. It looks like to fix either the first or the second problems properly I'll need to write an Add-In, which I'm reluctant to do because (a) this should be built-in, and (b) I still have bad memories from when I tried to fix FastSolutionBuild, which crashes if you have C# projects in a solution. And I have no idea how to fix the third.

Oh well. It's still a lot better than when I was making makefiles by hand for use with Lattice C++ or Watcom C... really sucked when I got the .h dependencies wrong and files didn't build when they should have.


This blog was originally open for comments when this entry was first posted, but was later closed and then removed due to spam and after a migration away from the original blog software. Unfortunately, it would have been a lot of work to reformat the comments to republish them. The author thanks everyone who posted comments and added to the discussion.