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Microsoft's Visual Studio 2015 - A Review

By APsit190, 06 September 2015 · 2,351 views

Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 Programming IDE
Visual Studio 2015 - New Project.jpg

When it comes to a review of Microsoft's products, I tended to regard that as something that was beneath my dignity, and using MS products apart from Windows, was something which could be regarded as worse than beneath my dignity. In other words, I had an extremely low opinion of them. However! And that is a huge "however," when they get something right, they actually get something right, and actually becomes something that is really worth noting, and taking notice of; as in this instance with their latest offering of Visual Studio Programming IDE (Integrated Development Environment)

With this version, Microsoft has has put a lot of work into it, and has placed a great deal of "new" technology into it, which really makes this program a programmers dream tool to use. Perhaps the best part of it, which could be regarded as the icing on the cake of this version, are the cross platform capabilities built into it. The cross compiling across all of Microsoft's technologies has to be regarded as serious stuff. Write code once, and then compile it for:
  • Windows Desktop/Notepad
  • Windows Tablet
  • Windows Phone
  • X Box One
  • MS Halo Lens
But that is not all, as it goes even further than that.

Using the Xamarin technology, write code once, and then compile it for Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile devices. Perhaps none more than this could have a profound affect for e-Sword with the potential going across all of these platforms without having to develop and write code for separate and different platforms (operating systems). What is designed and coded for iOS, is at the same time designed and coded for Android and Windows. What is compiled for iOS, can be compiled for Android and Windows Mobile devices.

Visual Studio 2015 also comes with a hugely improved version of Blend for Visual Studio in where it makes working with XAML and WPF a seamless experience. A great deal of interoperateability  of Visual Studio has been put into Blend, thus further enhancing the user's seamless experience of this program. The best part of it is the "live" (whilst in debug mode) editing that can be done, of which the results are immediately seen.

From my experience with this version of Visual Studio has caused me to want me to take a journey in learning programming to where I have never been  before, and go on an adventure of software development which under any other circumstance would have been fraught with difficulties.

The Community Edition of this program is free, and the packages which comes with this edition is quite generous considering one doesn't have to pay for them.

Blessings,
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To start with,  I'm not a Windows user, so programming IDE's for Windows articles I tend to ignore, however, I have liked some of your articles in the past so I was going to glance through it and head on my way. Now, it's about an hour later and I'm working on this reply to you, Bro. Stephen, as it does hold some fascinating thoughts for e-Sword's future.

 

The part of your article that got me was the Xamarin technology reference. I'm not a developer by any means, however as I'm a long time Linux user, I've learned a few things about compiling various types of programs and trying hard to find native software instead of Windows based Wine versions, so when I hear or read about Linux-based technologies in an article, my interest is peaked.

 

Xamarin technologies is Mono, an open source implementation of .NET, originally written for Linux and most of their user-base is Linux, it was designed to let us Linux users to run .NET programs natively. It has morphed and grew beyond it's original "Let's get more programs to Linux". I have always loved Mono and I don't mind using it to run programs as to me, it's like Java another way for me to get a few extra apps.

 

Now, it is very cross-platform, adding to your list above "Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile devices", both OS X, Linux, Windows Desktop, BSD, Solaris, Playstation 3, WII, and XBox 360.

 

I have downloaded programs that the developer developed on Windows, using strict .NET C# code, probably never heard of Linux (being factitious here) and ran the program on Linux with no problems. Now, some projects like CDBurnerXP, while using .NET 2.0  will never run on cross-platforms because of some huge Windows only dependencies.

 

It wouldn't take much to work around some of the dependency issues, but Rick will have to port his code to .NET, use no Windows/Microsoft only dependencies (WinForms comes to mind as one to stay away from, especially if someone wants to target IOS/OS X or Android because WinForms needs the Win32 API to form the GUI on Windows based machines and there are other ways to form cross-platform GUIs), and for a project as big as E-Sword, it will have to be tested on at least OSX to make sure it's runnable across devices. For iPhones and Androids, the GUI might need to be tweaked but it could be done.

 

It would be nice to have a NATIVE e-Sword, however, right now I run mostly Bible Analyzer and Xiphos occasionally. (I have e-Sword, the Word and Swordsearcher installed through Wine, but I rarely load them up.)

 

In the Messiah's name

 

Bro. Michael Henry



It wouldn't take much to work around some of the dependency issues, but Rick will have to port his code to .NET, use no Windows/Microsoft only dependencies (WinForms comes to mind as one to stay away from, especially if someone wants to target IOS/OS X or Android because WinForms needs the Win32 API to form the GUI on Windows based machines and there are other ways to form cross-platform GUIs), and for a project as big as E-Sword, it will have to be tested on at least OSX to make sure it's runnable across devices. For iPhones and Androids, the GUI might need to be tweaked but it could be done.

 

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your response and input. Much appreciated.

 

When using Xamerin in developing for iOS, Android, and Windows for Mobile devices, one uses Xamerin.Forms, which gives the UI (User Interface) for the Apps. Xamerin.Forms uses Microsoft's WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) Forms, which are really cross platform friendly, and its this which makes life really crusey for developers. Moreover, what also comes with it, are the phone emulators for each platform. So when it comes to debugging the code, it can be tested in any of the emulators. Pretty handy, eh?!

 

OK, now for something that I didn't go into , but I think its really worth the mention now.

 

For Linux and OS X in particular, Microsoft has released a code editor, simply called, Visual Studio Code. which will run on those particular platforms. Click here for more information, and click here to download it on your favorite OS. Oh yeah, by the way, its free.

 

Blessings,

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