back to article Coders' 'lives sucked out' by black-and-white Visual Studio 11

Windows software developers have given a thumbs down to the black-and-white Metro-style Visual Studio 2011 and sent Microsoft back to the drawing board - preferably one with coloured pencils. More than 4,000 Visual Studio users have so-far voted on Microsoft’s UserVoice poll to say the code development suite's black-and-white …

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The Bethesda Excuse

"Modders will fix it" is just arrogance.

The fact is that the majority of users of anything stick with the default set up even if they hate it. They just complain more, which makes the product look bad.

Bethesda can get away with it because they have enough hype for apologists to rescue them. Microsoft don't have that luxury.

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Re: The Bethesda Excuse

The reason Bethesda create such excellent modding tools is because they know that RPG nerds are the pickiest, whiniest, most easily offended bunch of nerds on the gaming nerd spectrum. They know they can't possibly please all of them, so they let you mod the shit out of it until it is pixel-perfect to your exacting specifications.

Signed, an RPG nerd.

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Yes But...

Bethesda still provide a reasonable enough out of the box experience to be usable with the core product.

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Unhappy

When I tried the VS11 beta...

...I felt like I'd just upgraded from my Amstrad PCW 8256.

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Boffin

real coders use notepad

that is all

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Re: real coders use notepad

Real coders wouldn't touch notepad from behind a bunker wall with someone else's on a ten-foot pole - even if it was installed on their OS.

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Re: real coders use notepad

I thought real programmers used : Copy Con > Program.exe

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Re: real coders use notepad

Really? i thought they used magnetised needles and a steady hand....

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Re: real coders use notepad

Nope, butterflies.

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Re: real coders use notepad

Nope, you're all wrong, real coders use front panel switches

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Re: real coders use notepad

Real programmers write their own editor which sucks a lot less than Notepad (I remember when Notepad choked on files >64K as not only did my sources but also some of my offline emails exceed that size).

Seriously, waving a magnet over unrolled tape would be a friendlier way to code than using bloody Notepad...

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Law
Paris Hilton

Re: real coders use notepad

For some reason I was shocked at all the negative comments about notepad++... then realised you mean't actual "notepad", that POS that MS pushes in every version of Windows, not the awesome lightweight, free (as in beer and speech) and just pretty darned sweet source editor.

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Re: real coders use notepad

ummm I use Notepad++ for shell scripting activities.

Notepad can DIE DIE DIE.

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Re: real coders use notepad

@Law - Yeah, I ignore Notepad as well. Notepad++ rocks (if on Windows anyway)!

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Re: real coders use notepad

Use 'debug' to write their own editor before starting work.

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Re: real coders use notepad

Real coders spend 29 hours a day down t'mill, pay t'mill owner for permission to come to work, etc.

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Windows

Re: real coders use notepad

Ah, Notepad++. I used to swear by it, and still use it for writing shaders.

However, I have been using Sublime Text 2 for a few months now, and I can't go back. Shame it's not free, but worth every penny (and you can evaluate it for as long as you need).

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MS's Big Mistake

Microsofts big mistake was to try and impose change on developers. Everyone in IT knows developers are there to impose unwanted change on others - but god have mercy on the soul of anyone who tries to do it to them. WE DON'T LIKE CHANGE.

MS had done some half-arsed studies to justify the change but, of course, we all know that, in reality, some marketing bod had asked what they could do to polish it up, give it a visual make-over etc and some tit fresh out of UI design school with a "Cool" idea suggested mono-chrome. The study was just there to confirm a decision that had already been taken.

Of course, back in the real world, programmers use keyboard shortcuts for 90% of the stuff they do so the UI makes feck-all difference to them.

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Re: programmers use keyboard shortcuts

I've not yet adapted to losing the Alt key to Windows and the way it made classic Brief editor modes completely unusable. Luckily in JED I can choose and I choose to disable all the Windows UI features completely so I can keep the key bindings. In Microsofts software it's always the key bindings that make way for the GUI features I don't need. Keybindings my muscle memory has deeply ingrained :(

On a different angle, I'm happy to use different binds for different tasks, if only because there aren't enough key combinations to comfortably (or optimally) cover editing and debugging. Monolithic piles like VS always made that difficult to do well (or at all).

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Re: MS's Big Mistake

>>90% of the stuff they do so the UI makes feck-all difference to them.

Yet, the UI still does annoy the shizz out of them

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FAIL

Give MS props as they are just being consistent...

in not flaming listening

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Holmes

I got a theory,

and that is - MS wants out of the consumer space. So they make the next version of windows unusable, and pee off anybody left who might of wanted to develop for it. Just a theory.

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Re: I got a theory,

Might HAVE wanted. Strewth.

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Anonymous Coward

I got a theory, that its a demon - a dancing demon... oh no something isn't right here.

Once more with feeling people!

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Pint

Re: I got a theory, that its a demon - a dancing demon... oh no something isn't right here.

Bunnies, bunnies, it must be bunnies! ...or maybe midgets.

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Facepalm

Mac or FORTRAN?

Looks like they're trying to catch the cool that is all the rage at Apple these days. Unfortunately, they don't have the designers that Apple has, or the cool cachet. Instead, they mistakenly send developers back to the land of FORTRAN 77 --- all-caps and Black-and-White.

It would be funny, if it weren't a company the size of Microsoft doing it.

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Re: Mac or FORTRAN?

Apple's also been ignoring interface designers for quite some time now. If it's not the horrible faux-reality interfaces of the new Address Book or the Calendar, it is (as the article says) the colour-vampire interfaces that have been foisted users with the grey-on-grey-with-grey-highlights favoured by iTunes. Apple have also produced some pretty nasty 'professional' interfaces in products like Aperture and Final Cut which can only be described as 'Depressing'. Frankly they both need to be taken out and recreationally beaten to death with a shovel.

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punters fear they'll have to learn how to use the new version from scratch because it's so dissimilar to past editions.

It's consistent with Office then.

“Color and contrast are good. No reason to go hotdog stand with the color schemes" - Geoff

Hotdog stand colours, gawd, how I'd love such a simple set of colours, red, yellow, blue etc. The ‘Colour schemes themes' in Office are puke awful. As one of my business users said to me recently, "that bit of the document that you highlighted in.. er... em... What is that colour" (On screen it looked like a definite red/orange colour, but when printed it as a washed out puke shade of terracotta).

Way to go MickySoft.

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Facepalm

WYSIWYG?

"On screen it looked like a definite red/orange colour, but when printed it as a washed out puke shade of terracotta"

Hmm, sounds like someone's screen and printer colour settings are not in agreement. That's hardly M$s fault.

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Re: WYSIWYG?

Also, last time I checked, it was impossible to print fluoro colours without fluoro ink. Mind you, terracotta is a little bit of a departure.

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Anonymous Coward

Hotdog stand?

I believe there was a colour scheme named something like that in Windows 3.1. Enjoy your brutal eyerape.

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FAIL

Re: WYSIWYDG?

Hmm, sounds like someone's screen and printer colour settings are not in agreement. That's hardly M$s fault.

Lets seeeeee....

Settings --> Printers & faxes --> select printer --> Options --> Color Management

Can't change anything, locked out by admin, but look at what they have set as the default:-

Automatic Color Profile - "Windows will automatically select the best color profile from the list of associated color profiles (recommended)"

You were saying......

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cones and rods

Personal preference, I like a more subtle approach to use of colour in UI even to the extent of being a fan of assertive black and white or grayscale styles where it is effective. But even for me, VS11 beta has gone way off tangent. Given the style weeks to see if grows on me, so easy to simply react thoughtlessly to change. Familiarity hasn't helped. Toolbar and solution explorer lose important structure without colour IMO.

If this was just an experiment fine, but lack of choice of a colour theme in the release would be a mistake.

And please, someone come up with a better icon for save than a 1980s disk icon.

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Ring ring...

Apple's lawyers are on the phone, they want a word with MS about the theft of their original Mac's colour palette.

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Re: Ring ring...

You don't have to make a joke about the old days to get an Apple reference in there - Apple recently started sucking the colour out of their applications starting with iTunes. Perhaps MS noticed and took it as the next big thing.

Personally I like minimalism, but this is retarded. Nothing wrong with the current MSStudio icons. They could be better drawn maybe, but at least you know what they are.

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Unhappy

Lack of change (consistancy), the only reason to stick to M$.

Well that's it, it's the backwards compatibility, it runs games, and that M$ do provide a coherent development environment which keep people with them.

Remove those and even diehards like me, with M$ since Win 3.11 will jump ship.

Metro is one giant leap in the wrong direction, now messing with the development environment could be the last straw. 'Could be', because I've played with GWT and Eclipse and they are simply not up to scratch yet. However Ruby-on-Rails looks interesting..

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WTF?

So it's the IDE for an early 80's Apple Mac environment?

Funny. I thought Macintosh's supported color these days.

And WTF BLOCK CAPITALS.

Are you trying to be compatible with some IBM *mainframe* app from the 1960's?

tell me people did not have to *pay* to download this PoS.

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Re: So it's the IDE for an early 80's Apple Mac environment?

People did not have to pay to download this PoS.

Well, not directly. Obviously they won't be getting back however much of their life they wasted trying it out.

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Anonymous Coward

If they are listening, they are not listening to the right people. They prefer the "organized" chords over simple keyboard shortcuts.

On the other hand, regardless of colors, this is a version that will only be of interest to those who need the newest features. Some projects will use it, but most projects won't need the cost of a new version added to the budget.

They seem to think that developers will never switch platforms so they are chanting "marketing, marketing, marketing" instead of "developers, developers, developers"

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Anonymous Coward

Oh dear god, who thought that was a god idea O.O find them and kill them now, looks like some kind of crap kdevelop theme you'd install if your pc monitor had teleported itself from the 1980s.

I mean I've seen those kinds of things, you sit there and try to put together your perfect desktop envionrment and for a split second you look at the black/white scheme and think "yeah that look pretty, oh wait no it doesn't it looks fucking shit!" And then we move on, never to do that again until the next time we think "hey maybe this will look, Oh no still crap!"

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Why should Microsoft care?

The people who aren't stuck with Windows for things like "vendor lock-ins" have left years ago. The rest doesn't care what they are using.

So Microsoft can either drop the old Win32 ecosystem and build a new one, or will be stuck maintaining that forever. We are talking about ecosystems here. The API is just a condensation point. The other main parts are the users and the developers. The move towards Metro is the user end of that, the changes on Visual Studio tries to get rid of the developers.

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I was dubious at first...

Unlike most of the commenters here (I suspect), I've actually tried the new IDE - and after my initial reaction of "bloody hell, this is vile" I found that the new washed out colour scheme worked really well; the focus of colour where it's important (the code window) meant that was where my attention was directed most of the time. I have to admit it took a couple of days to acclimatise myself to it, but (and YMMV) it was very comfortable to work in.

However, the ALL-CAPS titles drove me nearly to distraction. That *has* to change.

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Unhappy

Any chance

We can have a screenshot (rather than just black and white text) so we can point and laugh... I err mean see for ourselves?

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Go

OS To The Rescue

This might be a good occasion for developers to leave the MFC dungeon. See this:

http://www.codeblocks.org/

http://www.bloodshed.net/images/devcpp5_scr.jpg

http://wxstudio.sourceforge.net/images/screen1.jpg (wx widgets are excellent !)

http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org/File:Windows_7.png (brings back the memories of TurboPascal 3)

http://i1-mac.softpedia-static.com/screenshots/Qt-Creator_7.png

As an added bonus, your software will be very portable (Mac, Windows, some phones), if you don't use Windows-specific stuff such as the registry.

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Re: OS To The Rescue

On the other hand, one could point out that there's nothing new in VS2011 *except* Metro support, so you could kill two birds with one stone by sticking with VS2010.

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FAIL

Bob 2 is going everywhere

LOL Bob 2 is being pushed to every corner of Microsoft now. Really they should just wait to see how bad it will nose dive Windows 8 before pushing it everywhere.

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Joke

So will this new IDE work on my old Hercules card?

Just a thought

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Joke

Re: So will this new IDE work on my old Hercules card?

Not if you're using a green screen :D

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Pint

If only...

If only the machines that this software application runs upon were, in some way, programmable. One could imagine a world where the human operator, using some sort of graphical user interface, could somehow malipulate some, oh, let's call them "settings" or "preferences", where various option could be available.

In other words, 'ALL OF THE ABOVE' should be the default answer to such design questions.

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Unhappy

Re: If only...

Yeah but as with ClearType they'd just ignore your preferences unless you used an undocumented feature:

http://geekswithblogs.net/glozano/archive/2006/11/14/97082.aspx

But if they found you using that they'd just take it away in the next version like they did with Office 2k10.

B'stards.

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