back to article Visual Studio gains some go-faster stripes for Android emulation

Microsoft has sent version 15.8 of Visual Studio out in the big wide world, and it looks to be a useful upgrade for those using Redmond’s development tools. Mind your language F# 4.5 and TypeScript 3.0 have both showed up to the party (and let’s face it, there ain’t no party like a dev tools party) having both been finalised …

  1. karlkarl Bronze badge

    I guess the problem with procedural code like C is that intellisense can't really work with it. The functions are not *in* the object and in 99% of the time, the object is an opaque pointer anyway so there is no way to extract a nice fancy list of "stuff I can do".

    If they could get it to work, removed all the bullshit in Visual Studio, ported it to *BSD, allowed me to disable autoformatting with a single click and more, I would be happy to try it out.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      I guess the problem with procedural code like C is that intellisense can't really work with it. The functions are not *in* the object and in 99% of the time, the object is an opaque pointer anyway so there is no way to extract a nice fancy list of "stuff I can do".

      Borland Builder managed it back in the day. It used to run the compiler in the background to figure out what was available at that point. It even used type checking to eliminate things from expressions that weren't valid. It had a few glitches, mind, but it mostly worked really well.

      And MS intellisense works well with C# so I don't think being procedural is of any concern.

    2. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      RE: "If they could <Snipped a lot of nonsense>, I would be happy to try it out."

      No you wouldn't. If it still originated in Microsoft's hell pits you would still avoid it like Beelzebub, preferring EdLin to Visual Studio.

      1. stephanh

        Last time I checked, edlin also originated in Microsoft's hell pits...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Edlin actually originates from 86DOS - something MS bought and later sold as MSDOS...

  2. AndrueC Silver badge

    Hopefully it won't trash all my settings like the 15.7.5 did :-/

    Took me several days before I'd got all my windows and key mappings back where I wanted them :(

    1. Def Silver badge

      Just export your settings somewhere and reimport them on the few occasions Visual Studio resets them. I always have a backup handy ever since I realised how terrible an idea auto-syncing from the cloud is.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Yup, been doing that for years. Unfortunately it wasn't having it. I think a few things came back with the import but most of it didn't. And I'd spent ages trimming down the context menus :(

        The weird thing is small numbers of people keep getting this from VS updates. Just seems like there's some hidden lottery and this time I was one of the ones affected. It suggests something not being initialised somewhere in the settings management engine :-/

  3. d3vy Silver badge

    "A Real ProgrammerTM, of course, sets registers by hand using a soldering iron"

    Pah... A soldering iron? You don't know you're born... Back in my day we had to smelt sand to make the silicone...

    Also, the only measure of a real programmer is that we don't eat quiche.

    1. J27 Bronze badge

      Is that why I hate quiche?

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      A Real ProgrammerTM

      Does not need to write code. He merely arranges the starting conditions of the universe such that when he needs a program, it is already there.

    3. Steve Aubrey

      Type mismatch: silicon/silicone

      1. d3vy Silver badge

        Haha ducking autocucumber.

  4. Mr.Bill


    "Having struggled with the performance of the Android emulator in the past"

    Well, I don't think you've tried the android emulator in quite a while then. Runs as smooth as my phone, on a circa 2012 sandy bridge PC (Linux, anyway). After an initial boot of a fresh image, it from then boots in 10 seconds, never mind if snapshot is enabled.

    The key issue back then was that they were inexplicably defaulting to use emulated ARM system images, which of course bogged it down x10 right off the bat. The excuse was that they just didn't think anyone wouldn't just want to debug on a device and the emulator was completely an afterthought.

  5. JohnFen Silver badge


    "Not that a Real ProgrammerTM would admit to depending on Intellisense (your humble hack, however, would be quite lost without it)"

    While I don't think less of programmers who depend on it (depending on the level of dependency, as it were), I have to admit that Intellisense drives me absolutely batty. It takes up a lot of CPU (occasionally bringing the entire IDE to a stop while it does its analysis thing) and the utility it provides is only rarely very useful to me.

  6. Geoffrey W Silver badge

    The next programming language invented should be named Real Then we can all be Real Programmers; if we want to be.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Kinda the polar opposite of Rust then. I'm not yet a Rusty programmer, but I aspire to be!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd be interested in an article

    as to whether there is any 'Telemetry' functionality in Visual Studio 2017 that lets it phone home to M$ with all of the plans of your latest secret killer app that you're building.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      They don't need to add telemetry to VS, you're using Windows. It's already there.

  8. stephanh

    IDEs, WTF?

    After 15 years of working as a C++ developer, I still haven't encountered a code change I couldn't do in Vim.

    In contrast, IDEs... First they take a minute to load, then they show a postage stamp-sized code window, engulfed with button bars and tabs and tabs containing button bars (which should be a shootable UI offence). Then you need to fill in pages of red tape about your "project" before it lets you do anything. My "project" is to fix the bug in this file, you stupid thing! And then, perhaps, it lets you use it built-in editor with all the functionality of Notepad (except for the speed) to make your code change. If it hasn't crashed by now.

    Blech. No thanks. I am not sure what problem IDEs try to solve but I am glad I don't have it.

    1. ToFab

      Re: IDEs, WTF?

      Why buy a soft, comfortable bed. I have never encountered a concrete floor not flat enough for me to sleep on.

    2. JLV Silver badge

      Re: IDEs, WTF?

      This. At least for me.

      At a guess, one of the problems needing solving is certain languages that require 1 file per class, often with nested directories. Minus an IDEs project drill down pane, navigating 100's of files might be a hassle.

      My main beef with IDEs is how much screen space they take away from the code. I want to see as much as possible at one glance.

      One interesting alternative to IntelliSense autocomplete, which, as a fast touch typist, I find aggravating is Sublime's autocompletion based on existing names in the current file. That won't catch all of an object's methods, but it will suggest constants, modules, etc... as long as they've already been used. Surprisingly helpful and very fast.

      My favorite editor is still KEdit, which has support for IBM XEDIT mainframe editor's show/hide syntax.

      show 'abc'; show 'xyz' will end up showing all lines with either abc or xyz. incredibly powerful to look at logfiles for example.

      hide 'wxyz' will then remove those, but keep the others xyz.

      c /xyz/foo/all will then operate only on what's still displayed, so wxyz will remain as is the rest will be foo.

      Brilliant idea, too bad it's Windows-only and ASCII-only to boot which means I never get to use it.

      P.S. ever had SQL Server Studio insisting on Intellisense-ing a db with 10000+ tables, with sloooow lookups on each table to helpfully suggest column names that you already know? Fun. Telling it to stop trying is less fun and less obvious. Almost like Google Location Services turn off in fact - you have to do in 2-3 different spots before IntelliSense's really gone.

      1. stephanh

        Re: IDEs, WTF?


        I use the allfold plugin in Vim for that, indeed mostly for logfiles.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IDEs, WTF?

      "First they take a minute to load"

      VS2017 takes around 10s to load on my /laptop/.

      "they show a postage stamp-sized code window"

      This is true, although you could use it as an excuse to get your boss to get you a 2560x1440 monitor or two. The extra pixels are useful for so many things beyond IDEs ...

      "My "project" is to fix the bug in this file, you stupid thing!"

      No, your "project" is the application you are working on. Your bug fix is simply a change (git commit, branch, or whatever)

      "I am not sure what problem IDEs try to solve but I am glad I don't have it."

      They're really useful for finding stuff in large, complex projects. E.g. I'm working on one with 3600 source files ...

    4. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: IDEs, WTF?

      @stephanh "After 15 years of working as a C++ developer, I still haven't encountered a code change I couldn't do in Vim. <snip> Blech. No thanks. I am not sure what problem IDEs try to solve but I am glad I don't have it."

      I have to agree with that.

      I also haven't encountered a code change I couldn't have done in any text editor, including edlin, but given the use of Visual Studio why wouldn't I use it? I've never been much of a macho man wanting to do everything in the most painful and bloody way possible, so why would I want to spend X times longer working on code when I can be compiled and tested and delivered, and back outside saying hello to the trees and sniffing the flowers and joining my wife and cats in the sun with a glass of wine, instead of toiling in my man cave office listening to Blue Oyster Cult and getting ratty.

      Sorry. No technical analysis or detailed substance as to why VS is better; just a purely subjective opinion as to why it is my go to coding tool of choice. If you don't agree- I don't care. You can do whatever suits you. VS suits me and that's all that matters. I can get work done much quicker using it. What else is worth considering?

  9. iron Silver badge

    Faster Android Emulators nothing to do with Visual Studio

    "It is, however, worth pointing out that we did have to pretty much nuke our installation of Visual Studio from orbit in order to persuade the updated emulator to fire up."

    No problems here and I find it odd that you had problems with VS since the new emulator features are not related to VS and do not require the latest VS update. To get the new faster emulators, which I installed last week, you need to enable the Windows Hypervisor Platform in Windows and update the Google Android Emulator using the SDK manager (point it to the Google repository, not MS).

  10. John Styles

    What I want (and it could be there in the latest version, am still using 2015 but it has been missing for decades so I would be surprised) is a STEP INTO THE FUNCTION, NO I SAID THE ****ING FUNCTION, NO NOT ALL THE CONSTRUCTORS, SMART POINTERS ETC ETC CALLED FOR ALL THE PARAMETERS, THE FUNCTION button / keystroke in the debugger for C++.

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Ha! That would be nice, I agree, but...when you get down to complaining about relatively minor details like that then you probably have a pretty good bit of software; and there are ways of mitigating the hassle, somewhat. I have stopped wasting my time trying all the other IDE's to see if they have gotten any better since I last tried; they never have. Not enough to swap dev environment anyway. Do any other IDEs step into the function while ignoring argument constructors?

      1. John Styles

        Yes, agree with this, though I haven't used any IDEs since VS in non-geological timescales anyway. I reckon I come across this issue about every working day though, I think use of smart pointers and the like make it more or less unavoidable.

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