Archive for May, 2008

Moving ahead doesn’t always gaurantee a superior position

OK, I admit it, I don’t really know why Visual Studio 2008 is better than 2005 and I am also aware of the fact that Windows Vista is running slower than Windows XP. I did the switch only for the sake of upgrade, as I have this unexplained compulsion to become up-to-date, and visual satisfaction from the inherent fanciness of the successors.

The consequence, as one might expect, is possible negative impact on productivity. Although I was lucky to finally have workarounds (by workaround I don’t mean reinstalling the compatible version) for the projects I am actually involved in, the time spent to search for solutions is substantial.

From what I have experienced so far, there are three scenarios in which using VS2008 and Vista could be annoying.

  1. Before the recent release of Qt 4.4, VS 2008 was not officially supported by Qt 4.3. This basically means that you might be able to use Qt 4.3 without a problem, yet on the other hand it could have driven you crazy after you spent hours to debug only to find it to be a compatibility issue (I started using 4.4 when it was still a snapshot so I only speculated what would happend). This usually causes the mildest annoyance as you might not run into problems at all.
  2. Before the recent release of MySQL 5.0.51b, it had some known bugs when installed on Vista (as well as on Leopard). What makes this scenario better than the last one is that you have workarounds (thanks to Google), and at the same time a newer version often tends to be released soon and fix the bug. Another example is Warcraft III, which started to run properly on Vista after applying the latest patch.
  3. Last but perhaps the most disturbing thing, is having to wait for the software/SDK to have support for VS 2008 without any specific time frame, as in “we currently don’t have plan to support Visual Studio 2008”. CUDA, for instance, does not support Vista until the latest release of 2.0 beta. To make it even worse, this version of toolkit does not work in VS 2008. Fortunately I only wanted to play around with it.

I was actually quite surprised by these incompatibility issues since Vista has been out for two years already. Yet apparently some software developers are more rational than I do. Thus in cases when the Vista-incompatible libraries and/or applications are mission-critical, unless you find a fix and meanwhile is willing to go through the trouble, stick with VS 2005 and/or XP.