CocoaHeads: Xcode and Visual Studio Compared

CocoaHeads will be at 7:30pm at Apple Building 1 tomorrow night, Thursday April 12. R. Tyler Ballance of Bleepsoft will give us a look at how Xcode and Cocoa compare to Visual Studio and .NET. This should be very helpful to Windows developers who are looking to pick up Cocoa.

The presentation will cover some material in Leopard, such as a high-level look at Xcode 3 and Objective-C 2.0, but we won't go deep into unannounced features for obvious reasons. The idea is to get a snapshot of the two platforms and help link up some of the concepts.

You may want to check out Tyler's blog and his interview on Late Night Cocoa, which covers web services on Mac OS X.

CocoaHeads Map to Apple Campus

Thursday, April 12 at 7:30pm
1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino
Hong Kong Conference Room

There's no registration fee, and programmers of all skill levels are welcome. In addition to the featured presentation, CocoaHeads is a great place to get help with Mac programming. Based on comments from the last few meetings, I'm going to push for reserving a block of time at the end specifically for help with Cocoa issues.

I'm also going to try to put together one more special surprise, assuming there's time to work the details out.

Sorry about the late notice on all of this, but it's truly been a week for the books. A big thanks to Tyler for signing on at the last minute, particularly given the fact he just moved to the Bay Area a few weeks ago.
Design Element
CocoaHeads: Xcode and Visual Studio Compared
Posted Apr 12, 2007 — 14 comments below


StuFF mc — Apr 12, 07 3895

Happy to see that Tyler is doing this presentation. I think he's very good at comparing both Worlds. I Hope he'll be @ WWDC so we can chat and I really hope we can catch up so I can give you a video !

Ross — Apr 12, 07 3896

I don't suppose there is anybody going who is likely to video it and post it online?

Philip Orr — Apr 12, 07 3897

I second that!

Gerard — Apr 12, 07 3898

Yeah that would be interesting, I'm a mac user and a long time windows developer (c hash and all that), I've always fancied checking out xcode but never had the time or reason to do it.

Bill Coleman — Apr 12, 07 3899

Some Questions from (way off) the floor:

1) Does XCode crash at least once a day the way Visual Studio 2005 does?

2) Does XCode refuse to bring up Interface Builder for a certain screen, citing some cryptic object instantiation message, either when code has not been rebuilt before bringing up these classes, or perhaps even when the code has been rebuilt, seemingly for no discernable reason whatsoever, the way the Visual Studio 2005's Designer does?

3) Does XCode go ahead and recompile a bunch of code anyway, even after prompting you, when you try to run, if you want to rebuild code, and you answer No the way Visual Studio 2005 does?

4) Does XCode go off and daydream while you are trying to scroll, or trying to bring up an information tab which scrolls painfully slowly in order to open, stopping at several points for no visible reason whatsoever, the way that Visual Studio 2005 does? (probably because VS 2005 is primarily a single threaded application and can't take advantage of that 8-way Mac Pro you just bought)

5) Does the code database feature of XCode often disclaim that it has no information about a routine or type on code that just compiled, or when you go to the definition of a routine take you to an identically named routine in a different file the way that Visual Studio 2005 does?

6) Does the routines menu in XCode often take 10-20 seconds to open up the first time for a file, sitting there doing nothing and giving you no indication that it even is responding to your click the way that Visual Studio 2005 does?

6a) And when the menu finally drops down, does it immediately hide itself the way that Visual Studio 2005 does?

OK, I could go on and on and on. I use Visual Studio 2005 for mixed C++ / C# development of an application containing 3 million lines of code. XCode is way better in so many ways.

The secret is that Microsoft doesn't use Visual Studio internally to develop their products. They use command line tools and text editors. Apple, on the other hand, uses XCode to develop MacOS X and the other applications. It really shows.

Rob — Apr 12, 07 3901

I have a special request for the CocoaHeads meeting.

Could you please simulcast the meeting to Apple stores around the country ???

I would pay up to $20 to attend such a simulcast.

Blain — Apr 12, 07 3902

Apple has delayed Leopard because they have decided to allow apps built in Xcode to run on the iPhone.

Yeah. I was wondering if there was going to be any wailing and pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth. Oh, BTW, I've got an app, or, well, a half-made demo of same that I might possibly have ready for the meeting, but I'm still unsure. (Which is why I haven't mentioned it before)

Scott Stevenson — Apr 13, 07 3903 Scotty the Leopard

I'm very aware that people would like the meetings to be made available over the internet, but it's a bit more complicated that it probably seems on the surface. I don't think it's practical for the room we use right now, but it might be if we switch rooms later. It also very much depends on what the topic is and if we can stick to a more rigid format.

But, yes, I hear you guys/gals.

Chris — Apr 13, 07 3904

Any chance for a transcript of these sessions?

Scott Stevenson — Apr 14, 07 3905 Scotty the Leopard

Chris: Any chance for a transcript of these sessions?
I don't think that's a good idea for right now. In addition to all of the basic logistics and manual labor of audio/video recording, screencasts, or transcripts, I don't think it's necessarily a good thing for every word to be recorded because people then become more guarded.

At some point in the not-to-distant future, we may try to structure things more formally with a set time for the presentation and a separate Q&A session, but for now, I personally think it's better to keep things a bit more relaxed.

Chris — Apr 14, 07 3909

1) Does XCode crash at least once a day the way Visual Studio 2005 does?

Depends on the version. Frequently, yes, especially if you open and close a lot of projects. It brings up those "internal error" dialogs. Frankly, Xcode's UI layer seems to play a lot of games with AppKit that it probably shouldn't.

Randy — Apr 14, 07 3910

Xcode's syntax highlighting is one of the more annoying misfeatures. It quite frequently seems to get lost and mistakenly decide whole sections of code is a comment, or other similar mistakes that do not have an obvious cause. Reloading Xcode, or even making slight changes to the code layout itself doesn't seem to correct it either. It seems to do this more often with straight C than Objective-C code, which I suppose isn't all that surprising, given the number of people using it for the latter.

I hate to say it, but that's one thing that Microsoft's IDE tools seem to be able to get right. Of course, even vim from the command line gets it right too.

Blain — Apr 15, 07 3916

It quite frequently seems to get lost and mistakenly decide whole sections of code is a comment, or other similar mistakes that do not have an obvious cause.

I've come across that myself with Xcode, often when I'm adding strings or /* */ comment blocks. The code below shifts to reflect the change brought about by opening the quotes, but closing them doesn't propagate the change fully. I've found that opening and re-closing the comment/quotes typically jogs Xcode to do the right thing.

Carol — May 14, 09 6735

So did any of this EVER make it to video tape???

I'd love to see a copy.


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