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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Modern Windows Desktop Development


I've been a professional indie developer on the Mac for close to twenty years now and for the past decade I had a now ex-colleague write the Windows ports of some of my products.

My windows guy no longer has the time or motivation to continue and I'm investigating where I'm going to go with the Windows ports now..

All the ports are written in circa 2001 Visual C++, so I'm split between finding someone to maintain the existing code base and to use this as an opportunity to re-develop the whole thing using newer technology.

I haven't used Windows in any form since 2006 and back then it was clear that .NET and C# were the future but that the future was not quite there yet..

Now 5 years later, does it finally make sense to develop using C# and the WPF? or would you stick with Visual C++ anyway?

Best regards,

Frank Reiff Send private email
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
It is matter of choice.

Visual C++ is still shipped with Visual Studio and you can develop modern applications using VC++.

You need to upgrade yourself for latest changes though.
Manoj Shinde Send private email
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
C++ on Windows isn't going anywhere. Microsoft have been pushing C# hard, but the Windows development team at Microsoft hasn't bought in and are still using C++.

So choose between C# and C++ based on your own preference, not based on what one division at Microsoft is trying to push as the next big thing (they can't even decide internally). They will support both.

Take a look at what Microsoft are planning for Windows 8 and perhaps take a look at WinRT to see if that can fit into your plans.
Rowan Hanna Send private email
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Better File Select looks like integrates with the shell. IIRC, you need to use .NET 4 for shell extensions, which could limit your market, or at the least add overhead to your installer. StatOwl puts the install base at ~50% of Windows users (http://www.statowl.com/microsoft_dotnet.php), but in my experience you're better off parsing your log files to get a better idea.
Nicholas Hebb Send private email
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
VC++ circa 2001, is it all MFC code? or ATL? wow, ditch it, the world has moved on. .NET is much more of a pleasure to work with than anything preceding it.

Hoever, if you up to learning something brand new completely fromscratch why not investigate some of the cross platform solutions?
m.g. Send private email
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Given the recent (//build/ conference) resurgence of C++ inside MS, you are on a safe path using it. IMO C# is much more better to work with, but if you know C++ and you have a codebase, I think is the right choice.
edddy Send private email
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thanks for all the replies.

Yes, I suspect it's all MFC and it does need the shell extension.. but I suppose it would be possible to separate both parts and call the C# stuff from a minimal shell extension written in C++.

I get the impression that C++ might be a good choice, but MFC isn't, meaning the existing code is a bit long in the tooth..

There's not much chance of me doing the development myself as I'm knee deep in Mac and iOS stuff. I would certainly go for C#, but in reality I'm trying to decide what to specify as the development technologies before I outsource the whole thing.. or find a partner who wants to jump into the breach..

Thanks especially for the comment on the shell extensions; that could prove pivotal..
Frank Reiff Send private email
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I'm more a pragmatist thana purist. But even I am offended by the inelegance of MFC. Bleugh.
Andy Brice Send private email
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

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