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#1 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Can I use Visual Studio Ultimate?

Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:00 AM

Hey guys. I'm trying to write up a beginner 3D tutorial. I'm fortunate enough to have some high end software, including Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate edition. I know a lot of the people that I'm writing the tutorial for will have the free (Express?) edition. I'm wondering if writing the tutorial for Ultimate edition will cause problems for people working through it on Express edition. I googled it real quick, but didn't turn up much to tell me what the difference writing XNA code with the two editions is. All I've heard that's useful is that Express edition doesn't support Solutions. Not that I'm really using Solutions, but my screen shots might confuse people a little when I'm telling them to open a new project.

Does anyone know of any other issues that might cause problems or confuse people, with writing a tutorial using a paid version of VS for people using the free version? It's kind of pointless to write a tutorial if it just confuses people.

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Replies To: Can I use Visual Studio Ultimate?

#2 Kilorn  Icon User is offline

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Re: Can I use Visual Studio Ultimate?

Posted 13 May 2012 - 10:38 AM

I don't think there will be any issues, since the differences in the two versions of VS have nothing to do with the code that you will write using the program. If people can't make sense of a slightly different solution explorer in a screen shot, then they've got a lot more learning to do before they're capable of tackling 3D projects in my opinion. I say go for it.

This post has been edited by Kilorn: 13 May 2012 - 10:38 AM

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#3 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: Can I use Visual Studio Ultimate?

Posted 13 May 2012 - 12:15 PM

View PostKilorn, on 13 May 2012 - 10:38 AM, said:

I don't think there will be any issues, since the differences in the two versions of VS have nothing to do with the code that you will write using the program. If people can't make sense of a slightly different solution explorer in a screen shot, then they've got a lot more learning to do before they're capable of tackling 3D projects in my opinion. I say go for it.


You're probably right.

I'm trying to make this tutorial as "low level" as I possibly can without driving myself insane. One of the constraints I'm putting on myself is using only free shareware software. But, I'm trying to set the bar for entry as low as possible even with concern to background. I'm "trying" to write it low level enough that someone who doesn't really have any background with this can at least follow along in the tutorial even if they don't understand it. They'll probably learn a thing or two just by making the journey. I want to encourage people who aren't quite ready to do this to get interested in it enough to start working towards learning all the things necessary to really know what you're doing. It's hard to know if something's really "for you" until you've had a taste of it.

But I may be being a little unrealistic. I mean there has to be some pre-requisits. I'm not going to teach people the English language or how to write C# for example. But it can be a little hard to know where exactly to draw the line. Right now I'm trying to keep it open enough that anyone can follow the tutorial, with the assumption that my audience has read a few C# books (or have never coded in C# before but know another language such as C++ pretty well) and written a couple programs of their own already. I mean I'm not going to teach people to write a for loop or an if then statement or even probably explain polymorphism and inheritance. But, I'll probalby go into depth explaining some things that are specific to XNA. Plus, I assume the audience knows basic high school algebra. And I assume they will use other sources to learn XNA besides just my tutorial. But so far, I'm trying to keep that as the basic required background.

This post has been edited by BBeck: 13 May 2012 - 12:20 PM

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#4 bonyjoe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Can I use Visual Studio Ultimate?

Posted 14 May 2012 - 10:55 AM

Just put a little disclaimer at the beginning saying that you were using visual studio 2010 professional so there may be some visible differences in the screenshots, but all code will build and run fine with express edition.

Also install express edition on your pc and test the code in it to make sure everything works fine, though I'm pretty sure the whole point of it is that it will work in the same way as the professional version but with less of the bells and whistles. I've never used the express edition though so I'm not 100%
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#5 Ryano121  Icon User is offline

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Re: Can I use Visual Studio Ultimate?

Posted 14 May 2012 - 10:57 AM

Or you could just use Express edition for the tutorial so you won't have to worry about it.
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#6 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: Can I use Visual Studio Ultimate?

Posted 14 May 2012 - 12:19 PM

View Postbonyjoe, on 14 May 2012 - 10:55 AM, said:

Just put a little disclaimer at the beginning saying that you were using visual studio 2010 professional so there may be some visible differences in the screenshots, but all code will build and run fine with express edition.

Also install express edition on your pc and test the code in it to make sure everything works fine, though I'm pretty sure the whole point of it is that it will work in the same way as the professional version but with less of the bells and whistles. I've never used the express edition though so I'm not 100%


Ryano, you're probably right. I thought it had installed when I installed XNA 4.0 without already having VS2010 (I had been using VS2008 with XNA 3.1). But I went and looked and it seems to just be an advertisement to try some sort of time limited edition.

There might be a little bit of "laziness" on my part, but for the most part, I just hate installing unnecessary software on my machine. It seems like that stuff never manages to get uninstalled and a lot of it leaves fragments behind when you remove it. I'm not sure how cleanly VS uninstalls. But I know for a fact that MS SQL Server 2005 and lower pretty much never uninstall correctly. Generally, if you are going to uninstall that you are going to be doing some Registry hacking. I know, I've had to do it for 100s of servers and I have yet to see it uninstall cleanly. So, I'm more than a little skeptical that installing two versions of Visual Studio (3 counting my 2008 installation) is going to uninstall just one of those versions cleanly. So, I would probably be better off just leaving it installed until I'm ready to format the hard-drive and start over. (A good thing to do every few years.)

But, maybe you're right. I'm not going to know for sure unless I write the tutorial, or at least test it with the Express edition. lol And, I'm a big boy. If I have to get into registry hacking to fix things, it wouldn't be the first time. :-)

Bonyjoe, your suggestion is probably what I'll do for this first tutorial. It's already half written; so I'll probably just test what I've got in Express. I've been putting it together in MS Word, just to write it up. Eventually, I'll have to rewrite it in HTML. So, once I've got this tutorial written up, I'll probably step back through it like someone following along in the tutorial and follow my own instructions in Express and editing where necessary.

Anyway, thanks for the input guys.
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#7 DanielLeone  Icon User is offline

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Re: Can I use Visual Studio Ultimate?

Posted 15 May 2012 - 07:08 AM

A bit off topic, but does anyone actually know what the fundamental features of VS Ultimate are, over express.

I've wondered this for a long time, and haven't seem to found anywhere that actually tells you. It seems like a big gamble, too spend so much money, if you don't know what your're getting, even if you didn't actually buy it.

So I was just wondering what the differences were between Ultimate, Professional and Express.

Thanks,
Daniel,
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#8 Kilorn  Icon User is offline

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Re: Can I use Visual Studio Ultimate?

Posted 15 May 2012 - 07:23 AM

Well, one of the cool features that you can't get in Express are achievements. Yes, you read that properly. There is an achievements plugin that you can install for the professional and ultimate versions of Visual Studio that allow you to gain achievements for doing certain things. Clicky linky thingy.
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#9 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: Can I use Visual Studio Ultimate?

Posted 15 May 2012 - 10:06 AM

View PostDanielLeone, on 15 May 2012 - 07:08 AM, said:

A bit off topic, but does anyone actually know what the fundamental features of VS Ultimate are, over express.

I've wondered this for a long time, and haven't seem to found anywhere that actually tells you. It seems like a big gamble, too spend so much money, if you don't know what your're getting, even if you didn't actually buy it.

So I was just wondering what the differences were between Ultimate, Professional and Express.

Thanks,
Daniel,


I don't know, to tell the truth. I tried googling it before I made this post. But all I found was this:

http://www.microsoft...duct-comparison

It doesn't even list Express though.

I found this thread that talks about the differences with VS 2008.

http://stackoverflow...xpress-editions

I use Ultimate edition on most of the Microsoft products, because I used to know a couple of people that could do me a favor and legally buy them at rock bottom prices for me, if I would just give them the money for it. I think I bought a couple copies of Office Ultimate, which typically costs about $750, for like $75. With the discount, it just made sense to buy the top of the line product.

And because of my work, I have an MSDN subscription where I can download pretty much any MS product. It's one of the perks of working in the computer industry.

But I would recommend sticking with the Express edition until you find a specific reason to go to another edition. Microsoft usually makes their free products extremely powerful and robust. Generally, they want you to upgrade to a paid version when you start getting into professional development. So, the limitations tend to be keeping you from using features that you would need working as a company with a large group of people.

Reading over the limitations they were discussing, in that second post. I think I pretty much agreed with what they said. I "might" be concerned about the lack of MFC and ATL support if I were doing some serious C++ work and wanted to use those. They said you have fewer options in debugging and that would concern me probably more than anything. There were a couple of other minor things that they mentioned in the post. But for the most part the differences were all in features that I mostly never use even in a professional environment.

I'm betting one of the big differences is the ability to use Visual Source Safe. VSS allows you to have a central reposity for all developers to share the same code and does version management. For commercial/large team development, that's probably pretty close to a necessity. I get options to connect to VSS in Ultimate edition. I'm betting that's not in Express edition.

But for most people, I would suggest just sticking to Express edition until you find a reason that you can't live without another edition.
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#10 bonyjoe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Can I use Visual Studio Ultimate?

Posted 15 May 2012 - 10:54 AM

I have 2010 Ultimate because my uni gives everyone academic MSDN accounts. One of the main benefits is that you only have one application to use to do everything with, whereas the express editions are pretty much one per language. There are also the modelling tools which allow you to generate class diagrams etc. There are also a lot of advanced debugging and testing features, intellitrace being a big one.

The professional and ultimate editions are most likely a waste of money for hobby coders though, they are developed for professional environments and provide hundreds of features that you won't ever even think about using, so stick to express unless you find yourself being presented with a very cheap or free copy.
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