Sunday, 21 October 2018

Visual Studio C++ code metrics issue

Before I say this I want to point out that I'm not ungrateful about the fact that Visual Studio has a free version (it was called Express, now it's Community or something else). VS is a great IDE, in fact I think it's the best IDE at the moment. Yet there are some features which are weird. One of them is the missing code metrics option for C++ (unmanaged/actual) language.

Not getting some kind of project summary in lines of code, number of files etc. is not the end of world for me, but it would be a nice feature. They have it for managed code (like C#) which makes one wonder what was the reason to drop it from C++. Is there some kind of technical problem we the users don't know? When I read questions about that the "support" of Microsoft is the usual outsourced cut-paste answer that makes no sense. I really wonder why they even bother answering, I guess they get paid to cut-paste.

VS has extensions that could do the trick, but it should be a built-in feature (it is for managed code!) in my opinion and trying to find free extensions for that particular task is a real hassle. The extension/plugin system of VS is quite annoying, because most of the plugins are listed in several categories which itself are somewhat confusing and there is no clear indication of the price.

VS does have a static analyzer for C++ which is like way more complex feature than code metrics, so it's not like it would be impossible to do. Then again the static analyzer and Visual C++ compiler are both a bit "random" at reporting issues. If you don't believe me check your code with GCC and be enlightened. (Remember to use the warning options you need.)

Code::Blocks, the other IDE I'm using quite a lot has another type of problem, namely being open source. It has a simple summary of the project (which for some reason tells that one of my files is missing (what file?)), but it's only a LOC counter. If you know anything about open source development then you know that asking for some feature is almost always useless. The open source developers are notorious for being stubborn to do things exactly the way they want. That being said I think Code::Blocks developers are surprisingly friendly, but any feature you want you just have to wait for, sometimes it takes years as we have seen in case of projects like Blender 3D (for example the legendary case of N-gon feature).

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