Choosing language/IDE for new desktop application - Programmer

This is a discussion on Choosing language/IDE for new desktop application - Programmer ; I need some advice for choosing the best language/IDE for a new desktop application. I realize this can be a matter of preference, so I need objective assessments of the pros and cons of the various options. I am looking ...

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  1. Choosing language/IDE for new desktop application

    I need some advice for choosing the best language/IDE for a new
    desktop application. I realize this can be a matter of preference, so
    I need objective assessments of the pros and cons of the various
    options. I am looking for advice from someone who has built a similar
    application and has used the different language/IDE options we should
    consider.

    Some specifics of this project are:
    + For windows 98 to XP
    + To be released in March 2004
    + More user interface intensive than computationally intensive
    + User interface to include:
    - Strip of shortcut buttons/icons down the left, similar
    to Outlook
    - Tabbed pages
    - Spreadsheet-like grids for inputting data with ability to
    format cells with different number formats (percent,
    currency, etc.), backgrounds and fonts, and ability to
    disable specific cells.
    - Line charts with two vertical axes, and preferably ability
    to right-click on various components (axes, lines, etc.)
    to adjust their formats (similar to charts in Excel or
    PowerPoint)
    - Would like to include check boxes, text fields, drop
    downs, and buttons within a scrolling list
    + Computationally fairly simple, except will fit several curve types
    (linear, 2nd degree polynomial, etc.) to a small number of data points
    and will make additional calculations based on the fitted curves (not
    just plot them)

    I want this application to be easily downloaded and run on most
    Windows systems without the need for additional components, so I am
    concerned about relying on the common language runtime as part of
    ..net.

    Because the application is more user interface intensive than
    computationally intensive, I expect a visual form designer will be
    important.

    I plan to hire a contract development team with the desired skills and
    experience, so our current skills are not a factor.

    Some platforms/IDEs considered so far are various languages in Visual
    Studio.net, VB 6.0, C++ Builder (Borland) and Delphi.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Please if you can recommend
    the best language/IDE for this application and describe why you
    recommend it. Please also indicate any reasonable alternatives and
    their relative strengths and weaknesses.

  2. Re: Choosing language/IDE for new desktop application

    I think your requirements are a bit stiffer than you realize.

    If I were doing it, I'd look at VC++ with MFC. One of the sticking points
    however, is doing the grids without additional components (such as dlls).
    The other sticking point is getting it all done, tested and debugged by
    March.

    --
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Free software - Baxter Codeworks www.baxcode.com
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    "Tim Hunt" wrote in message
    news:45fdab05.0310090654.375d21e8@posting.google.c om...
    > I need some advice for choosing the best language/IDE for a new
    > desktop application. I realize this can be a matter of preference, so
    > I need objective assessments of the pros and cons of the various
    > options. I am looking for advice from someone who has built a similar
    > application and has used the different language/IDE options we should
    > consider.
    >
    > Some specifics of this project are:
    > + For windows 98 to XP
    > + To be released in March 2004
    > + More user interface intensive than computationally intensive
    > + User interface to include:
    > - Strip of shortcut buttons/icons down the left, similar
    > to Outlook
    > - Tabbed pages
    > - Spreadsheet-like grids for inputting data with ability to
    > format cells with different number formats (percent,
    > currency, etc.), backgrounds and fonts, and ability to
    > disable specific cells.
    > - Line charts with two vertical axes, and preferably ability
    > to right-click on various components (axes, lines, etc.)
    > to adjust their formats (similar to charts in Excel or
    > PowerPoint)
    > - Would like to include check boxes, text fields, drop
    > downs, and buttons within a scrolling list
    > + Computationally fairly simple, except will fit several curve types
    > (linear, 2nd degree polynomial, etc.) to a small number of data points
    > and will make additional calculations based on the fitted curves (not
    > just plot them)
    >
    > I want this application to be easily downloaded and run on most
    > Windows systems without the need for additional components, so I am
    > concerned about relying on the common language runtime as part of
    > .net.
    >
    > Because the application is more user interface intensive than
    > computationally intensive, I expect a visual form designer will be
    > important.
    >
    > I plan to hire a contract development team with the desired skills and
    > experience, so our current skills are not a factor.
    >
    > Some platforms/IDEs considered so far are various languages in Visual
    > Studio.net, VB 6.0, C++ Builder (Borland) and Delphi.
    >
    > Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Please if you can recommend
    > the best language/IDE for this application and describe why you
    > recommend it. Please also indicate any reasonable alternatives and
    > their relative strengths and weaknesses.




  3. Re: Choosing language/IDE for new desktop application

    Tim Hunt wrote:

    > I need some advice for choosing the best language/IDE for a new
    > desktop application. I realize this can be a matter of preference, so
    > I need objective assessments of the pros and cons of the various
    > options. I am looking for advice from someone who has built a similar
    > application and has used the different language/IDE options we should
    > consider.
    >
    > Some specifics of this project are:
    > + For windows 98 to XP
    > + To be released in March 2004
    > + More user interface intensive than computationally intensive
    > + User interface to include:
    > - Strip of shortcut buttons/icons down the left, similar
    > to Outlook
    > - Tabbed pages
    > - Spreadsheet-like grids for inputting data with ability to
    > format cells with different number formats (percent,
    > currency, etc.), backgrounds and fonts, and ability to
    > disable specific cells.
    > - Line charts with two vertical axes, and preferably ability
    > to right-click on various components (axes, lines, etc.)
    > to adjust their formats (similar to charts in Excel or
    > PowerPoint)
    > - Would like to include check boxes, text fields, drop
    > downs, and buttons within a scrolling list
    > + Computationally fairly simple, except will fit several curve types
    > (linear, 2nd degree polynomial, etc.) to a small number of data points
    > and will make additional calculations based on the fitted curves (not
    > just plot them)
    >
    > I want this application to be easily downloaded and run on most
    > Windows systems without the need for additional components, so I am
    > concerned about relying on the common language runtime as part of
    > .net.
    >
    > Because the application is more user interface intensive than
    > computationally intensive, I expect a visual form designer will be
    > important.
    >
    > I plan to hire a contract development team with the desired skills and
    > experience, so our current skills are not a factor.
    >
    > Some platforms/IDEs considered so far are various languages in Visual
    > Studio.net, VB 6.0, C++ Builder (Borland) and Delphi.
    >
    > Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Please if you can recommend
    > the best language/IDE for this application and describe why you
    > recommend it. Please also indicate any reasonable alternatives and
    > their relative strengths and weaknesses.


    You've described a lot of customized GUI work, which is usually more
    labor-intensive than computational work. The other key requirement is
    the easy download including w98. That rules out the .net CLR.

    What you should care the most about is finding a good GUI library that
    comes with source code and will make the custom controls less work.
    Some examples are http://www.dundas.com and http://www.codejock.com
    At lot of this kind of stuff is also available free on various code
    collection sites like http://www.codeguru.com. Products like these are
    aimed at the largest user population they can target that needs
    customized GUIs, and that market is overwhelmingly using VC++ and MFC.

    --
    Scott McPhillips [VC++ MVP]


  4. Re: Choosing language/IDE for new desktop application

    Thanks for the help.

    Could you please give me a little background on why you recommend VC++
    with MFC?

    Also, is there a visual form designer (drag and drop) for creating the
    GUI in VC++ with MFC

    Please tell me more about what it will take for the grid. Is there
    not a standard grid control we'd build into a form, or would we need
    something custom (activeX?) ?

    Thanks again!

    -Tim



    "Baxter" wrote in message news:...
    > I think your requirements are a bit stiffer than you realize.
    >
    > If I were doing it, I'd look at VC++ with MFC. One of the sticking points
    > however, is doing the grids without additional components (such as dlls).
    > The other sticking point is getting it all done, tested and debugged by
    > March.
    >
    > --
    > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    > Free software - Baxter Codeworks www.baxcode.com
    > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    >
    >
    > "Tim Hunt" wrote in message
    > news:45fdab05.0310090654.375d21e8@posting.google.c om...
    > > I need some advice for choosing the best language/IDE for a new
    > > desktop application. I realize this can be a matter of preference, so
    > > I need objective assessments of the pros and cons of the various
    > > options. I am looking for advice from someone who has built a similar
    > > application and has used the different language/IDE options we should
    > > consider.
    > >
    > > Some specifics of this project are:
    > > + For windows 98 to XP
    > > + To be released in March 2004
    > > + More user interface intensive than computationally intensive
    > > + User interface to include:
    > > - Strip of shortcut buttons/icons down the left, similar
    > > to Outlook
    > > - Tabbed pages
    > > - Spreadsheet-like grids for inputting data with ability to
    > > format cells with different number formats (percent,
    > > currency, etc.), backgrounds and fonts, and ability to
    > > disable specific cells.
    > > - Line charts with two vertical axes, and preferably ability
    > > to right-click on various components (axes, lines, etc.)
    > > to adjust their formats (similar to charts in Excel or
    > > PowerPoint)
    > > - Would like to include check boxes, text fields, drop
    > > downs, and buttons within a scrolling list
    > > + Computationally fairly simple, except will fit several curve types
    > > (linear, 2nd degree polynomial, etc.) to a small number of data points
    > > and will make additional calculations based on the fitted curves (not
    > > just plot them)
    > >
    > > I want this application to be easily downloaded and run on most
    > > Windows systems without the need for additional components, so I am
    > > concerned about relying on the common language runtime as part of
    > > .net.
    > >
    > > Because the application is more user interface intensive than
    > > computationally intensive, I expect a visual form designer will be
    > > important.
    > >
    > > I plan to hire a contract development team with the desired skills and
    > > experience, so our current skills are not a factor.
    > >
    > > Some platforms/IDEs considered so far are various languages in Visual
    > > Studio.net, VB 6.0, C++ Builder (Borland) and Delphi.
    > >
    > > Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Please if you can recommend
    > > the best language/IDE for this application and describe why you
    > > recommend it. Please also indicate any reasonable alternatives and
    > > their relative strengths and weaknesses.


  5. Re: Choosing language/IDE for new desktop application

    --
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Free software - Baxter Codeworks www.baxcode.com
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    "Tim Hunt" wrote in message
    news:45fdab05.0310091824.3b8c4d7f@posting.google.c om...
    > Thanks for the help.
    >
    > Could you please give me a little background on why you recommend VC++
    > with MFC?


    VC++/MFC handles a lot of the GUI framwork for you while still letting you
    use standard C++. In short, rapid deveopment without sacrificing power.

    >
    > Also, is there a visual form designer (drag and drop) for creating the
    > GUI in VC++ with MFC


    Yes. In fact, it's almost identical to Visual Basic. An experienced
    VC++/MFC programmer can develop software as fast as a VB programmer. Unlike
    VB, VC++ will let you create your own custom controls and UI.

    >
    > Please tell me more about what it will take for the grid. Is there
    > not a standard grid control we'd build into a form, or would we need
    > something custom (activeX?) ?
    >

    I've yet to find a standard grid control. There are a lot of libraries and
    ActiveX controls out there, but that would require you distribute additiona
    components. There are a couple of C++ classes out there for grids (so that
    you could compile everything into one .exe), but they're likely to take a
    bit of work to customise to your application and/or figure out how they
    work. Personally, I'm working on a project that requires a grid and I'm
    using one of the Open Source C++ classes as a starting point for my own
    grid.




  6. Re: Choosing language/IDE for new desktop application

    "Scott McPhillips [MVP]" wrote in message news:...

    > The other key requirement is
    > the easy download including w98. That rules out the .net CLR.
    >

    If I accepted the need to download .net CLR, would you recommend
    VC++.net? Are there advantages to .net that might be valuable to me
    and worth making users download the CLR?

  7. Re: Choosing language/IDE for new desktop application

    I've got a couple of other guys who are recommending using .net (with
    whatever language is the preference), and I'm having a difficult time
    choosing between VC++ MFC and .net. Please help me understand why you
    recommend VC++ MFC over .net.

    Key factors seem to be:

    1 Ease of deployment - VC++ MFC has the benefit of NOT requiring the
    CLR, which is not on most machines these days, and requires another
    20+ megs of downloading. On the other hand .net is touted as avoiding
    the DLL hassle.

    2 Ease of UI design - Both have visual drag and drop
    designers/editors. Not sure if either is better.

    3 Ability to customize the UI - both appear capable here as I've seen
    toolkits to add and customize controls in MFC, and I'm told in .net
    you can inherit and customize the microsoft forms controls. Not sure
    if either is better.

    Do I have that about right? Are there other key issues?

    Thanks for the help!

  8. Re: Choosing language/IDE for new desktop application

    You can do static linking with MFC and avoid the use of redistributables and
    the attendant DLL Hell. It will also run faster than CLR - which is
    basically an Interpreter.

    --
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Free software - Baxter Codeworks www.baxcode.com
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    "Tim Hunt" wrote in message
    news:45fdab05.0310130442.64a7f6b7@posting.google.c om...
    > I've got a couple of other guys who are recommending using .net (with
    > whatever language is the preference), and I'm having a difficult time
    > choosing between VC++ MFC and .net. Please help me understand why you
    > recommend VC++ MFC over .net.
    >
    > Key factors seem to be:
    >
    > 1 Ease of deployment - VC++ MFC has the benefit of NOT requiring the
    > CLR, which is not on most machines these days, and requires another
    > 20+ megs of downloading. On the other hand .net is touted as avoiding
    > the DLL hassle.
    >
    > 2 Ease of UI design - Both have visual drag and drop
    > designers/editors. Not sure if either is better.
    >
    > 3 Ability to customize the UI - both appear capable here as I've seen
    > toolkits to add and customize controls in MFC, and I'm told in .net
    > you can inherit and customize the microsoft forms controls. Not sure
    > if either is better.
    >
    > Do I have that about right? Are there other key issues?
    >
    > Thanks for the help!




  9. Re: Choosing language/IDE for new desktop application

    >>I've got a couple of other guys who are recommending using .net (with
    >>whatever language is the preference), and I'm having a difficult time
    >>choosing between VC++ MFC and .net. Please help me understand why you
    >>recommend VC++ MFC over .net.
    >>
    >>Key factors seem to be:
    >>
    >>1 Ease of deployment - VC++ MFC has the benefit of NOT requiring the
    >>CLR, which is not on most machines these days, and requires another
    >>20+ megs of downloading. On the other hand .net is touted as avoiding
    >>the DLL hassle.
    >>
    >>2 Ease of UI design - Both have visual drag and drop
    >>designers/editors. Not sure if either is better.
    >>
    >>3 Ability to customize the UI - both appear capable here as I've seen
    >>toolkits to add and customize controls in MFC, and I'm told in .net
    >>you can inherit and customize the microsoft forms controls. Not sure
    >>if either is better.
    >>
    >>Do I have that about right? Are there other key issues?
    >>
    >>Thanks for the help!


    This is a rather lightly-used newsgroup. You've got a better chance of
    replys from folks with experience in both MFC and .net on the much
    busier microsoft public group:

    (server) msnews.microsoft.com
    (group) microsoft.public.vc.mfc

    --
    Scott McPhillips [VC++ MVP]


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