I am basically a hobbyist programmer, at the moment doing a little
work experimenting with some AI stuff. I learned C++, and then tried
to teach myself MFC using MS Visual C++ 6.0. At the time I swore off
of MFC, which was a nightmare, and have been playing with Borlands C++
Builder. In C++ Builder, creating forms and other GUI elements is
much simpler than MFC, very similar to Visual Basic. Unfortunately,
Borland's product is rapidly becoming obsolete.

In the store yesterday, I was looking at the C++ .Net package. On the
back, it still mentioned MFC, but it also claimed that the .Net
environment has a user-friendly forms builder. My question: How
friendly, and how good?

What I'd be looking for is something like the Visual Basic technology:
You select a new form, there's your form on screen. You have a
palette of widgets (text boxes, scroll boxes, buttons, check boxes,
etc.), and you can drag them to the form and place them easily. For
any widget (I forget the formal, technical term), VB provided a list
of both properties you could set, and also all the functions that
could be called for that widget. If you've used it, you know how easy
it is.

My first question, then, essentially, is whether creating display
forms in Microsoft's C++ .Net environment is just as easy as doing so,
or very nearly as easy as doing so, in Visual Basic? I want to be
able to focus on underlying algorithms, and have my GUI display design
be EASY.

The second question is, as a kind of "Plan B", are there any add-ons
to VC++ 6.0 (preferably open-source, shareware, or not-to-expensive,
in that order), which create a kind of Visual Basic forms design
functionality within the Visual C++ environment?

My main focus is on the underlying logic of the AI stuff I'm playing
with, so I don't need to do anything to fancy with my GUI. Just basic
check boxes, radio buttons, and drop down menus for setting some
options (and an "OK" button here and there), and some text boxes and
paint areas for displaying results. As I indicated at the outset, I
found raw MFC very hard to play with, so if C++ .Net, or some other
add-on to VC++ 6, can make GUI design much easier, I'd love to hear
about it.

Thanks in advance for all replies.

Steve O.

Standard Antiflame Disclaimer: Please don't flame me. I may actually *be* an idiot, but even idiots have feelings.