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MFC not dead – "massive update" planned

Herb Sutter refers to a comment by Bill Dunlap, a product manager for Visual C++, on the future of MFC:

MFC – we are working on a huge update to MFC that should knock your socks off.  I can’t tell you too much right now, but this is closer than you might thing <g>.

Intriguing, since with ATL and then the whole .NET thing, including managed C++ and C++/CLI, I’d assumed that MFC was all-but deprecated.

I can see the value of this for maintaining existing projects, but for new ones? I like this comment by Dan Shappir:

The only reason I can see for doing significant UI development in C++ is for cross-platform support, and in that case I would probably choose Qt.

Actually I can think of a few other reasons, such as performance and compatibility with older versions of Windows, but then again why not use Delphi?

Talking of Delphi, it’s interesting that according to Shappir’s post referenced above, Microsoft’s Visual C++ team had similar feedback to Borland/Codegear:

Damien Watkins, a Program Manager on the Visual C++ team, stated quite frankly that the feedback they have received from C++ developers is that they prefer to use C# for developing managed code for .NET. So what is the new positioning for C++? Apparently it’s:

  • A strong emphasis on developing unmanaged, native applications
  • Tool for achieving interop between existing native code and new managed code

I guess this ties in with renewed investment in MFC.

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