Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable

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    "Seriously flawed; use 2005 version instead of 2008"

    October 2, 2009  |   By tyler_folsom


    Retains the outstanding features from VC6 and VC2005. Great debugger, good interface.


    Cannot write a program under MSCV 2008, install it on another computer and have it execute.


    I am used to writing a simple program and being able to copy it to a customer's computer and execute it. You can't do that anymore. Copying the EXE and DLLs to the target directory doesn't work anymore The problem has to do with DLLs. You get programs expecting different versions of DLLs, so Microsoft did something about it. All DLLs have been moved to the Windows\SxS directory and given names decorated with arbitrary strings. OK, I can live with figuring out how to build an install project, running it, and then installing the package on the target computer. Problem is, that's not enough. Once you do the installation and try to execute the program you get an obscure error message about initialization failing. It suggests that you reinstall the program, but of course that doesn't help.
    There are three work-arounds:
    1) Install the VC run-time on the target computer. The run-time is free, but it is a 92M download and takes a while to install. People who never program should not need a compiler on their computer.
    2) Use static linking of the run-time libraries, which will blow up your program size.
    3) Use MSVC 2005.
    The third solution is the most elegant.
    The 2008 version of Visual Studio has added some new goodies on the Tools and Test tabs, which I never use. It is set up to allow access to the web and databases. I don't use any of that either, since I write scientific programs for use in-house. Before installing VC 2008, make sure that the new features give you value that outweigh the non-portability of the produced executable code.

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