A lot of people who come to the CDT have used Visual C++ in their lives so we strive to make certain aspects of the CDT familiar to them. That requires taking a look every now and then to see what things are like over there, and with the free Visual C++ Express, it’s interesting to see how the other side lives.
I sauntered over to the Visual C++ Express web site and I guess it’s been a while since I’ve been there, or maybe it just struck it differently than it has before. The web site promoted Visual C++ Express as Simple, Fun and Easy to Learn. We can argue whether VS is simple and easy to learn, but it was the Fun part that hit me as a great idea. This section highlighted Game Creators GDK, Game Development Kit. I can see how that would attract VC Express’s target audience, prospective future full Visual Studio edition customers.
We need something like that for the CDT. We need to make the CDT Simple, Fun, and Easy to Learn. Get the kids to use it and when they become future prospective clients of CDT vendors, they’ll be quick to adopt their CDT based tooling. First we need to fix some of the major usability issues with CDT. A lot of CDT users will argue that it’s not particularly Simple and Easy to Learn and that needs to be addressed.
But the Fun part comes from using the CDT to build something fun. And as Microsoft has figured out, game development is fun. I’ve already started looking at what would be needed for a GDK for Android and there are a few open source components that can go into that. And make it cross platform for Windows, Mac, and Linux and it’s variants like Moblin and I think we could have a GDK for the CDT that would be a great injection of Fun into Eclipse.