XCode or Visual Studio w Parallels in OSX ? which is best?


I use a MacBook Pro and currently develop in XCode, but I also own Parallels and thus could easily run MS Visual Studio to dev in JUCE for both OSX and Windoze.

Whats users and jules opinion on which IDE is better do to the initial coding in ? Of course if i were to use Visual Studio in Parallels i would need to configure Xcode to be able to see the source generated and written in VS, in order to build an OSX Binary, but do people here find VS to be much more productive to code in compared to XCode 3 ?

Whats the verdict ?

Since I have a 8 GB Macbook Pro it really is no problem for me to run VS in Parallels here - even alongside XCode.




I haven’t used XCode but I guess this boils down to which IDE has better support for parameter completion, symbol lookup, and contextual location of source files.


I mainly use XCode these days - not because I like XCode, but because I don’t like Windows, and because the mac’s got lots of nice unix command-line tools I can use for housekeeping tasks.

MSVC’s probably a better IDE, but XCode’s ok once you get used to it. Sounds like XCode 4 is going to be really good when they get the bugs ironed out.


I prefer MSVC 2008 + Visual Assist X (which is excellent). The window handling and the debugger in XCode always confusing me, but maybe it’s only a matter of getting used to it.


+1 for Visual Studio + Visual Assist


Personnaly, I use both. I have to admit that Visual Studio debugger is far better than XCode one. But like Jules, I don’t like Windows and really appreciate the Mac OS X (Unix like) system.
If you want to use Visual Studio, I advise you to use Bootcamp instead of Parallels, I tried both and the building time (especially linking time) is really long under Parallels.


VS2008 + Visual assist user here.

I think VS2008 compiler and debugger are excelent (good documentation for compiler errors on MSDN, the debugger is very well designed, and it helps A LOT whith multithreads programs).
But Microsoft’s intellisence is total crap. It almost never works for me and for many user (according to the number of posts in the forum). Enters Visual Assist, which is really unbelievable.
It CORRECTLY autocompletes almost everything (even #include statements for examples), has a “smart” refactoring ability, can move your code between .h et .cpp, and in the latest beta, it can even automatically implement pure virtual methods of the base.

That’s really a huge time saver !
Now the thing is visual assist is an extention, so you can’t use it with visual studio express.
So you need to “buy” VS2008 professional and visual assist X (which costs around 100$, unless you qualify for accademic licence) which makes the total a bit expensive.
But that’s the best dev environment I’ve ever seen !


I do all core development these days on my Mac Book Pro 13.3" - made the transition around 2 years ago IIRC.

A big initial factor was that shell scripts are a lot faster under MacOS, compared to when I ran then under cygwin on Windows (even under bootcamp!).
And I use a lot of scripts to help automate things (I have 3 core products, that port to quite a few platforms!)…

I now use Visual Studio only for building/testing the Windows variants!
I tend to do that under Parallels, though occasionally do this under BootCamp on a second MacBook Pro when I have a lot of stuff to rebuild in the background.

Best wishes,



[quote=“dinaiz”]VS2008 + Visual assist user here.
Enters Visual Assist, which is really unbelievable.

V.A sounds very interesting. Now see - heres the thing. Currently i do something most might considr crazy - i prototype and code initially in REALbasic and then ( using a home grown tool ) convert this into C++ ready for JUCE.

Why do i do this ? and more to the point WHY am i so reluctant to just ditch RB and work entirely in C++ ?. Its because RB ( and mauybe the VBNet IDE - dunno ) lets me create edit and browse objects - CLASSES are ONE single object. One file no header/cpp files to forever be navigating.

Now what i would really like to see is some tool inside or outside VS or Xcode - which almost completely HIDES the stupid C++ files and just lets me create, edit and yes - refactor stuff with ease - something that deals with objects a such and hides all else. XCode of course has a kind of “object browser” and a mode where one can edit methods and properties visually, but its painfully obvious that there are headers and body files behind.

Are there any add-ons to VS that do this sort of thing better ? or does the latest incarnation of VS do this perfectly well already ? .
I was amazed to read here that even in 2010 Msoft still cant get a working visual assist prompt tech working.

To Jules: Is XCode 4 really going to be that amazing ?.


I’m REALLY feeling Visual Studio 2008 now that I have Intel C++ Studio XE installed! VTune Amplifier and Intel C++ are a great combination, they have helped me considerably. Technically not an IDE, but now that I see what Intel C++ can do there is no way I would ever go to a build environment that didn’t support it.