I've got the inpression that programming on top of .NET is quite different than the usal 'direct'/native programming. I mean, you are actually programming a virtual machine; it's like doing Java. You got stuff like garbage collector (so you probably don't get memory leaks), etc. I've been told that if you are going to do .NET, do it in C#.
You are wrong about that, I'd say. You don't *have* to program with .NET just because you're using VS. You can program perfectly normal standard C++ and VS won't interject saying "sure you don't wanna use .NET?". But I would agree that C# is a better place for .NET than C++.
VS is so simple it's not even funny. There's plenty of room for advanced material but VS is nice and easy.
On the other hand nobody should even use turbo anymore. The main IDEs are wxDev, Eclipse (I'm not sure if Eclipse can handle C++ out of box but it is free), VS, and Code Blocks. There's an article in these forums with a good list of them but those are the ones I remember. All free of course.
CodeLite's not a bad IDE; Code::Blocks (which CodeLite is based on) is OK. I didn't like CodeLite at first but I removed virtually all of the toolbars (keyboard combos ftw) and now I can use it without getting headaches. It has very good syntax highlighting and prediction.
The latest build of Code::Blocks (available on their nightly builds forum) is much better than CodeLite IMO. Overall though, I find the best IDE for pretty much ANYTHING is Netbeans. You can either download the C++ only build of Netbeans from www.netbeans.org or you can install the C++ plugin from the plugin menu of any other build of the IDE. The interface is also very easy to use, with smart menu design and very little clutter. The C++ autocomplete is the best I've seen, even better than Microsoft's own Intellisense, and the debugger integration is top notch.
My employer is currently shifting our development environment from a Windows/Visual Studio one to an open source platform (Ubuntu), and we've been using Netbeans for Java, C++ and Web Development and it is absolutely brilliant at all of them. It also has very nice integration for CVS/Subversion and a few more version control systems.
I recommend that anyone looking for a simple to use, powerful, versatile, and advanced IDE definitely check out Netbeans.
tummychow: here is my issue with Visual Studio Express. I haven't found out how to customize it for different languages, much less so to use different compilers/platforms. It seems you download a version to use Visual Basic and another one to use C#. There should be a way to download one version of the tools and custumize it for any of the supported languages, but I haven't found out how (I recall posting the question in a pertinent forum and never got an answer). You claim you can even use it to do non-.NET stuff. Where can I found more information about that?
As far as I know, there is no way to have a single version of Visual Studio Express for multiple languages. You'll need each install for each language (they save the multilanguage integration for their Pro versions).
why do you still use Visual Studio 2005? Unless it's the pro version I really don't see a reason to use Microsoft's crappiest version of their IDE, especially since 2008 Express is free and 2010 is just around the corner (and the beta is free until then).
@darkestfright: It's not my choice...the company I work for only has a license for 2005 it would seem. I've used 2008 too...to be honest I haven't had any issues with either of them...they both do everything that I want. Oh and there's also a VS plugin for SVN-integration (called AnkhSVN), which also works great.
there's also a VS plugin for SVN-integration (called AnkhSVN), which also works great.
Works only in Pro-Versions. No plugins at all for Expresses.
My recommendation: Don't settle for the Express now. Get the VisualStudio 2010 Professional Release Candidate while its free to download *g*. (It's not the final version and comes with a 150 day license or something like that, but you who knows what you'll do in 150 days from now :-D ).