Re: "delete" asserts in debug build, multiple inheritance (msvc 7.1)

"Alf P. Steinbach" <>
Mon, 12 May 2008 18:17:32 +0200
* Alex Blekhman:

"Ben Voigt [C++ MVP]" wrote:

While one can't blame Bill for the coding error, he shares a lot
of the blame for allowing it to ship, by prioritizing flashy
stuff over good QA.

I beg to differ. I don't know where this myth came from, however
it's quite
tenacious of life. I heard it in the past and occasionally hear
today that MS ships undertested and unstable products with catchy
garish UI. In fact, MS' products are some of the best in the

Hm, I don't know if this is off-topic or not, but I really must take
exception to that statement. While some few MS products are really
extremely good (the Visual Studio debugger springs to mind, while the
rest of that product is very bad), MS products generally sell for
three reasons only: (1) an established de-facto monopoly, (2) that MS
has the manpower and $$$ to do things that require manpower and $$$,
not ability, like e.g. grammar checking or clip-art, and (3) the
embrace and extinguish tactic, which is a business model, not
technical ability.

For a recent example of lacking quality assurance, Windows XP SP3.

This thread is, for that matter, another example.

As a third example, take Word, the MS flagship application.

How long until MS fixes e.g. master document support (infamous, it has
never worked and it /reliably/ destroys your documents, i.e. that they
become unreadable by Word, the creating program!), bulleting (which
could more aptly be described as bullying, where Word insists on
forgetting things and changing things, willy-nilly), unwanted
reformatting (where e.g. footnotes suddenly acquire a huge gap above
them, the fix is to exit Word and start new instance), the "read only"
problem (where suddenly the document becomes read-only as far as this
instance of Word is concerned), so on and so forth.

Instead of fixing such things, MS ships new versions of Word with ever
more flashy and unusable GUI.

As a fourth example, take the clipboard viewer.

In Windows 2000, crippled it by extreme featurism, introducing
overhead, unusability and security holes. In Windows XP, removed it
from Start menu, presumably because it had become so bad. More
positive, removed most of the Windows 2000 idiot features. More
negative, forgot to update the window title (in XP it's still
"Clipbook" although the program is no longer that) and help system,
and forgot to remove that nasty service for communicating clips over
local area network. In Windows Vista, removed it altogeter,
presumably because so few used it after it had been crippled (Win 2K)
and removed from Start menu (XP), without any reasonable replacement.

As a fifth example, just take the Vista contact list. Hey, it's
filenames, not contact names, it shows. Turn off the Explorer lying
about filenames (filename extensions, needed for programming work),
and the contact list shows up with ".contact" at end of each item.
And by the way, that Explorer lying is a sixth example. Each example
brings in tens or hundreds more, by association.

The list is endless.

98% of MS products lack basic quality. Visual Studio debugger being
an extreme exception. I don't understand how MS could produce it.

There are few SW vendors that can match MS as far as
stability and documentation are concerned.

Heh heh. It reminds me of a dry-wit comment in, I think it was,
[comp.programming], "the best that can be said about this code is that
it demonstrates the author's competence".

That said, and which brings this back on-topic, MS has done admirable
things with Visual C++, bringing it much nearer standard-conformance.
   If only they could fix it so that it's standard C++ (with language
extensions, of course) by default, e.g. supporting standard 'int main'
without having to use explicit under-documented option. And in that
direction, standard-conformance, also admirable what they've done and
are doing with Internet Explorer (although that program is a host of
malware vectors, I guess it's practically impossible to fix /that/).


- Alf

A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is it such a bad thing?
A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing on usenet and in e-mail?

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