Managed/Native Debugging in C#/C++

I had a problem debugging my solution consisting of C#, C++/CLI, and native C++ projects. I was not able to get breakpoints working in the native C++ parts – after running the solution with breakpoints set, they were turning gray with warning sign, and their tooltip stated that “The breakpoint will not currently be hit. No symbols have been loaded for this document.” despite all debug properties were set right on those projects and all debugging symbols existed. After fighting it for a few hours and almost giving up, I started to think that the problem might not be with the native C++ projects, but rather somewhere else, e.g. in the StartUp project, which is C#. Checked that project’s properties, and guess what! Debug > Enable unmanged code debugging option was off!!! Switched it on, and voila – breakpoints work fine in native C++ DLL now!!! :)

Exceptions in C++

In Google C++ Style Guide they state that they are not using exceptions in C++ code at Google. They have reasons for it (“historical” mostly, as usual), but I do not necessarily agree with their view on it. Anyway, exceptions are quite a controversial topic in C++ community, and a must-read C++ Exceptions: Pros and Cons article at CodeProject goes deeper into the subject.

Personally I think that exceptions are really great, although I see how people can get things messy/wrong when using exceptions in inappropriate contexts and/or in inappropriate ways. Recipe to avoid problems? My own short list:

Security: Banned C Functions

memcpy() Is Going to Be Banned article at InfoQ talks about dangers of memcpy (and other memory/string related functions). Microsoft has more in-depth explanations as well as the list of Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) Banned Function Calls at MSDN. Also available from Microsoft is banned.h header file that, once included, will produce warnings for all the banned functions. Alternatively one can use the /W4-C4996 compiler option.

Win32/C++ Resources

A “healthy set” of Win32 and C++-related links (related stuff, anyway):

“Bit Twiddling”

Needed to do some “weird” things recently that involved bit operations, e.g. to create masks with certain number of bits set. During my “research” I found few interesting places: