Last week Microsoft release a Community Edition of Visual Studio 2013. This is a free version of the Professional edition of Visual Studio 2013. Previously Microsoft’s free edition was Visual Studio Express. This only compiled to 32 bit and didn’t include a Profiler or Profiler-Guided-Optimization. The new Community Edition includes all of these goodies and can generate 64 bit executables. This is a big deal for chess programmers. It means you can easily develop and test your engine from within the same high quality development environment (I know we’ve always had GCC but this is more integrated than the mishmash of open source tools).
There are some constraints on who can use the Community Edition. You can only use it if your engine isn’t commercial, or if it brings in less than $1 million per year – I’m sure that covers every chess engine developer!!
You can find out more and download here.
The Holiday season is coming. I’m hoping to have more time to dedicate to chess programming. For the last six months I’ve been swamped with work – but I think there is a light at the end of the tunnel. More updates to come.