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When Visual Studio 2005 was still in Beta, Visual C++ had a concept of STL .NET (now called STL/CLR), which in short is a porting of the STL to the CLR.  One may ask, so why STL/CLR?  As you may or may not have noticed, C++ will not accept managed types inside of an STL container.  Nikola Dudar explains more about the differences in his post "What is STL/CLR".
Stan Lippman had a great introduction of this great library in an article on MSDN called STL .NET Primer.  Nick Weinholt also had a good introduction to this in his article on called STL: Combining Generics and Templates.  I was rather excited when I had the Beta version of Visual Studio and I was digging around the new STL and getting a good feel of what it can do. 
The ability to do port over legacy code is important in the C++ world, and creating a migration plan is a good thing to be able to do things little by little.  STL also gives a little more power and a little more extensibility.
To be able to do this is a welcome sight:
vector<String^> ^svec = gcnew vector<String^>;
IEnumerator<String^> ^is = svec->GetEnumerator();
while ( is->MoveNext() )
     Console::WriteLine( is->Current );
As you can see, it interoperates with existing System.Collections.Generics implementations.
So, what happened?
This post entitled Hello from the trenches of Orcas from Martyn Lovell sums it up nicely:
One of my biggest disappointments from Visual Studio 8 is that we didn’t have the resources to complete and ship STL/CLR, our managed, verifiable implementation of the C++ Standard Template Library. Those of you on the beta for that product will have seen an early version of the technology in Beta 2. We worked with Dinkumware on this project for most of that product cycle, and they did some great work. But in the end we simply didn’t have enough people and time to keep working on it with them while finishing the other features we were building. Retrospectively, it was very ambitious of us to attempt to build this library at the same time as the C++/CLI dialect was still evolving.
So, where does this leave us?  Nikola Dudar gives an update entitled "Where is STL/CLR?" which states that it will be available in the July/August CTP of Orcas.  I'm definitely looking forward to it. 
Stay tuned to the Visual C++ Blog for more information!
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 9:36 PM Microsoft , .NET , Visual Studio | Back to top

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