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From: Alan Griffiths (alan_at_[hidden])
Date: 2000-07-25 14:04:36

In message <B5A20341.251%darylew_at_[hidden]>, Daryle Walker
<darylew_at_[hidden]> writes
>From what I've read here and on comp.lang.c++, it seems that Microsoft's
>compiler really sucks. What's their problem, and why do a lot of people use

I can't answer for others, but since I actually recommended it (with
quiet misgivings) to my current development group I feel I ought to

The Microsoft compiler was at the time of my recommendation (1995) about
as current to the draft standard as others in the same (Windows)
marketplace. At the time it was very clear that the market for our
product was Windows. What distinguished the Microsoft compiler was the
much earlier support of new Windows technologies and greater support in
terms of books and articles on Windows programming. (There were also
questions of viability regarding the Borland, Symantec, and Watcom

Since then, and particularly since the release of VC++5 Microsoft's
support for the language has effectively stood still. In particular,
barring a quibble about freeze vs shipping dates, they have not produced
a new version since the C++ standard was ratified.

During the same period other implementations have improved dramatically.
For example the egcs fork of gcc led to vastly improved language support
in gcc-2.95.

The latest project I've been working on is supported on several OS's and
(more relevantly) for several compilers (Borland, gcc, & Microsoft)
available on Windows. The most problematic (by nearly two orders of
magnitude - yes I have metrics) is the Microsoft one - despite our years
of experience with it. I would love to jettison support for it - but
need to maintain compatibility with the existing codebase (which is only
viable with the Microsoft compiler).

(I'd love to get my hands on a review copy of the upcoming version!
I.e. with rights to publicise my findings.<g>)

Alan Griffiths  (alan_at_[hidden])
ACCU Chairman   (chair_at_[hidden])   

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