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From: Robert Ramey (ramey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2004-09-18 23:25:27

Tony Juricic wrote

>I know. But, in the end, to do the real work, debugging and testing in any
>particular environment, we have to stick with the particular compiler and
>particular platform. No cross-platform build tool is going to help in that
>case. That's why I consider generic build tool fantasies a major waste of
>developer's time and resources.

Sorry, got to disagree here.

I use VC 7.1 compiler and IDE as my main compiler and environment. In
general it very good, integrated help, simple editor, powerful debugger.

On the other hand it hangs up from time to time and this drives me crazy -
still I've tried a lot different ones and I like this the best.

However, sticking to one compiler is a big mistake if you want to make good
code. All compilers have problems. One problem is that all pass some
invalid code as valid. It fools you into thinking there's no bugs or worse,
hides your bugs so you can't find them. Also C++ is so complex now (too
complex?) that I can't understand the error message half the time. Then
when I do I'm left wondering if it's a compiler bug or is it that I don't
understand what's going on.

So, I've added a number of compilers to my external tools list so I can
compile (can't link) write from the IDE with borland, Commeau, G++, and
(until it expired) Metrowerks. So when I think some thing is correct or I
know its not but can't figure out why, applying several compilers to the
code module is indispensable.

In this day in age, it's the only practical way to make correct portable C++
code. Honestly, I think that C++ is just to complex to make a correct
compiler for. (I know someone is going to take exception to that - Sorry in
advance - no offense intended). So here we are.

For final build and test I use bjam. Bjam also drives me crazy. I've
managed to work with it and I believe that it (or something equivalent) is
indispensable for a truly portable project and I haven't found anything
better - but still it drives crazy. I understand efforts to improve it are
in the works and I look forward to seeing them. However, the main problem
is that it seems to take a huge amount of time to understand and learn how
to use. I don't know if that's going to change.

Robert Ramey

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