I need help picking a compiler.

This is a discussion on I need help picking a compiler. within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; I'm really new to programming but I would like to learn C++ but I've already hit a snag, I don't ...

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    Unhappy I need help picking a compiler.

    I'm really new to programming but I would like to learn C++
    but I've already hit a snag, I don't know what to look for in a compiler!

    I guess my question is this:

    What should i use as a compiler? I'm not sure exactly what i want to do yet since I'm not even sure what's possible (Though I'd like to get into a programming job someday)

    Also if it helps I'm running windows vista.

    I've heard a lot about Bloodshed's compiler but I don't know how to get a hold of it. The website here said to get version 4 but that link is broken and i don't know where to get it.

    Anyways, any information you guys could provide me would be awesome! I'm sorry if it's an obvious question that's been asked a million times over. I'm just not sure how to start out is all.

  2. #2
    and the Hat of Guessing tabstop's Avatar
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    It is probably wise to note here that Bloodshed does not, has not, and I'm guessing will never have, a compiler. They do make an IDE (stands for integrated development environment -- basically a nice text editor + bells and whistles + an interface to somebody else's compiler, so that when you hit F9 it calls gcc (or whatever) for you), although it is not (I've heard) easily-Vista-compatible. (Or at least the person I know who has Dev-C++ on Vista would have it crash several times during a four-hour lab.)

    The easiest thing to do would be to get Visual Studio Express from Microsoft, which costs $0.00 + however long it takes to download and install it. This is a compiler and IDE and everything else, rolled in to one package.

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    If you get Bloodshed's IDE (it is an IDE, not a compiler), which is named Dev-C++, then get the version 5 beta (4.9.9.2). Version 4 is too old. While Dev-C++ is good for beginners it is no longer being worked on, so you might consider another option.

    Code::Blocks is also a good IDE that may be more beginner friendly than Visual C++.

    Visual C++ Express Edition is free and good if you're really serious about using C++. It takes some effort to set it up to do only standard C++, but once you figure that out it is IMO the best IDE available on Windows.

    Each of those IDEs come with compilers, either a port of g++ or the Visual C++ compiler for the third option. The compilers are generally comparable, so I would focus on getting the IDE that you like best.

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    there are several IDEs as mentioned (Code::Blocks, Dev-C++, VS), but only 3 compilers (those with < 0.1&#37; market share don't count =)).

    GCC:
    a free and opensource compiler used by Code::Blocks and Dev-C++ (by default anyways). It is being actively maintained, and stable + fast. It's the main compiler everywhere outside the Windows world (Linux, Mac, UNIX...)

    Microsoft compiler:
    used by VS. Too commercial for my liking, but apparently many people use it (on Windows). Quality should be comparable to GCC. Note that it only runs on Windows. Therefore, if you want to be 100% sure that your code can be compiled everywhere (Win, Mac, Linux), I recommend GCC.

    Intel compiler (ICC):
    A commercial compiler by Intel (although Linux version is free for non commercial use). Takes advantage of the latest technologies in Intel CPUs. Tend to be a bit faster (on latest and greatest Intel CPUs anyways). Usage is very similar to GCC. I believe it has an option to be integrated to VS on Windows, not sure, though.

    I strongly recommend GCC (free and high quality and portable).

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    Smile

    thanks guys!

    I'm just starting out so sorry if any of the questions i might ask are obvious. I appreciate all of your help!

  6. #6
    C++まいる!Cをこわせ!
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    Intel compiler (ICC):
    ...I believe it has an option to be integrated to VS on Windows, not sure, though.
    Just to confirm, yes it has.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    Note that it only runs on Windows. Therefore, if you want to be 100&#37; sure that your code can be compiled everywhere (Win, Mac, Linux), I recommend GCC.
    Well if you write portable code it shouldn't be a problem which compiler you use.
    Even though at the moment I am using Visual Studio Express, I much prefer gcc with Code::Blocks.

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    Registered User Terran's Avatar
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    try wxDevC++, its an updated version of DEVC++ that works pretty well with vista plus it comes with wxWidgets.
    Sorry, but i'm a Code::Blocks man now.

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    Code:
    Well if you write portable code it shouldn't be a problem which compiler you use.
    Yes. Theoretically and for some small programs.

    For anything big you will run into practical issues (compiler extensions and such).

    Writing portable code does help, so does isolating compiler dependent code (intrinsics come to mind, and the infamous "long long" vs "__int64" or whatever it is for MS compiler).

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    I think i will end up going with codeblocks but i have a another newbie question. (I'm honestly very sorry if it's a silly question, but I just want to make sure i have my stuff together. I really appreciate your guys information a lot!)

    Will i be able to follow the tutorials on this website ok with codeblocks? or will I have to learn a different way of going about learning C++ using codeblocks with GCC?

    Anyways, thanks again for all of your help guys!

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    nothing wrong with being newbie, we all have been one, and I am still one =).

    you can follow the tutorials fine. C++ is C++ afterall, no matter what IDE/compiler you use.

    what I said earlier about incompatibility between compilers is for more advanced/specialized stuff that you won't be touching in at least a few months.

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    Oh ok! i ended up downloading the codeblocks-8.02mingw-setup.exe

    I hope I have everything i need now. I panicked when i saw the part on the C++ tutorial it mentions "ANSI/ISO". Since I don't know hardly anything yet I wondered if this is something i should be worried about or if i have everything.

    Thank you very much everyone for giving me the advice I need!

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    That should do fine.

    ANSI/ISO C++ basically means standard C++. Basically, don't use a prehistoric IDE/compiler because they may not support standard C++ (C/C++ used to be differently implemented by different vendors in the old days, before it was standardized). You will be fine with what you downloaded.

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    Talking

    OK! Thank you! I really appreciate you all taking some time to help me get started out!^^
    I guess I'm off to go study until my brain explodes! ...Well maybe not THAT long but close enough

    Thanks again!

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    Registered User guesst's Avatar
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    Hey, is that an open can of worms in your hands?

    Lemme toot my own horn here for a second, I've put a lot of work to get newbies like you started and I'd be interested in the feedback. So here's my page on getting Code::Blocks with MinGW started.

    Of course VisualC++ is more the "professional" choice, C::B w/ MinGW is easier for beginners.
    Type-ins are back! Visit Cymon's Games at http://www.cymonsgames.com for a new game every week!

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