Thread: choosing a compiler

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    Unhappy ok... which compilers do you all use then??

    Look, I really don't know what to do here... does anyone know the disadvantages or advantages of using one compiler to compile Win32 games code (using OpenGL for graphics and some DirectX for sound etc.) over another? Visual C++ may be the "standard" as I've heard quoted everywhere on the net, but why should i use it and not Borland or Watcom or the others??? Which should I go for?

    Please help me out here..... I know little about windows compilers


    ps. I've read the FAQ.

    >>>>>>>>> my unread message >>>>>
    Ok, this may be a really old question to ask but I'm going to ask it anyway!

    All the games programming I've done in the past (at least on a PC) has been compiled using DJGPP. I would like to move into the big scary world of OpenGL and 3D graphics and am trying to decide which compiler to use.

    I want to do some Win32 programming initially but would like to be able to make code that is, at least mostly, portable from Windows to Linux as I use Linux a lot too. I don't mind spending money as long as it's worth the money but what I don't want is to go giving <the big bad M company> money when their compiler isn't as good as another.

    Any help would be much appreciated - I have looked around on the web and I'm still undecided between Visual C++, Builder 5 and know next to nothing about the others.


    Last edited by almost_here; 11-22-2001 at 07:07 AM.

  2. #2
    Intranasal Heroin User Xterria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Buffalo, NY
    Go buy a windows programming book with Microsoft Visual C++ Introductory edition. Then go and buy the upgrade. Then upgrade the introductory edition to professional edition. It saves money.

  3. #3
    Registered User WebSnozz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Unlike most microsoft products I would say that VC++ is what it's cracked up to be.

    Just about every tutorial I've done for DirectX or WinAPI it gives instructions for setting up to compile in VC++.

    I tried doing tutorials in another 32bit compiler (bloodshed) and it wouldn't work simply because it's resource scripts worked differently, maybe there way was better, but it didn't help me any since I didn't know how to use their resource scripts the way they intended, I barely knew how things worked in VC++.

    If you are a beginning C++ programmer I'd say VC++ is your best bet simply because of how well documented it is in the programming community. If your an experinced programmer, my advice is useless I guess.
    Cats have no butt cheeks.
    If one farted, then it would make a flute noise.

  4. #4
    Registered User
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    Oct 2001
    VC++ isn't too bad, but the Linux port of gcc to windows (mingw) makes smaller, faster executables most of the time. Plus it will be much more compatible with Linux (for obvious reasons). Win32 programming is pretty easy on both and there is a lot of documentation. Charles Petzold's Win32 programming book will work with both, for instance (to the best of my knowledge). And there is plenty of documentation on the net for either if you are willing to do the research.

    I recommend using it with Allegro to start out. It is always nice to be able to set cool resolutions and play with sound and graphics in the first couple days of playing about. A graphical installer for Dev-C++ (which uses the mingw compiler) is available from my web site:

    Dev-C++ is here:

    As WebSnozz pointed out, there are some differences between MSVC and mingw. I don't know what resource errors he had, but that doesn't really surprise me. Inline assembly is the other notable difference (mingw uses gcc's style).

    Hey, always nice to hear both sides, right?

    P.S. I also have always liked Borland. Watcom went out of biz, but last I heard, they were going to go open source. Watcom always had a very nice compiler....
    Allegro precompiled Installer for Dev-C++, MSVC, and Borland:

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Thanks guys!

    I think it was just the idea of using *another* MS product which bugged me - I use Linux too but it just doesn't support all my hardware (or rather, vice versa and booting into another OS everytime, for example, I need the internet just isn't my idea of fun.

    I elected to go with VC++ in the end and am even now battling my way through some OpenGL basics (understanding it when I come from a non-mathematical background is a little... difficult i guess). I s'pose it just makes it a little easier when there are so many tutorials out there geared for using it. Or maybe it's just lethargy on my part... i dunno.

    Anyway, thanks again. I'll try and limit my use of DirectX so that when i'm confident enough with OpenGL I can switch to your mingw and slip comfortably to and from Linux.



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