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STL errors

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If you look down on the 6/14 entry, I was musing about Leor Zolman's STL error decryptor as mentioned in C/C++ User's Journal. Well, I finally got a chance to download and try it out from his site, and it works quite well. I also got a chance to email the author a bit. Turns out he had a small bug in his original code. Calling the Perl interpreter requires you to put double-quotes around any path with spaces in it, but the fopen() function refuses to open the file unless you remove the quotes. Given that most people keep VC++ under the "program files" directory, this'd be a problem for most folks.

Anyway, he's already got out a new version that documents a fix for this problem, along with a new Perl script that can read alternative STL's, like STLPort. He's also got a utility that sits in the system tray and allows you to turn the STL checking on and off. I didn't use this, though, in favor of just putting two entries in the "Tools" menu of VC++ to turn it on and off.

Also, I just finished reading Effective STL by Scott Meyers, and it's a worthy successor to his previous two books, Effective C++ and More Effective C++ (I own the CD with both books). It's got some very good suggestions and documents some important quirks about the library (like why you must be careful with vector).

Like the previous two books, it's short and to-the-point. It's just got the tips without a ton of extra padding. It also takes time to explain its assertions, like how and why the STL sort() algorithm will beat the pants off the C qsort() function.

I'm glad I got this one so I can write a good review, as I don't like having to post two bad reviews (1,2) to the gamedev book review section in a row.

Finally, I've got yet another free must-have utility for programmers. This one is Dependency Walker 2.1. It's a very good little utility that scans an EXE file for all of its associated .DLL's and the functions they import from 'em. It then builds a nice little tree for you of all the DLL's required by your program. You should absolutely use this tool before you ship to ensure that you're shipping all the required runtime stuff with your program and to check for DLL's that you're linking to unnecessarily.

An early version of this tool ships with Visual C++ (in the common\tools directory), but this one is much improved over that one. Get it!
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