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HelplessFool

Which x86 assembler to use?

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Depends on what you want to do.
For DOS things I prefer TASM (which is not under development anymore and not free available).
For Windows programming MASM32 is the best (the whole package inclusive IDE, etc. is free available under http://www.movsd.com/masm.htm)
Another good assembler is NASM which I actually never really used.

I would say if you want to develop windows application go with MASM32 and else try NASM.

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NASM is, by far, the best because of its simple, unambiguous syntax. MASM is nothing but nonsense, as indicated by the fact that TASM''s emulation of MASM is called "quirks mode." TASM is similar to MASM in that respect, even when not in quirks mode.

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This is an embarassing newb question because I''ve been programming with C++ for about four years, but what is the difference between MASM (which I think stands for Microsoft Assembler) and just using inline assembly in visual studio 6? Is the inline assembly in visual studio 6 actually MASM?

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There are significant differences between MASM and inline assembly in MSVC++. Also, I don''t find MASM to be all that difficult to use. No more so than NASM. You are not forced to use macros in MASM, it is purely optional.

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MASM stands for Macro ASseMbler and is indeed made by microsoft although no longer officaly supported. VS2002 ships with version 7 of it.

Also if you enable assembly listnings via the /Fa option you''ll get MASM compatible output.

MASM have lots of convinece stuff for writing win32 apps mostly macros to invoke procedures etc.

I would still vote for NASM since I consider its syntax clearer and also if you ever do any work on a non windows box you can use a familar assembler.

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