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Megin

The cesspool of compilers & editors

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Yes, this will be a rant. After two days of this nonesense I've utterly and totally had it. Being all for opensource I decided to port my current programming project from Visual.NET to GCC. I knew this would probably take some time, but how hard could it be right? Big mistake. One of the reasons I decided to switch was that GCC 4.1+ is faster then the msvc compiler. However, the most recent version of minGW comes with GCC 3.4. I did manage to find a patch to get it to run GCC 4.1.1, after much looking. Still, using it didn't feel quite right. Also, cygwin seems far too heavy-duty for what I need. Mildly annoyed, I decide to get codeblocks. Can't do much without a decent editor right? So here is where the real mess starts. I use FLTK as GUI library and in no way, shape or form could I get it to compile with codeblocks. FLTK 2.0 comes with a project file for CB, but it just gives a ton of errors (did they even bother to try it out?). Using mingw-make is a pure hell too, and gave me even more errors. So I decide to take the lib files from a dev-cpp fltk devpak and link to those. Great, no errors! But wait... now it doesn't generate an executable. Ofcourse it's impossible to find any reading on this in documentation or forums... So I abandon CB and try dev-cpp instead. Thanks to the handy devpak system, I can get a simple fltk program compiled with a few clicks. However, dev-cpp lacks the ability to specifiy build configurations. Worse however, is its horrendous debug system. First it whines about missing debug information (yes, I have "generate debug information" on). I click on ok to have it rebuild with debug information, only to get the same question promp again! It simply will not debug. Oh, I also tried to get wxWidgets to compile with minGW (oddly, even though it has native support in codeblocks, they couldn't be bothered to create a project file for it), as an alternative to FLTK. Same problems though. So now I'm stuck with two limp editors and a compiler that has the learning curve of a flightsimulator. All this has actually managed to persuade me to keep using VS.NET... I guess what I'm really angry about is the complete and utter lack of decent documentation and user-friendly install procedures. Why does it all need to be so messy and incoherent? I admit that I'm a noob when it comes to compilers, but I'm far from a rookie when it comes to programming. Up until now I guess I just liked my comfortable little bubble that is VS.NET. So I end with a plea. Is there any decent way to fulfill my simple dream: GCC 4.1 on windows, with a decent editor and a nice, working gui library? Is it really so much to ask for? For those that actually managed to read this far: thanks for listening to my cries of despiration.

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Ah, the wonderful world of open source. If it makes you feel better, you're, uh, supporting freedom.

Personally, Code::Blocks is the only open-source IDE I would ever use. DevCPP is not worth your time. If you're having trouble building FLTK, google for the errors or ask around their forums. If you've run into a problem with it, most likely someone else has too.

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Yeah, freedom, democracy and all that...
I have spent a fair amount of time trying to find more information on the problem I get with FLTK (I get "'namehere' was not declared in this scope" alot). I'm also still not to sure about my patched minGW... I mean, it works, but there has to be a better solution.

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There's really nothing stopping from using VS to edit the code and then using CLI gcc to compile. Or releasing your app as open source for VS.

And yes, it's perhaps too much to expect a few skilled volunteers to hack a overlay for a compiler developed primarily with unixlike systems in mind which will be on par with an organized team of developers who have access to experts for their target OS and practically unlimited financial resources.

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Code completion and debugging are both buggy, and unlikely to be fixed since development is basically dead. Code::Blocks is actively being developed.

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I think you will do more for OSS by completing an open source project, using whatever tools, than by abandoning a working system for something else.

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That's a really good point. I should have added "for C++", since Eclipse/Java is truly a great programming experience. I know Eclipse can be used for C++, but I'm not sure how mature/supported it is.

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Open source just means that anyone can edit it, so there is no problem with using Microsoft VS products becuase you can get the express version and they have stated they will keep the express versions free. Yes I know it is the "evil Microsoft" but so far I have not found a better IDE for debugging then what Microsoft puts out. Are the perfect, no, but I feel they are better then pretty much anything out there.

theTroll

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