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How do I use the source code I have downloaded?

3 posts in this topic

I am really frustrated right now, not thinking clearly, if this is not the right section for this go ahead and move it.

I will illustrate my problem with an example. Say I have gone to the page where ID has placed source code for its old games. I have been told over and over again I need to study code, to tinker with it. So I am taking that advice and trying to do this. Now we will not use the ID page as it is, need to throw in some things someone like me might encounter elsewhere but we'll stick with our example.

Anyhow the ID source is stored on GitHub if memory serves. There's a Download Master or something you can get a copy of everything from. Pretty self explanatory. 7 or 8 times out of 10 getting source code I want to study is not a problem. But what about Subversion? What about these places that take you to seemingly endless FTP links? How do you get the code there? How do you install Subversion or stuff like that on a Windows XP computer and get the code that way? This is the first hurdle.

OK, say we were lucky, as in the case of ID. We have our master. We're also somewhat proficient in our operating system, Windows XP. Can't be a programmer unless you know your way around your OS, right? So extracting is easy. Now we have a bunch of folders, and inside them a bunch of files. We've reached the second hurdle!

This is where I am stuck. I have Doom, Doom3, Quake, CWE (early build of the Uru engine) and a game someone sent me so I could study its editor. How in the heck do I put all this stuff in CodeBlocks or Visual Studio Express? What do I need to do in the IDE? What options do I need to set? How do I configure everything?

Of course the third hurdle is compiling it once you have it all put together in an IDE correctly. Not sure what awaits after that.

I can open a .cpp or .h file in Notepad or CodeBlocks (my preferred IDE) and study the code that way. But in order to tinker with things, figure out how stuff works, well I need to get it compiled and running. I don't know what this process is called, of getting some source code, extracting it, and stuffing it into an IDE so it can be compiled and run. But this is what I would like to know how to do.

If you know of any books I should read, written or video tutorials, could you post the information or links? Also you can consider this a tutorial request. You could even use something like Crystal Space 3D for the project, as the same principles would apply there as far as getting the source code then compiling it.

Please help me with this! I would greatly appreciate it!


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Thank you for your quick reply and helpful response!


Assuming I don't have build instructions, for example I have some source code someone sent me so I could look at how they did their editor, what is a good general rule of them for getting that into an IDE so I can compile and run it?


I have CMake somewhere, I will play around with it later.


Thanks again!


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You can't build large projects without the build system for which they were intended. Some require strange pre or post processing steps like compiling lua wrappers or such.


For small things, you could try the following


do {

  compile all files

  if (missing header files)

        install library and add include search directories to compiler arguments

} while (! all files compile)


do {

   link all files into a binary

   if (linker is missing function implementations)

        find corresponding library and add it to the linker arguments

} while (! linking was successfull)

Edited by Ohforf sake

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