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Ryan_001

Embedding data into an executable.

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I'm using VS 2012 express, and I'd like to embed binary data generated at compile time into my executable.  Since I'm using the express version there's no resource editor, on top of that the files to be embedded will be generated at compile time so I can't use the standard methods.  I was thinking of using a command line resource editor, but I'd like to know if there's an easy way with the tools that come with VS.  For example, GCC has a way using ld to compile a file to an obj file which can be linked in.  But I can't seem to find an equivalent for VS.  All the google pages for 'embed data into exe' and similar talk about resource scripts and the like, which don't (as far as I can tell) suit my needs.

 

Any ideas?

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This doesn't really directly answer your question, since it's not using VS itself, but MinGW comes with a command line resource compiler. You could generate the data the resource script references at compile time, or the resource script itself via a makefile. But its output is in GCC's object file format which I'd guess is not compatible with the VS linker.

 

But Surely VS2012 express has a resource compiler even if it doesn't have an editor? In my old version of VS, it's called RC.exe. The IDE itself calls this and CL.exe to actually do the build.

 

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I think it does have a resource compiler, but it (as far as I can tell) requires a resource script.  Generating the script during build time would be more work than I was hoping for.  Thanks for the help, but I think for now this'll go on the 'back burner' until I have more time.

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Resource scripts are just text files, and the ones I've used are really simple - just an integer ID and a filename of the data to embed.

 

The 'custom build step' tab in the project options is probably the place to do the compile-time generation.

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Well having a little extra time, I wrote my own version of fxc.exe.  It still uses D3DCompile under the hood, but it pre-parses the data and extracts shader profiles specified as attributes so that I can 'tag' functions for compilation.  So I can have multiple shaders in a single file (bundle say a vertex shader, geometry shader, and pixel shader in a single file for example) which makes things alot nicer.  It outputs directly to COFF .obj files, so I can link the resulting shaders directly into my executable.
 
Now I can add each .obj file manually as a linker input, but this seems tedious.  I was thinking then of running a pre-link build step where I use LIB.exe to create a library from the shader object files, and then specify that in the linker input.  But I was wondering if there was any way in VS2012 to use wildcards in specifying link objects (so I could just link in say $(OutDir)/*.cso, or what-have-you) or any other easy way to have it link in these files without having to manually add them 1 at a time? Edited by Ryan_001
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