Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Simpler Direct-media Library (SDL) has proven more impressive then originally anticipated. I've downloaded the MinGW (GCC) and MSVC (V8.0/2005) development libraries along with the source code: much to my surprise, the Borland and Watcom compilers are also supported. While I'm using GCC for the unix side of things, I fully intend to make use of Microsofts compiler for the windows builds. My desktop system also has the OpenWatcom compilers installed on the Windows partition, never have used them, but they are available (I them installed ages ago, mainly out respect for the old watcom-c compiler). Since I need the DirectX SDK to compile SDL from source on Win32, and it is like a 512 meg download, it'll have to wait a while lol. The binaries available are from MSVC8, so I really woul dprefer compiling SDL from source: not to mention feel more comfortable using the combination for projects, knowing it built well.... hehe.

I've been taking the effort to study the Visual Studio-style build system in preparation, it will get the job done. My desktop has the Express Editions of Visual C++ (V9.0/2008), C#, and Basic installed; along with MinGW and OpenWatcom, but I avoid C/C++ development under Windows as much as possible -- just not a comfortable environment. If I ever opened a shop, I would probably nab a few copies of Visual Studio proper, and just use it for building stuff ^_^.

I'm accustomed to having an entire operating system as my integrated development environment, so I do not care much for traditional IDEs, they are just not my bag. Visual Studio (particularly the more professional oriented versions) however are one of the best as far as such things go; and perhaps the only Microsoft product that I have ever met, and did not *hate* eventually. The various Visual {lang} Express Editions are also sufficient for many things; I have them setup because it was the quick route of getting something that might come in handy later, and I have no need to buy VS Standard or Professional.

GCC for Unix and Visual C++ Express for Windows, will do fine for SDL, but I have yet to decide on an XML parser... The only XML parsing I've ever done in C++, has been done though the Qt toolkit. Normally, I would expect to use libxml++ for this, but using libxml under MSVC might be more annoying them I am willing to tolerate at compile/link time. Another option I reckon, would be to try out Xerces-C++.

All development is basically going to be done on a FreeBSD machine, as that *is* my concept of an IDE lol. The only interest I have in Visual C++, is to get the most 'bang' out of the Win32 builds. So with luck, I will never have to bugger with the S.O.B. beyond getting my project built, hehe.

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