[Distutils] Re: Proposal: C/C++ compiler identification

David Ascher da@skivs.ski.org
Wed, 16 Dec 1998 11:06:03 -0800 (Pacific Standard Time)

[sorry, I was disabled due to bounces, I'm just reading up now].


> For Windows, since the only supported compiler is VC++, it could be
> hardcoded.  However, there's a very serious problem on Windows with
> Interscript's approach of invoking the compiler at run-time: most
> users don't have this compiler.  I realize that gcc is available for
> free, but I think it isn't compatible with VC++.  As far as I know,
> VC++ is required if you want to use any of Mark Hammond's stuff (COM
> and MFC).  I don't know if Tcl/Tk can be used (without recompilation)
> from a gcc-based app, and I don't know how easy it would be to
> recompile.  (Does gcc on Windows have support for Win32 APIs at all?)

FYI:  The status of gcc on Windows as far as I understand it:

 -- it's called the Cygwin project
 -- it's supported by Cygnus (see www.cygnus.com)
 -- it uses egcs, not gcc
 -- current build is b20 (note: doesn't comply with version number scheme
    discussed earlier =)
 -- it provides access to the win32 api if you want
 -- it needs access to cygwin.dll on the machine (not a standard MS
    library =)
 -- in the past, it was very hard or impossible to have gcc-compiled and
    VC-compiled objects linked together, even statically.
 -- I believe things are better now, but far from trivial (I'm still at
    b19 because of final comment below)
 -- I could imagine doing things like compiling Python + NumPy together,
    but I'd never try Python+PIL+NumPy+Tk+readline+threads+...

Final comment on Cygwin: While Cygwin is free, it is *hard* to install and
setup in a proper way.  My advice to all Windows users who want to compile
things is to buy VC -- the Cygwin stuff is just not there yet when it
comes to novices or folks who are short on time.

Final comment on GvR's point above: I don't think VC is needed to use
MHammond's COM stuff.  Just the DLLs, which are installed on reasonable

--david "my Mom still can't forgive me for using Windows" ascher