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Tuesday, January 06, 2004

  1:23 PM
Digital Mars C++ - I used to be a user of Symantec C++; it was the first 32 bit compiler that our office purchased, back in 1995 just before Windows 95 came out. It was years ahead of the competetion, and was a breath of fresh air compared to MSVC. In terms of exception support, template support, and just in the quality of its code, it was great. However, with MSVC 5 Microsoft began to circle the wagons and reclaim the developer community. Its tools weren't better than Symantec's or Borland's, but somehow it became harder for a relatively new player to compete in Microsoft's turf. When Java came around, Symantec jumped on that bandwagon, did well there, and invested in that rather than making the major R&D investment required to get their C++ compiler ready for ANSI/ISO 1999 compliance and bring their IDDE up to the state of the art exemplified by Borland C++ Builder. But eventually the original author, Walter Bright (who also wrote Zortech C++, which was the basis for Symantic C++), got the rights back and resumed work on it. It's still lacking in a few ANSI/ISO features and its Win32 headers are rather crufty, but it is once again becoming an excellent compiler.

I've added support for Digital Mars C++ to my local copy of Scintilla and SciTE. Some of this will go into CVS; some will not. Also, the makefiles still require some Borland tools (make, brc32) at present. As long as it stands up to testing, the Lua 5 enabled custom build that I will include in my SciTE 1.58 installer will be compiled with Digital Mars.
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