Alas is Borland C++ Dead

Windows needs a good C++ compiler

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#1 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Alas is Borland C++ Dead

Posted 06 May 2009 - 07:19 PM

So I am coming to the slow realization that Borland C++ is just dead. While the Borland compiler is a fun toy it has some serious drawbacks and is unable to compile most of Boost and therefore most of the open source projects that use it.

There is a new version of C++Builder(900$) but it is WAY too expensive to consider ever buying and while is boasts early adoption of the new standard -- apparently it still will not compile boost... So why waste the money (and its quite a lot of money).


BUT! Where does that leave C++ on windows...

MinGW -- ok but tends to have little oddities when dealing with windows specifics. Does not like microsoft link so you have to build many libraries for use. (free)

Digital Mars -- Like borland this showing its age... it comes with a warning: "The Software was not designed to operate after December 31, 1999" -- so no help there. (free)

Intel C++ -- Cheaper then C++Builder -- but does not have an ide (600$) (but can use VS and from what I here you can use the free version and just plug in the new compiler).

Watcom -- again, its pretty old. (free)

MSVC++ -- The clear winner but WHY?!? (free/650$) -- The express version is free and works.


My theory is because all of the compiler programmers have ditched Windows and are working on compilers for Linux. There are a number of options open to the linux developer.

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#2 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Alas is Borland C++ Dead

Posted 06 May 2009 - 07:34 PM

I cut my teeth on Borland... so this is a bit sad. When I work on Windows, I still use the free 5.5 command line compiler from Borland.

I see a lot of the younger, windows developers using the Bloodshed IDE. Though I didn't care for it (as I only used it at one place of employment, going on 5 years ago), it does seem to offer a great deal for being a free compiler.
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#3 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Alas is Borland C++ Dead

Posted 06 May 2009 - 07:40 PM

I wasted *hours* trying to get Boost.Python to compile just to read from the author that it is not supported. The problem is that an open source project that I wanted to help out on uses a number of boost libraries and... well it looks like the only windows/MS-computable compiler out there is MSVC++ which irritates me.

Boost.Lambda also does not compile.

Boost.Regex DOES which is fantastic... but not a lot of help for me at the moment.

Anyway... I am frustrated. I really loved Borland C++ -- its such a shame.
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#4 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Alas is Borland C++ Dead

Posted 06 May 2009 - 07:53 PM

Good, Borland cannot die soon enough.

One word: conio
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#5 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Alas is Borland C++ Dead

Posted 06 May 2009 - 08:01 PM

Hey conio.h was great! WTF? They could not help it if the rest of the world was stupid. I never understood why everyone else just didn't adopt it.
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#6 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Alas is Borland C++ Dead

Posted 06 May 2009 - 08:18 PM

When I was 1st starting out on Windows, conio.h was great.

However, when I moved over to Linux, I realized how crappy conio.h could be.

It's beneficial when you need it. It's a pain when people put it in there code for a simple clear screen.
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#7 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Alas is Borland C++ Dead

Posted 06 May 2009 - 08:22 PM

I just did windows programming -- I didn't care what you linux geeks though... besides when I was using conio.h linux was not a twinkle in Linus' eye.
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#8 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Alas is Borland C++ Dead

Posted 06 May 2009 - 08:26 PM

lol

What I mean though, is I don't throw ncurses library requirements into my C code, & then post it here on Dream In Code asking for help.

However, the same can't be said flip-side-around.

example :

Quote

#include <stdio.h>
#include <conio.h>

int main(void) {
  cls();
  printf("Hellow world!\n");
  return 0;
}


CAN HAZ HELP? KTHNXBI!

Now if I want to help, I get to remove the useless conio.h for one simple call. One tiny little graphical function. Or sometimes it's getch() at the bottom. It's always just that one little function that I gotta remove so I can try to help out. Otherwise my compiler is like... "Dude, we gotta talk, k?"

But you are right... (conio.h) really should have been picked up by the rest of the market. I wonder if there are any online resources that can shed some inside info as to the history of the header? Why did the cheese stand alone?
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#9 nirvanarupali  Icon User is offline

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Re: Alas is Borland C++ Dead

Posted 08 May 2009 - 08:04 PM

I am still using Borland 5.5 just for command line programs. But if you make windows projects and developing games, this could be a lot of headache, so what I did is to use DevC++. For me this is better, especially using SDL and OpenGL.
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#10 AndyH1963  Icon User is offline

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Re: Alas is Borland C++ Dead

Posted 10 May 2009 - 12:25 PM

Borland C++ dead. I don't think so.

I work for a very prosperous company here in the UK and we still use Borland C++ v5.01 for our main product. We all wish we were given the resources and time to re-write it using Visual Studio. But, it is still going strong.
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#11 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Alas is Borland C++ Dead

Posted 10 May 2009 - 01:17 PM

Well when I say dead I mean that it is not a viable platform for the future. Latin is still used but its not much for innovation.

Borland C++ can't handle the new stuff -- you use it, but you wish you could use something else. I use it, but I can't do the things that I want with it. There is a new version, but its poorly marketed and too costly.

As a compiler it still works. Its not like all of the Borland compilers stopped working or those projects that use it are somehow invalid -- I am just disappointed to see that as a platform it is withering away.

And that only really leaves 1 real viable compiler on the windows platform.
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#12 AndyH1963  Icon User is offline

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Re: Alas is Borland C++ Dead

Posted 11 May 2009 - 12:50 AM

View PostNickDMax, on 10 May, 2009 - 07:17 PM, said:

Well when I say dead I mean that it is not a viable platform for the future. Latin is still used but its not much for innovation.

Borland C++ can't handle the new stuff -- you use it, but you wish you could use something else. I use it, but I can't do the things that I want with it. There is a new version, but its poorly marketed and too costly.

As a compiler it still works. Its not like all of the Borland compilers stopped working or those projects that use it are somehow invalid -- I am just disappointed to see that as a platform it is withering away.

And that only really leaves 1 real viable compiler on the windows platform.



I must totally agree with you.
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#13 janotte  Icon User is offline

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Re: Alas is Borland C++ Dead

Posted 11 May 2009 - 06:35 AM

I think there is some potential truth to the idea that the withering away of the 'paid for' competitors to Visual Studio could be a good thing in the long run.

The idea runs that M$ has to charge (and charge hard) for VS because if they gave if away (like Apple gives away XCode) the wails of anti-competitive behaviour would be long and loud.

M$ are not dumb and they have to know that charging a hefty slug is a disincentive to having development happening on their platform.

Once the competing IDEs are free (or nearly so) M$ can make their solution free (or nearly so) and not have to put up with the tears and tantrums of the firms who can no longer sell their alternatives.

The days of paying for these tools are long over and the quicker the Windows world aligns to that fact the faster one of the barriers to Windows development for beginners and students will also be deconstructed. If schools could use a full featured VS to teach on how many extra students would be pumped out knowing the Windows world in the way so many now know Unix-like systems?

I think it's an interesting idea and think that the "death" of each paid for competitor could be seen as a good thing, taking a long term view.

If Borland were serious they would open-source their IDE and hand it over to a community and see if it has a life as a free tool. If it dies in that setting then it was beyond hope. Clutching on desperately to a dead business model of charging for IDEs is not a sign of a company that is aware of 21st century realities. Selling training and support for the tool is a business model that Borland could present as a sensible alternative to the dead old idea of trying to sell software into a free dominated marketplace.

Anyway, we shall see what transpires over then next 5 years or so.
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#14 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Alas is Borland C++ Dead

Posted 11 May 2009 - 10:29 AM

rebuttal:

First off lets remember that dispight the name 'Borland' on the compiler -- Borland no longer does development tools. The name is merely for marketing purposes.

Secondly -- there are no good open source compilers on windows either. There is 1 remaining compiler on windows. MinGW is the closest to a windows compiler but it is stilted with linux/unix and just does not work terribly well with windows technologies. Plus since it has to filter down from GCC it is very slow at innovation. Still can't write x64 code with it.

Thirdly -- When it comes to IDE's we have an embarrassment of riches. Developers will always complain about IDE's and the net result is that there are always IDE's about. Everyone is all caught up in VS because many users are not smart enough to tell the difference between an IDE and a compiler -- but VS is just another IDE and there are lots of them -- but few that integrate so much.

I was excited to see on Wikipedia that Open64 was supported on windows... but alas it is not -- yet another case of wiki-lies. But the idea is very interesting an Open Source C++ Compiler for windows! Never going to happen without a big player backing the project and no one wants to get involved.


Microsoft's compiler is free for non-commercial use by the way. Sure the IDE might be limited in the Express version, but as far as I know the compiler has no limitations. So Microsoft is giving away compilers (for non commercial use).
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#15 janotte  Icon User is offline

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Re: Alas is Borland C++ Dead

Posted 11 May 2009 - 03:20 PM

Everything you say is true about how things are and the consequence of continuing down that path. This is the "as is" story.

I am arguing for the paid for tools becoming free and thereby revolutionising the place of C/C++ on Windows in the world. This is the "what might be" story.

If "as is" continues then the sane approach seems to be to choose between coughing up the cash or a move to Linux and I would find it surprising if M$ thinks that driving the tech savvy away from their platform when young and poor is a good idea. But maybe they just don't see it that way?
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