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Using free VC++ Toolkit?

I downloaded it because it seemed cool, but it seems like the build environment is totally f'ed.

I can build the samples that come with it... but then I downloaded the Platform SDK and couldn't build any of those samples.  I have had to copy nmake and lib into directories in the path and stuff, and it still doesn't work.

I did this:

1) Install VC++ Toolkit
2) Install Platform SDK
3) Run VCVARS32 batch file from VC++
4) Run SetEnv.bat from Platform SDK
5) Run nmake

But then it can't find nmake.. and the only place I found nmake was in

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDK\Bin\Win64

Win64?  I thought I was doing Win32.  There is no Win32 dir, just WinNT, and that doesn't contain nmake, or lib (which it also failed to find).  And when I downloaded it I noticed it said Windows Server 2003... did I download the wrong thing or something?

And then I tried compiling other samples and they all gave weird error messages, and some warnings too.

I guess I better go grab VS.NET from work... I guess this is their way of saying "buy Visual Studio"...?  Anyone else have these problems?

Saturday, June 5, 2004

I was bored, so I took the 1 minute to Google "VC++ Toolkit nmake Win64" for you.

Your answer lies here:

That will be $5, please.

yet another anon
Saturday, June 5, 2004

Wow, thanks.  I did google for answers, but I didn't hit upon those correct keywords.

Does anyone else think it is odd that you have to do a little hacking to get everything to work together?  I thought it would be easier than that...

Saturday, June 5, 2004

Free software needs to be hacked. Isn't it the way how most of the free Linux-based software works? :p

Green Pajamas
Saturday, June 5, 2004

You also of course free to use any other make.
We use gnu-make under cygwin along with a script which builds the correct compiler flags so we can build our product on windows and unix using msvc, bcc32, mingw-gcc, gcc and intel icc.

Doing daily builds with both MSVC and GCC is very good at finding obscure bugs. 

Martin Beckett
Saturday, June 5, 2004

NAnt (and presumably Ant, with some Microsoft-specific extensions) also include tasks to run the command line C++ compiler. That doesn't help you in building the SDK samples, but it's a better build environment than nmake.

Brad Wilson (
Saturday, June 5, 2004

>>"But then it can't find nmake.. and the only place I found nmake was in

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDK\Bin\Win64"

In other words,  Microsoft includes batch files which set environment variables but the batch files *DON'T* point to nmake, forcing the user to resort  to various manual hacking to get things to work.

So I guess the question is:

Are they stupid, incompetent or just screwing with people?

Moe Hawke
Saturday, June 5, 2004

Another thing that is missing is MSCVRT.lib and such.  You have to download the .NET Framework SDK and then add the Visual Studio .NET 2003/Vc7/lib directory to your include path too.

And that is free too of course... I applaud Microsoft for making these things available for free, they are excellent tools.  But it seems as though if their goal is to get beginner's started (and therefore hook them on MS dev tools), they have fallen way short, because something like this will totally offput a beginner.

So Microsoft is good at executing if they want to -- I guess that is not their goal at all.  I wonder what the motivation behind this was?

Saturday, June 5, 2004

"Are they stupid, incompetent or just screwing with people?"

Maybe polishing up a command-line version of their compiler that people can download for free isn't their top priority.

I'm going to take a wild-ass guess here and say that the people using a free VC++ download aren't the heavy-hitters on that platform.  If you can't afford $100 or so for a commercial compiler, you're probably pretty small beans, and don't care too much about Windows development.  Or at least the kind of Windows development that brings a lot of people with a lot of $$$ to Windows.

Sunday, June 6, 2004

Then why release it at all?  I thought the point was that they wanted to get beginners hooked.  It's besides the point that beginner's aren't big time Windows developers.  It is so that they might be later.

This is analogous to Apple giving away lots of free computers to schools.  They wanted kids to grow up on Apple and buy Apple as adults.

Sunday, June 6, 2004

It could persuade more few free projects to compile on VS.NET, I suppose, by adding VC++ to the list of compilers you can legally get for free.

And as it's alleged to be so standards-compliant, maybe it will displace comeau c++'s web front end as the compiler of choice for testing out the further frontiers of c++ templatism.

This won't make them any money, I'm sure, but I doubt it will lose them much, and may just increase their standing slightly in a hearts'n'minds sort of way.

Sunday, June 6, 2004

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