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Author Topic: MinGW question  (Read 7473 times)
Lashiec
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« on: March 12, 2007, 11:07:43 AM »

I'm a complete newbie when it comes to setting up development environments, but since I have to use C++ at the university, I grabbed a few IDEs, tossed them in the arena, and I let all them fight to the death to find the perfect choice for me (I think Dev-C++ Beta 5 is winning to CodeBlocks by a bit now). I know that these IDEs come with a preconfigured MinGW environment, but looking around the GCC homepage I saw that it's currently at 4.1.2, meanwhile MinGW latest offering is at 3.4.5 (and it's a candidate compilation). Why is that MinGW is so behind GCC? Is there some other option for a Windows port of GCC? I know that current versions are good enough, but I always want the latest whiz-bang version smiley
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tinjaw
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2007, 11:53:00 AM »

Lashiec,

I say this in all honesty. This is not meant to be a humorous reply. Based on your posting I am assuming you are a relatively green programmer, so you will still need to stick you hand in the fire to burn it before you will heed my words. However, so that I can say, "I told you so.", let me say...

When it comes to the bedrock of any programming - the language and the compiler - "solid, stable, tried, and true" trumps "new and improved" until it become "old hat and proven".

Known bugs are "better" than unknown bugs and new features. You may now go and burn yourself. (OK, maybe a teenie bit humorous.)  tongue
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mouser
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2007, 12:38:25 PM »

It's not that i disagree with your point about "solid, stable, tried, and true" trumps "new and improved" , but i will say that you can probably get an equal # of experienced coders that fall into either camp of wanting the latest version always vs. sticking with old version until they are forced to change.

Personally, one of the things i like about dev-c++ and codeblocks is that both let you configure multiple compilers, and it seems to me that a smart thing to do is to configure a setup which lets you switch between the bundled stable version of mingw, and the latest beta.

That doesnt really answer your question of gcc vs. mingw and why mingw is slow to release updates.. I'd like to hear more replies addressing that issue and any possible workarounds myself..
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f0dder
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[Well, THAT escalated quickly!]

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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2007, 06:14:15 PM »

I dunno the specific reason mingw are so much behind, but two possible reasons:

1) tried-and-tested, as tinjaw says.
2) might take a while getting the build system ported 100% to native windows (mingw32 doesn't use the cygwin emulation layer) - after all, the GCC suite (which is more than "just a compiler!") has gone up a major version number.
3) related to #1, I've seen more than one oss project that claim gcc4 is causing problems - whether it's because of the compiler or their code is open for debate, though.

Unless you do bleeding-edge C++ or need the optimization improvements, gcc3 should be fine, though. And you could always grab the (free) VC2005 (or vc2003 toolkit if vc2005 is too big a download for you - will have to google for it though, MS pulled the download).
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- carpe noctem
Lashiec
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2007, 01:42:36 PM »

OK, thanks guys! I'll stay with current version 'til MinGW releases a new one, something that could be happening soon to cure the problems of the environment and Vista software (which is preventing MAME core developer to support the emulator as good as he wants... oh, there you have, talking about emulation again... Wink)

To Tinjaw:
 Yep, I'm still a green programmer. I can do some work here and there, but don't expect me to come with a full program, with GUI and everything (at least an useful one, and without using Visual Basic or .NET). But during the years I have also learned to see the difference between bleeding edge code and stable versions, as I said in my post. But GCC is under heavy scrutiny before release by people all over the world, and they don't release a version without testing it extensively. And after all, Ubuntu, for example, is using GCC 4.1.

To mouser:
 I agree with you. Latest versions don't mean bad software. After all, Free Pascal 2.0 is much better than 1.0, but well, it was under development for 3 long years, so they had everything to do it right. Now, only if they could make a DECENT IDE...
 Most probably I'll use Dev-C++ 5 Beta as I said. CodeBlocks uses Scintilla for the editor, which is a nice touch, but it comes without any help, and I don't feel like wandering the support forums. The interface is still a bit unfinished, also, but I suppose I could try one of the nightly builds, if they say they're much more stable than current RC, and supported to boot. Or maybe not...

To fOdder:
 Yep, I know about Microsoft offerings, but the current state of things of my upgrade (you must be tired of me talking about upgrading over these months Grin), I'll wait. Besides, wasn't Visual Studio using .NET for the program or something? With the .NET I'll code next year, I'll be more than full tongue
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f0dder
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[Well, THAT escalated quickly!]

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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2007, 05:59:30 PM »

There's the full-blown VS2005 which does multiple languages, and then there's the "express" editions which are free (but still come with full-blown optimizing compilers!) - there's both C# and C++ versions, and the C++ version does native (ie., non-dotNET) code.
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- carpe noctem
Lashiec
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2007, 05:40:54 AM »

If you're still curious about the answer to my question, here's some answers from the developers themselves. Looks tinjaw was right Wink
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