Re: good books to start from scratch

James Kanze <>
30 Apr 2006 12:51:41 -0400
Jeffrey Schwab wrote:
  > wrote:

  > Could you be more specific? I'm not a fan of Microsoft, but
  > the most recent version of the compiler seems to be OK from
  > the command-line, once you get used to the non-intuitive
  > switches and unclear error messages.

Just curious (I'm not a fan of Microsoft either), but do you
know of any compilers which have intuitive switches and clear
error messages?

With regards to the switches, there is a problem with the
Microsoft compiler, in that you cannot compile any program using
standard headers without two or three additional options.

  > If you have included any headers that use exceptions (e.g.
  > <iostream>), you may need to enable them with a switch:

  > cl /EHsc

I've found /GR to also be necessary, and you need yet another
option if you want pointers to member functions to work across
compilation unit boundaries (but I can't imagine that being a
problem in beginner's code).

  > If this is not the problem you have encountered, please create
  > a text file called and enter the following in it:

  > int main() { }

  > Open a command prompt and cd to the directory containing
  > Enter:

  > cl

  > What happens?

Lot's of messages about not being able to find different

Seriously, *installing* the compiler so it can be used from a
Cygwin environment is non-trivial. On the other hand, the
documentation explains very clearly how to do this -- I was
actually very surprised that Microsoft took Unix programmers so
much into consideration -- they don't actually mention bash, but
there is a page in the documentation about invoking the compiler
from the command line, and it goes into considerable detail
about handling the path variable, etc.

  > Btw, you will be more likely to get positive results from your
  > posts if you do not abbreviate "you" to "u" or "are" to "r".
  > Don't skip apostrophes ("dont") or use lowercase "i" when you
  > mean "I." You can of course post anything you like, but a
  > little bit of effort makes life easier for all of us.

I'm not sure about "anything you like" -- I've had posts
rejected (correctly) because I accidentally wrote them in
French. And "u" is no more an English word than "tu" is.

James Kanze
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