Mittwoch, 19. September 2007

Two beer or not two beer - or 'What compiler to use on windows?'

During our KDE-Windows meeting in Berlin we had a big discussion on compiler support for kde4/windows. I for myself only wanted to distribute mingw binaries because we should not forget our roots. On the other side the mingw compiler is not the fastest one and debugging on windows with gdb is a pain. Here msvc has a big advantage with it's superior IDE Debugger which is imo even much better than kdevelop+gdb on linux.

And now yesterday trolltech annonced that they will support msvc8 express (and I hope for nmake too, did not take a look yet) for the opensource version and the discussion about whether to use msvc or mingw reached the public. One advantage of this step is that I've no longer create packages to add support for compiling qt4/windows opensource with msvc.

Another problem is that mingw support on win32 is uncertain because the maintainer of gcc/win32, Danny Smith, left mingw just after the second release candidate of gcc4.2.1. That's really a bad sign... :(

We even face more problems because we can't mix msvc debug and release libs. This will force us to rename the debug libs and add a debug postfix. Currently it's only implemented for the kdesupport libs (and all c++ libs below). Adding this feature to kdelibs would blow up FindKDE4Internals.cmake because we then everytime have to distinguish between every debug and release kde4 lib. Maybe I should take a look into cmake macros... :)

I still don't know how to decide... for now we maybe should ship the libraries for both compilers - what do you think?