Compiler FAIL

So I mentioned that you can use VS2008 Express to create Xlls.

What I didn’t clarify was the rather pathetic compiler story.

Sadly VS2008 relies on a different version of the C runtime libraries than previous VS’s (I think they all expect different versions). What this means is that if you compile your xll with VS2008 and try to deploy to a corporate WinXP environment, chances are the xll will fail to work.

I had an email from someone last week and that is exactly what he had done, and exactly the issue he came up against. I explained the situation and suggested he recompile with VS6. He later replied that he had compiled with DevCpp (A free open source C/C++ editor) and it now worked fine. (He was creating the Generic xll from the SDK)

Over time Microsoft have updated the C runtime libraries for performance, security and features. I think thats great, what I think is poor is the way they seem to expect application developers to distribute these updated runtimes for them.

This runtime issue used to annoy me in VB6, makes .net useless to me and now makes all recent Microsoft C/C++ IDE unusable (as compilers). Who decided that single file distribution was too easy and convenient and we should all be forced to use some convoluted installation system to get our apps to clients?

You can still use VS2008 as an editor, just use a real compiler to actually _compile_ your code, as MS no longer make compilers.

Anyone else caught by this?

cheers

Simon

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2 Responses to “Compiler FAIL”

  1. Nick Hebb Says:

    You might try contacting Andrew Whitechapel. He has an active comment thread on his blog here:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/andreww/archive/2007/12/09/building-an-excel-xll-in-c-c-with-vs-2008.aspx

  2. Simon Says:

    Thanks Nick
    I don’t visit his blog often enough so I’ve added it to my blogroll.

    It looks like he has enough on with all those requests for free support.

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