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Ask Proggit: how do I make my source code age well?

I wrote this win32 C++ app. It compiles okay with the current version of VC++ Express, but doesn't compile with older versions (Microsoft changes lots of idiotic things like winioctl.h, unicode fstreams, etc, etc.) This makes me paranoid that the app won't compile with newer versions either. For example, in a year or two Microsoft could remove the /MT option (which is absolutely crucial to this app) and pull the installer for the current VC++ Express from their site, making the app unrecompilable by my client. How do I protect against this shit?

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level 1

it simply won't age. it'll just die, unless you keep porting it to new versions of visual studio.

level 1

You have just learned why I, and many others, don't consider Microsoft as a 'ready for prime time' producer of development tools.

I guess the only insurance is to maintain your own build environment for the life of the product, and don't rely on the archives provided by the vendor? ( And hope real hard they don't drop something into Win7SP3 that nukes you... )

level 2
Original Poster1 point · 8 years ago

What producers are ready for prime time, then? Are there any that deal with C++?

level 3

In the Win32 environment? I'm not familiar enough to give a meaningful answer.

Is it something that has to be a native app? If it's something that's currently in production, could it be planned as a maintenance task to move it over to a browser/server architecture?

Then you can go with a linux box for your backend, and have complete control over the development environment -- but that shows my unixy bias...

level 4
Original Poster1 point · 8 years ago

Yes, it absolutely has to be an installable native app that will run on older computers without Internet in provincial Russia. Yes, those are actual client requirements. I wouldn't have chosen C++ otherwise.

level 5

Your only hope is to keep a 'frozen' development environment around for the life of the application. Windows is a hell of a platform to support.

Start playing with as many other vendors compilers as soon as you can, to assess the potential impact? That way at least you know what you're getting into?

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