I miss the Watcom C-Compiler...

category: general [glöplog]
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Life has been so easy back then....
added on the 2009-03-26 21:56:07 by torus torus
I used TP7 back then. :D
added on the 2009-03-26 22:35:30 by raer raer
Missing Watcom..

did someone whack you with a mallet? :)
added on the 2009-03-26 22:39:07 by superplek superplek
WTF? MS-DOS, EMM, VESA and DOS4GW? You must be kidding!
added on the 2009-03-27 00:14:17 by bartman bartman
How does that stand against microsoft's compiler and gcc?
added on the 2009-03-27 00:21:19 by xernobyl xernobyl
Come on bartman, VESA and 32-bit extension had some charm to it :) Especially the VESA part, doing it right. I know my libs didn't, because some of my old DOS demos fail to run all the time :(
added on the 2009-03-27 00:34:11 by superplek superplek
To me the only good part about Wetcum was the optimization. All the included tools were pretty horrible, the compiler hardly followed any standards, #pragma inline lead to bad programming practices. Would have been better to use DJGPP, which would have made it easier to move on to GCC on other platforms.
added on the 2009-03-27 01:19:09 by Marq Marq
I want Watcom's #pragma aux back. Specifying your own calling and naming conventions was just too mighty a tool.
added on the 2009-03-27 02:05:36 by kb_ kb_
Marq, but then, gcc is the very definition of horrible even today. Following the C/C++ standard even where it doesn't make any sense and then needing half an eternity to produce object code that's easily outclassed even by MWCC isn't exactly what you want.
added on the 2009-03-27 02:08:12 by kb_ kb_
Watcom... So many memories... That was my first taste of 32 bit programming... And the infamous DOS extender's memory access violations.. wow thinking of it, I don't miss it that much :-)
added on the 2009-03-27 04:11:07 by LovCAPONE LovCAPONE
Well, GCC is overly complicated and not the fastest around - and DJGPP was a kludge, no question about that. But since I have this thing for portability it's kinda hard to surpass GCC+make, since they are more or less standard on all Unix-like systems and provide for exotic cross-compilations too.
added on the 2009-03-27 04:13:03 by Marq Marq
And by the way: all the newish ms-dog ports have still been compiled with Watcom under DOSBox, since I don't have the music library for DJGPP :)
added on the 2009-03-27 04:16:15 by Marq Marq
i had to use watcom a few years ago because the Fallout 1,2 development teams unironically used the watcom C compiler as pre-processing for their C-based game scripting language
Watcom came with:

- a good profiler
- a good code-browser (I still use that one from time to time)
- a good assembler
- a great debugger. It could step code backwards, and if you had a hercules graphic card you had two monitor debugging in the late 90th.
- the worst IDE and editor I've ever seen.

Btw: GCC is not bad. The inline assembler is much more powerfull than Watcom-style inline assembler. The generated code actually got worse since GCC 3.2.x but I'm confident that it will improve again. The new register allocator is great but the heuristics still need tweaking. Also I put hopes in the new graphite loop-analyzer framework.

If that thing works out the compiler will be able to do loop-tiling to optimize data-locality and cache-usage. And we may finally see good auto-vectorization.

added on the 2009-03-27 05:48:55 by torus torus
I actually remember DJGPP beating Watcom in speed with some 486 tests I made, but on Pentium it lagged badly behind. PMODE was available for DJGPP as well, but for some reason it required a lot more disk space so it was way harder to do 64k stuff with it compared to Watcom.

Watcom's make tool wasn't too hot at all and the same inherent major problem plagued DJGPP's make as well: the pityfully short ms-dog command line, that just isn't enough for even small projects.
added on the 2009-03-27 07:20:54 by Marq Marq
Ah watcom.. Too bad they weren't able to compete with microsoft.

I can't remember anything about the IDE - probably never used it =), but if it managed to be more horrible than codewarrior or xcode, well, that takes some trying.

I've used openwatcom since to do a 286 intro with digital audio (never released, lost sources since), as well as the SolVBE real-mode parts.
added on the 2009-03-27 07:28:09 by sol_hsa sol_hsa
I used ms-dos EDIT as an IDE for Watcom and kinda used wmake and/or 4DOS aliases and batch files for all my compiling and editing needs... the watcom's IDE was horrible... however, WD was just great, and #pragma aux was simply superb.

When they allowed the use of __asm {} blocks in Watcom 11, it just ruled so much :)
added on the 2009-03-27 08:41:42 by Jcl Jcl
I miss how some things were simpler back then. I don't miss the inferior tools though, or trying to make sure your hardware code worked properly.
added on the 2009-03-27 12:31:07 by Preacher Preacher

Why is everyone using gcc for sizecoding ? :)
where did you get the impression that anyone uses gcc for sizecoding?
added on the 2009-03-27 13:36:51 by ryg ryg
i'm dreaming of a version of vc++ where we could edit the code on multiple monitors. dunno if there's a trick for that.
added on the 2009-03-27 13:46:54 by nystep nystep
I would never use tcc for size coding. Yes, it has the word "tiny" in the project-name, but that does not apply to the generated object code.

Btw - have you had a look at the output of tcc?
added on the 2009-03-27 14:00:09 by torus torus
Too bad we couldn't use Watcom's compiler with Turbo C++ IDE. I actually loved this IDE...

Was it possible to use this combo???

And yes, Watcom's IDE was horrible...
added on the 2009-03-27 14:29:22 by LovCAPONE LovCAPONE
The only nuisance with TC IDE (2.0) was that for some reason you couldn't use inline asm in it but had to compile from the command line. Well, in hindsight I wouldn't probably use inline at all and what's wrong with compiling from command line anyway :)
added on the 2009-03-27 14:46:20 by Marq Marq