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Steffen Haeuser (ANF)

Hyperion and the StormC 4
Steffen Haeuser wrote:
After our reactions on the "StormC 4 news" I was asked by Ben Hermans to explain our position on this topic to clarify some misunderstandings and falsifications.

At Heretic II times we were using a "self development" called gcc-WarpUP, a self standing port of gcc to WarpUP and 68k. This compiler had the substantial disadvantage that no debugger - very important for program testing and fast bug fixing - was available (and wasn't easily made, either). Besides that the compiling speed was quite slow (despite PPC exe), and there was no GUI available. At that time this compiler was the only alternative, though:

  • SAS/C: Even when leaving aside the missing WarpOS support, this compiler isn't really suitable for a "big" PC port. Doing a PC port there's normally a heavy use of C++, and when a compiler isn't 100% compatible with the standard used by compilers like gcc/VisualC++/Metroworks CodeWarrior - inclusive possible "enhancements" of these compilers - doing a port is made much more difficult, if not even impossible. It may well be possible to develop a C project with such a compiler but not a C++ project. The only one of our projects being not C++ was Heretic II. And the most of our projects rely HEAVILY on C++, with STL and all things belonging to it. Because of that we don't feel like doing long ports and then, when linking, having to realize that the compiler isn't compatible enough with gcc/... making a compiler change necessary.
  • vbcc: In my opinion this is a great compiler, too, but as it doesn't support C++ using this compiler is completely out of question for us. Besides that we prefer a commercial product. In case of bugs you may demand a fast bugfix, or you get telephone support or so. But sure, the vbcc is a good compiler - but it simply doesn't suit our needs. By the way: vbcc has no source level debugger, either (wosdebug is not source level but assembler level).
  • StormC 3: For StormC 3 (in contrary to 4) counts the same as for SAS/C - a special compiler not compatible enough for the Amiga market.
Now Haage&Partner have decided to drop their "own" code generator in favour of the gcc code generator - what was welcomed by us - with the version 4 of StormC. That means: StormC 4 has more in common with gcc-WarpUP than with StormC 3.

That means that with StormC 4 you get all what you get with gcc-WarpUP but additionally you get the special features of the StormC that gcc-WarpUP doesn't offer:
  • A superb source level debugger
  • 40% faster compiling than with gcc-WarpUP thanks to optimizations (in the PPC version)
  • A significiantly more efficient I/O linker library
  • A profiler for 68k and PPC
  • A graphical IDE
  • The possibility to compile via network
  • (Partly) Object file compatibility with StormC 3 and vbcc-WarpUP and SAS/C 68k
  • The possibility to create mixedbinaries
  • The possibility to easily create PPC shared libraries
  • Support possibilities from the developer (very important for us, no matter what compiler !!!)
Though this sounds like advertising: For a developer of commercial software there's simply no alternative to StormC 4 on the Amiga. And I don't see any rason why people absolutely want to talk about an alternative.

If I only think of the many weeks (!!!) of work the debugger of StormC 4 has shortened my work on the port of Freespace. These are REAL working hours I have saved through this.

By the way, the BSD compatibility of the includes of StormC (as gcc derivative) is considerably better than the one of the CodeWarrior includes for MacOS.

Steffen Haeuser
Hyperion Entertainment
(ps) (Translation: wk)

[News message: 14. Jul. 2001, 17:07] [Comments: 0]
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