Survey of C Compilers

Ihnat ignatz at aicchi.UUCP
Fri Aug 8 14:04:15 AEST 1986

Two bits of information.  First, the August '86 Dr. Dobbs has a very good,
fairly comprehensive survey of the competetive 'C' compilers available
for MS-DOS; additionally, on Compuserve, they've provided 'electronic
updates' to compensate for 'publishing lag' (about two months) between
review and publishing.  Far too long to even paraphrase or summarize here,
it's one of the few 'C' reviews that I've seen that seems to use people
who aren't just familiar with (and thereby tout) one or two compilers,
and don't make blatantly incorrect statements about systems through a lack
of knowledge.  Although they don't fall into the trap of unequivocally
declaring any one compiler 'best for all things', it's obvious that Microsoft
4.0 is a big winner; as is IBM 'C' (Not surprising, as it's essentially
Microsoft 'C' repackaged by Big (bumbling) Blue).

In all the hooraw, I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Aztec 'C', especially
the Commercial Development system.  Although it's got shortcomings, it's
quite Unix compatible, and comes with quite a spread of libraries and memory
models (AND you get the complete source to all library routines!), as well
as providing a rather nice Unix-ish development environment; things such
as grep, make, 'z', diff, and a fistful of other utilities.  In addition,
the assembler is complete enough to use in it's own right, and you can
also generate ROMable code.  For the price, quite reasonable; and it shows
acceptably in the Dr. Dobb's survey.

Dr. Dobbs also indicates that High 'C', Wizard 'C', and Datalight 'C'
are also worth checking out, depending on your needs.  Also keep in mind
that an outfit in, I believe, Canada, is offering quite a suite of Unix
tools for MS-DOS for only about $50 US.

	Dave Ihnat
	Analysts International Corporation
	(312) 882-4673
	ihnp4!aicchi!ignatz || ihnp4!homebru!ignatz

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