Visual Studio 2008

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Visual Studio 2008

Kip Streithorst
I received a question the other day of whether plug-ins could be built
with Visual Studio 2008.  The short answer is no, only Visual Studio
2005 SP1 can be used to build plug-ins on Windows for the current
versions of Opticks.  Only Sun Studio 11 can be used to build Solaris
plug-ins.  We also don't support using GCC to build Solaris plug-ins.

Now, I'm sure everyone is wondering why, well here's the answer.  In
order to provide a modern, object-oriented and easy to use plug-in
interface we have written our plug-in interface in C++ and we use and
expose STL through our interface.  Since neither C++ linkage or STL are
defined in a cross-compiler binary compatible method (binary compatible
being the key word there) any plug-ins for Opticks must be built with
the exact same compiler that Opticks is built with.  If we wanted to
support Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008 plug-ins we would have
to have two incompatible versions of Opticks built to support each
compiler.  The only other option we have is to write a C only interface
(that's right functions only, no wonderful objects) that only uses
primitive C types.  We feel like that would make plug-in development way
too difficult for the pay-off of being able to use different compilers
for plug-in development.

If you feel different or have other inputs, please let me know.


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