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30 C++ Tips in 30 Days: Tip # 12 use a reference compiler

By  Dec 1, 2007

Topics: Programming, C/C++

No matter what your production compiler is, it's a good idea to test your code regularly with a reference compiler to make sure that your apps are standard compliant.

My reference compiler is Comeau online which is the most ISO compliant compiler. It excels in it C99 support as well. Another unique feature is the support for exported templates.

Other reference compilers can be Microsoft's Visual Studio 2005 (2008 is also available although I haven't tested it yet), and of course, GCC's latest version. Remember, even if your code uses deliberate deviations from the standard (say, using BOOL instead of bool), it's still a good idea to compile it with a reference compiler to make sure that the deviations from ISO are manageable and recorded.

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