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Installing wxWidgets

When I decided to start using wxWidgets, I wasn’t expecting installation to be easy. All too often, I’ve downloaded open source software and been stuck spending hours messing with environment variables, tweaking configuration files, and fixing make files. That wasn’t the case with wxWidgets. The software is mature enough that the developers have done an excellent job making our work as easy as possible.

The installation depends on the platform on which you’re installing the product, but the gist is the same across the board, with the installer copying all the necessary files to your hard drive. The files consist mainly of the wxWidgets source files, along with a configuration script that generates the necessary make files to build the libraries.

I was using Microsoft Windows, for which you can build using various compilers, including Borland, Microsoft Visual Studio, Code Warrior, Cygwin, and Minimalist GNU for Windows (MinGW). I chose MinGW, but not for any particular reason.

Because so many platforms and compilers are supported, I can’t give you the full details on every installation. However, the process is incredibly easy. In the case of MinGW, I ran a script called configure, and then simply typed make.

The configure script also creates make files for a set of samples that ship with wxWidgets. These samples provide excellent examples for learning how to use wxWidgets, as well as great starting points for your own projects.

After running the configure script, I simply performed a make on the library, and the whole thing built without incident. The product was then installed, and I was ready to have at it.

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