Re: [S] C compiler to use with Splus

Prof Brian Ripley (
Wed, 13 May 1998 18:32:33 +0100 (BST)

> From: Steve Bousquin <>
> To:
> Last I heard (circa version 3), only Watcom C compilers could be used
> with S-Plus. I do not know if this changed with version 4.

Not so even for version 3.3. You could build a DLL for 3.3: this
is easier for 4.0 and there are examples in the V&R2 complements
and in a supplement to the programmer's guide available on-line at

The facts as I know them are

(1) You can only use dyn.load with Watcom compilers. Version 10.5 is
the recommended one, but 10.0 and 10.6 work fine. We think 11.x
usually works well, but there may be minor incompatibilities in
library calls.

(2) If you want to use `static loading' (build a new sqpe.dll) you need
Watcom 10.5. This is unlikely to be necessary.

(3) You can build and use a DLL with Watcom 10.x, 11.x and (probably)
9.x. You can also use MS Visual C++ 4.0, 4.2, 5.0 and late (4.x, 5.x?)
Borland C++. This is not as easy as (1), especially if you are porting
code written from Unix S-PLUS, but it does do the job. You cannot use
any of the ports of gcc to Windows, in my experience.

It seems generally accepted (e.g. in magazine reviews) that Watcom 11.x
is among the best C/C++ compilers for Windows 95/NT. MS Visual C++ is
well-known for its bugs (but that may reflect its dominant usage). I use
a gcc port for C programming on Windows, but that reflects my Unix biases.
(There are at least two, cygwin32 and mingw32.) The R port to
Windows uses Borland, though.

Brian D. Ripley,        
Professor of Applied Statistics,
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272860 (secr)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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