Mateusz Loskot :: hacking on, working out, living up

Detecting Visual C++ version in NMAKE makefile

29 Mar 2009 | mloskot

Traditionally when building GDAL/OGR, GEOS or libLAS using NMAKE users specify version of Visual C++ compiler being used as value of MSVC_VER macro. This macros is not required but it’s recommended, so NMAKE can compose best possible set of compilation and linking flags for particular version of Visual C++. For instance, command specifying Visual C++ 8.0 (Visual Studio 2005) looks like this:

nmake -f makefile.vc MSVC_VER=1400

Recently, I hacked libLAS makefiles (and GEOS makefiles too), so Visual C++ version can be determined (semi-)automatically. NMAKE 1.62 or higher reports its version as value of NMAKEVER macro. The solution is to defined compiler version based on version of NMAKE tool:

Update 2009-04-03: Added _NMAKE_VER number 9.00.21022.08

!IF "$(_NMAKE_VER)" == ""
MSVC_VER = 4.0
!ERROR *** Prehistoric version of Visual C++
!ELSEIF "$(_NMAKE_VER)" == "162"
MSVC_VER = 5.0
!ERROR *** Prehistoric version of Visual C++
!ELSEIF "$(_NMAKE_VER)" == "6.00.8168.0"
MSVC_VER = 6.0
MSC_VER = 1200
!ERROR *** Prehistoric version of Visual C++
!ELSEIF "$(_NMAKE_VER)" == "7.00.9466"
MSVC_VER = 7.0
MSC_VER = 1300
!ELSEIF "$(_NMAKE_VER)" == "7.10.3077"
MSVC_VER = 7.1
MSC_VER = 1310
!ELSEIF "$(_NMAKE_VER)" == "8.00.50727.42"
MSVC_VER = 8.0
MSC_VER = 1400
!ELSEIF "$(_NMAKE_VER)" == "8.00.50727.762"
MSVC_VER = 8.0
MSC_VER = 1400
!ELSEIF "$(_NMAKE_VER)" == "9.00.21022.08" 
MSVC_VER = 9.0
MSC_VER = 1500
!ELSEIF "$(_NMAKE_VER)" == "9.00.30729.01"
MSVC_VER = 9.0
MSC_VER = 1500
!ELSE
MSVC_VER = 0.0
MSC_VER = 0
!ENDIF

Later macros MSVC_VER and MSC_VER can be used to report Visual C++ version:

!IF "$(MSVC_VER)" == "0.0" && "$(MSC_VER)" == "0"
!MESSAGE *** Cannot determined Visual C++ version
!ERROR *** Aborting make job
!ELSE
!MESSAGE *** Using Microsoft NMAKE version $(_NMAKE_VER)
!MESSAGE *** Using Microsoft Visual C++ version $(MSVC_VER)
!MESSAGE *** Using Microsoft C/C++ version $(MSC_VER)
!ENDIF

This is not a rocket science, but it seems to work well and it frees users from manual specification of Visual C++ version. I’m not sure how the NMAKE version numbers vary across Visual Studio versions and builds. It would be good collect these version numbers to make the solution reliable. So, I’d be thankful if readers using Visual Studio 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2008 or newer :-) could report their NMAKE versions directly to me or post them as comments below.

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