While investigating some low cost/free alternatives to DevStudio.Net, I made an interesting discovery. If you install the .Net Framework SDK, the C++ compiler is installed as well.
Sorry if this is old news, but it would seem to indicate a way out of the currently chaotic Windows build state without requiring the purchase of any software. The compiler comes with import libs & headers for most things windows. I think the Platform SDK will take it the rest of the way there. I think the only wild card will be the std library.
I see two ways this could work:
1. Figure out how to tweak the automake settings so that the VC7 compiler is invoked.
2. Write a program/script that parses the .sln & .vcproj files, invoking the compiler as appropriate.
Anybody have any ideas on which approach is more desirable? I like #2 because it keeps me from having to fart around with Cygwin, but it also means that a user of the free solution really can't maintain the build environment.
I'm going to be at my customer's site this week, so I'll have some time in the evenings to work on this. I'd really like to hear what people think about this.