I really am glad in a way that I’ve had to many problems with Visual Studio. By actually trying to solve them, I’ve become a lot more comfortable with it.
In order to make good use of my newfound skills and in order to work on my project at EA, I decided yesterday to compile Windows Frotz on my ETC machine.
I’d like to reiterate at this stage that the regular Frotz is Unix-only, which means that it won’t natively work on Windows, unlike Linux and OS X. It will probably work on Windows with Cygwin but I don’t want to get into that at this stage.
I installed the version of Visual Studio that David Kinder, the developer of Windows Frotz recommended, Visual Studio 2008, after downloading it through Carnegie Mellon’s Dreamspark program. The project opened and, by then, I knew how to deal with the missing libraries. It really all went very smoothly until Visual Studio complained about missing a DirectX header, specifically
Based on what I found on the web, I had to install the DirectX Software Development Kit, or DXSDK. That proved to be very problematic. I need two header files that probably total 10 kilobytes in size, but Microsoft will only provide those as part of the whole DXSDK package, which is a 550 megabyte installation file that installs to 1.2 gigabyte package. And the installation process takes a while. And the installation invariably failed until I restarted my computer today.
I’m not near my ETC computer now, but I suppose that part of the compilation will resolve once I add the DirectX directory to my include path in Visual Studio.
What puzzles me greatly here, however, is that I don’t remember ever doing that on my Mac. And it’s not as if the DirectX SDK could have remained from a previous project: it was a completely fresh install of Windows. It’s not really a huge issue and I now have better understanding of how the DirectX SDK works. But it still bothers me that I can’t explain it.