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Open Watcom

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Title: Open Watcom  
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Subject: Euphoria (programming language), Watcom, C99, List of formerly proprietary software, DOS MZ executable, Sybase Open Watcom Public License, Portable C Compiler, List of compilers
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Open Watcom

Open Watcom
Original author(s) Watcom
SciTech Software
Developer(s) Open community
Initial release January 8, 2003; 11 years ago (2003-01-08)
Stable release 1.9 / June 2, 2010; 4 years ago (2010-06-02)
Development status Active
Operating system Cross-platform
Size 73.8 Mb
Type Integrated development environment
License Sybase Open Watcom Public License version 1.0

The Watcom C/C++ compiler is a compiler for the computer programming languages C and C++ that produces executable programs for several platforms and operating systems. In the mid-1990s some of the most technically ambitious MS-DOS computer games such as Doom,[1] Descent,[1] Duke Nukem 3D,[1] and Rise of the Triad[2] were built using Watcom C/C++, some such as ROTT using the DOS/4GW protected mode extender with the Watcom compiler.

Though no longer sold commercially by Sybase, the Watcom C/C++ compiler and the Watcom Fortran compiler have been made available as a gratis and questionably open source Open Watcom package with the assistance of SciTech Software. The Open Source Initiative has approved the license while Debian, Fedora and the Free Software Foundation have rejected it. The code is portable and, like many other open source compiler projects such as GCC or LCC the compiler backend (code generator) is retargetable. The compiler can be operated from, and generate executable code for, the DOS, OS/2, Linux and Windows operating systems. It also supports NLM targets for Novell NetWare. There is ongoing work to extend the targeting to Linux[3] and modern BSD (e.g., FreeBSD) operating systems, running on x86, PowerPC and other processors. The Open Watcom C/C++ version 1.4 release on December 2005 introduced Linux x86 as an experimental target, supported from NT or OS/2 host platforms. There is code for an abandoned QNX version, but libraries necessary for it to be compiled could not be released as open source. Stable version 1.9 was released in June 2010.[4]

Release history

The Open Watcom Wiki has a comprehensive history.[1]

Date Product Notes
1984 Waterloo C for S/370
1985 Work on current code generator codebase started
1988 Watcom C 6.0
  • DOS host and target only
  • Included a debugger and full set of runtime libraries
  • Generated better code than other compilers at the time
  • Watcom C Version 6.5 contained Graphics Library similar to Microsoft Graphics Library
1989 Watcom C 7.0
1989 Watcom C 7.0/386
1990 Watcom C 8.0
1990 Watcom C 8.0/386
1991 Watcom C 8.5
1991 Watcom C 8.5/386
1992 Watcom C 9.0
1992 Watcom C 9.0/386
  • OS/2 2.0 host and target support
  • 486 optimizations
  • Based pointer support
Watcom C 9.01/386
1993 Watcom C/C++ 9.5
1993 Watcom C/C++ 9.5/386
1994 Watcom C/C++ 10.0
1995 Watcom C/C++ 10.5
1996 Watcom C/C++ 10.6
1997 Watcom C/C++ 11.0
  • Namespace, RTTI, and new style cast support in C++ compiler
  • 64-bit integer support
  • Multi-byte character support in libraries
  • Incremental linking support
  • COFF and ELF object file support in linker and librarian
  • Microsoft clone tools added
  • DLL based tools for better IDE integration
1998 Watcom C/C++ 11.0B
1999 Sybase issues end-of-life notice for Watcom C/C++ 11.0
2000 Sybase announces open sourcing of Watcom tools
2001-09-27 Watcom C/C++ 11.0c Beta
2002-12-21 Watcom C/C++ 11.0c
2003-01-28 Open Watcom 1.0
2003-08-12 Open Watcom 1.1
2004-01-07 Open Watcom 1.2
2004-08-03 Open Watcom 1.3
2005-12-14 Open Watcom 1.4
2006-04-26 Open Watcom 1.5
2006-12-15 Open Watcom 1.6
2007-08-18 Open Watcom 1.7
2007-10-23 Open Watcom 1.7a
2009-02-21 Open Watcom 1.8
2010-06-02 Open Watcom 1.9

Compatibility with other compilers

Open Watcom's syntax supports many conventions introduced by other compilers, such as Microsoft's and Borland's, including differing conventions regarding (for instance) the number of leading underscores on the "asm" tag. Code written specifically for another compiler rather than standard-compliant C or C++ will often compile with the Watcom compiler.

See also


External links

  • Open Watcom website
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