8. Other InstantC Advantages

Besides helping you improve code reliability and save time, InstantC offers you compatibility with other C tools and with Microsoft Windows, a flexible work flow, and a large workspace. In addition, you can easily customize InstantC to fit your style.


Compatibility

Because you will use two major tools now -- one for development and one for production -- the tools must be compatible. InstantC is compatible with Standard C and Microsoft C, and supports Windows application development.

Standard C

Tenberry Software (under its previous name, Rational Systems, Inc.) is a long-time member of the ANSI X3J11 committee that created the C language standard. InstantC supports most ANSI constructs, such as struct assignments, enums, and prototypes. You can use any ANSI-compatible optimizing compiler for final production of your software.

Microsoft C

InstantC is compatible with Microsoft Visual C++ 1.5x Professional Edition (the C subset). You build the Microsoft libraries into InstantC, so that you use exactly the same functions during development that you will use during production. The script you use to build a Microsoft-library version of InstantC sets system options to match Microsoft object code calling conventions and structure alignment rules. We support the most common Microsoft extensions to the C language, allowing you to load code that uses them. We also support most inline assembly code accepted by the Microsoft compiler. These features make it quick and easy to compile your source code with the Microsoft compiler once your program is working, to create a production version of your application.

Microsoft Windows

InstantC lets you create, debug, and maintain Windows 3.x applications. As a C (not C++) environment, it does not support the Microsoft Foundation Classes, but you can freely use all the functions in the Microsoft Windows Software Development Kit.


Configurability

You can very easily customize InstantC to your liking in a variety of ways.

Customizable Editor Key Bindings

Like many other editors, the InstantC editor lets you issue commands using both menu commands and keystroke combinations. InstantC's editor uses commonly-employed keystrokes, making it easy to learn and use. However, we know that your favorite editor may have some unusual keyboard shortcuts that make life a lot easier for you, so we've made it easy to change the keys our editor responds to. You can change the operation of as many keys as you want to make the InstantC editor behave like your favorite editor.

Medium and Large Memory Model Support

InstantC supports both medium and large model programs. When you install InstantC, you decide whether to build a medium or large model version, and then create programs using that model. However, at any time, you can change the memory model used by simply building a new version.

Flexible Checking Options

You can also control how strictly InstantC checks your code for errors. InstantC's default behavior is to check your program's code and execution thoroughly. However, sometimes you may be forced to work with imperfect code (especially older code) under tight deadlines, and need to get it loaded and running quickly, before attending to every error. For this reason, InstantC provides checking options that you can set to relax or increase its strictness. In most cases, you will want to leave the options set to their default values, since they ensure a high level of ANSI Standard compliance and portability.

Create Project-Specific Versions

You can also build a different, customized version of InstantC for each project you work on. Load your source files, DLL import libraries, and any other libraries you're using into InstantC, set all the options just the way you want them, and then save this complete version. When you start the modified version of InstantC, your project is automatically set up and waiting for you.


Flexible Work Flow

In InstantC, the work flow isn't as rigid as it is when you use an optimizing compiler alone. Instead of having to write as much code as you can so that you can compile and link your program, you can write code incrementally, using a bottom-up or top-down approach.

Programming from the bottom up lets you write and test code one function at a time. It is much easier to make a function work in isolation and then integrate it with your program than it is to debug it when it's already part of a large program. Command window expression evaluation makes it easy to execute one function without having to write an entire program.

InstantC's strong integration also allows you to program from the top down. If your program calls a function you haven't written yet, InstantC will execute your code up to the missing function, then stop. At this point, you can create the function in the editor -- or right at the command prompt -- test it, and then return to the previous routine to continue execution. Or, if you decide to write the function later, you can interactively execute a return statement from the command prompt and continue executing the main routine.


Large Workspace

InstantC can handle large projects. Our customers have loaded programs containing up to 1,000,000 lines of code, consisting of more than 1,000 separate source files.


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