Some Basic Question

Sean Kelly sean at
Mon Aug 14 22:11:15 PDT 2006

Jay Kyburz wrote:
> Hi All,
> I'm a hobby programmer and have been playing around with D for a few weeks. I 
> usually make little games and have recently started a gui project using DWT. 
> Not much gets finished but I have fun solving the problems and making stuff 
> happen. 
> In the past I've used a bunch of different scripting languages, quite a bit 
> of Basic and Pascal and a bit of C#. Most of these have been presented in a 
> neat package where I can simply hit the build button and get an exe. 
> D is a little different in that you have to know a little more about what is 
> going on when you try and build something. Well, perhaps you don't need to 
> know it, but because it's exposed I find myself asking questions. 
> Anyhow, I guess thats my question. Is there somewhere I can go and read about 
> the fundamentals of the build process?

It may help to know that D is pretty much the same as C in that source 
files are compiled to an intermediate language (ie. object files) and 
then linked to produce an executable application.

> Examples: What do each of the exe's in bm/bin do? In what order are they run? 
> Why have a dm and a dmd folder.

The dm folder contains the Digital Mars C compiler and linker, which is 
used both for linking and also possibly for code generation.  I've got a 
bunch of stuff in dm/bin so I can't come up with a list of default EXEs 
offhand, but 'lib' generates static libraries, 'make' is a make tool, 
'link' is a linker, and I think 'sc' is an alias for 'dmc' which is the 
C compiler.

 > When I import a module, how does the build
> process find my source files.

It looks in your include path, which is in dmd/bin/sc.ini as the -I 
portion of the DFLAGS variable.

> What the hell does pragma import do, I've read 
> the docs but don't understand how this is different to linking to libs .  
> etc... 

You shouldn't need to use any pragmas for typical D applications, so 
don't worry about them.  But they are documented here:

> If you guys don't know of anywhere this is already documented, do you think 
> this list a good place to ask?  Perhaps I could add some of the answers I get 
> to the wiki.

This is the best place to ask questions not answered by the wiki.


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