I recently switched to Visual Studio 2010 and for Intellisense not to take half a minute to show up when using
boost libraries, Microsoft's suggestion seems to use precompiled headers.
Except that I never used them before (except when forced to by Ugly ATL Wizards (TM)), so I searched around to figure out how they work.
Basically, the Big Centralized
stdafx.h approach seems plain wrong. I never want to include (even cheaply) a whole bunch of header files in all my sources. Since I don't use windows libraries (I make C++/CLI higher level wrappers, then use .NET for talking to the outside world), I don't have "a whole truckload of non-changing enormous headers". Just
boost and standard library headers scattered around.
There is an interesting approach to this problem, but I can't quite figure out how to make this work. It seems that each source file must be compiled twice (please correct me if I'm wrong): once with /Yc and once with /Yu. This adds burden on the developper which must manually tweak the build system.
I was hoping to find some "automatically generate one precompiled header for each source file" trick, or at least some "best practices", but most people seem happy with including the world into
What are the options available to me to use precompiled headers on a per source file basis ? I don't really care about build times (as long as they don't skyrocket), I just want intellisense to work fast.
Your problem basically seems to be that Intellisense is slow for Boost in VS2010? I don't have a direct solution for this problem, but could Visual Assist X be an option for you? I have used it in various versions of Visual Studio now and with great pleasure. Not a direct solution, but it might work for you.
For starters, you are reading the article wrong. Every file is NOT compiled twice. The file stdafx.cpp gets compiled once with /Yc (c, for create) before anything else and then every other file in your project gets compiled once with /Yu (u, for use) and imports the result of the previously created saved state from stdafx.cpp.
Secondly, the article is 7 years old and is talking about VC++ 6, so you should start off distrusting it. But even assuming the information in it still applies to VC++ 2008 or 2010, it seems like bad advice. The approach it recommends using
/pragma hdrstop is solution looking for a problem. If you have headers that contain things you don't want in every file, then they simply shouldn't go in your pre-compiled header.
Precompiled headers aren't too bad if you use them properly.
Don't use them as a replacement for proper and precise #includes, but as a way to speed things up. Achieve this by making the precompiled header do nothing in release builds, only speeding stuff up in debug.
You are wrong, each file is only compiled once. You have one .cpp file that is compiled with /Yc and the rest are compiled with /Yu. The file with /Yc, which is stdafx.cpp by default, contains one line, #include "myMainHeader.h" (changed the name from the default) All other .cpp files must start with #include "myMainHeader.h" When your /Yc file is compiled, the entire internal state of the compiler is saved. That file is loaded when each of your other files is compiled. That is why you must start with including the PCH, so that the /Yu option doesn't change the result of compilation, only the time. Xcode does not make this requirement and will use a PCH regardless of if your .cpp file starts with the right include directive. I have used libraries that relied on this and could not be built without PCH.