Click here to Skip to main content
12,696,822 members (28,893 online)
Click here to Skip to main content
Add your own
alternative version

Tagged as

Stats

11K views
2 bookmarked
Posted

System-wide compiler symbols

, 11 Jul 2010 CPOL
Rate this:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
A way to define system-wide compiler symbols to be used for all C# builds
On occasion, when writing code that should compile cleanly with various versions of .net, we run into situations where we need to use conditional compilation.

There are two often-used methods to define symbols for this:
0) Put a #define within the code we are working on.
1) Create a project-wide symbol (via project properties).

However, I feel a more general, system-wide, solution is required. With C and C++ there are various built-in symbols to indicate such things; C# currently has no such built-in symbols.

This tip describes my current method of defining a compiler symbol that indicates which version of .net is in use by the compiler.

The various versions of .net reside in the
%windir%\microsoft.net\framework directory; each version has its own subtree.

The files we want to edit are:
CSC.RSP -- which is used when command-line compiling with CSC (the C# compiler)
Microsoft.CSharp.targets -- which is used by MSBUILD (and therefore Visual Studio) when compiling C# code

In each CSC.RSP, add a line like /d:DotNet_4_0. You may choose your symbol, but it should be descriptive.

In each Microsoft.CSharp.targets, change
DefineConstants="$(DefineConstants)"
to
DefineConstants="$(DefineConstants) DotNet_4_0"
(or whatever symbol you chose, but it should match what you added to the CSC.RSP file).

You will need to do this on each development system. And it will need to be done as new versions of .net become available.

Thereafter, whenever you compile C# code, the appropriate symbol should exist, and you can use compiler directives (#if) to determine the .net version.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Share

About the Author

PIEBALDconsult
Software Developer (Senior)
United States United States
BSCS 1992 Wentworth Institute of Technology

Originally from the Boston (MA) area. Lived in SoCal for a while. Now in the Phoenix (AZ) area.

OpenVMS enthusiast, ISO 8601 evangelist, photographer, opinionated SOB, acknowledged pedant and contrarian

---------------

"Using fewer technologies is better than using more." -- Rico Mariani

"Good code is its own best documentation. As you’re about to add a comment, ask yourself, ‘How can I improve the code so that this comment isn’t needed?’" -- Steve McConnell

"Every time you write a comment, you should grimace and feel the failure of your ability of expression." -- Unknown

"If you need help knowing what to think, let me know and I'll tell you." -- Jeffrey Snover [MSFT]

"Typing is no substitute for thinking." -- R.W. Hamming

"I find it appalling that you can become a programmer with less training than it takes to become a plumber." -- Bjarne Stroustrup

ZagNut’s Law: Arrogance is inversely proportional to ability.

"Well blow me sideways with a plastic marionette. I've just learned something new - and if I could award you a 100 for that post I would. Way to go you keyboard lovegod you." -- Pete O'Hanlon

"linq'ish" sounds like "inept" in German -- Andreas Gieriet

"Things would be different if I ran the zoo." -- Dr. Seuss

"Wrong is evil, and it must be defeated." –- Jeff Ello

"A good designer must rely on experience, on precise, logical thinking, and on pedantic exactness." -- Nigel Shaw

“It’s always easier to do it the hard way.” -- Blackhart

“If Unix wasn’t so bad that you can’t give it away, Bill Gates would never have succeeded in selling Windows.” -- Blackhart

"Omit needless local variables." -- Strunk... had he taught programming

You may also be interested in...

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralPermissions Pin
tonyt13-Jul-10 9:52
membertonyt13-Jul-10 9:52 
GeneralRe: Permissions Pin
PIEBALDconsult13-Jul-10 15:29
mvpPIEBALDconsult13-Jul-10 15:29 
QuestionThanks, how about disabilng a specific warning in all projects? Pin
tonyt13-Jul-10 9:36
membertonyt13-Jul-10 9:36 
AnswerRe: Thanks, how about disabilng a specific warning in all projects? Pin
PIEBALDconsult13-Jul-10 15:27
mvpPIEBALDconsult13-Jul-10 15:27 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Praise Praise    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.

| Advertise | Privacy | Terms of Use | Mobile
Web02 | 2.8.170118.1 | Last Updated 12 Jul 2010
Article Copyright 2010 by PIEBALDconsult
Everything else Copyright © CodeProject, 1999-2017
Layout: fixed | fluid