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March 23, 2017

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I had a question regarding Rcpp and integration Visual Studio C++ with R. Dirk Eddelbuettel in his Rcpp 2016 FAQ states that R simply does not compile with Visual Studio. https://dirk.eddelbuettel.com/code/rcpp/Rcpp-FAQ.pdf

Is this still true? Can you use Rcpp and Visual Studio C++ with Microsoft R Open or do you still need to use g++, and on Windows specifically mingw?

It is still true. Generally R does not compile with VC++ not because of Visual Studio issues but rather because compiling with the same compiler for all platforms ensures runtime and package compatibility and makes code running on Mac, Linux and Windows behave identically.

It is possible to make R compile with VC++ but then you'd get Windows-specific engine bound to Microsoft C Runtime library. But packages on CRAN are compiled with gcc. Different compilers use different C runtime libraries and loading packages built with one compiler into environment compiled with causes problems.

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