On Wednesday, July 14, 2010 02:55:11 pm Allan Davis wrote:
> I am trying to figure out which would be the best C++ compiler to install
> on my system.  I am forced to develop on windows for my job, and I wanted
> to look into developing a ruby extension and apache mod.

I'm sure you know, but in case you don't, Ruby runs well enough on Windows 
without Apache, and there are dozens of other webservers you could use. If 
Apache is a requirement, you could still stick Ruby server(s) behind it.

> I was debating between cygwin, mingw or ms cpp express.  Can someone give
> me a best recomendation?

Visual C++, according to this page:

http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.0/platform/win_compiling.html

More generally, it depends how portable the code you're working with is, and 
how much work you're willing to do to make it "native". MS CPP produces the 
most native, probably best and fastest binaries with the fewest third-party 
dependencies, while Cygwin installs an entire third-party Unix subsystem.

Where I've seen mingw used, it's a nice, happy medium -- a beautiful example 
is Git for Windows, which packs everything you need to get a Bash prompt with 
a functional Git (and git-gui, and gitk) into under 12 megs. That's including 
all kinds of stuff like less, grep, vim, tar/bzip2, OpenSSH... It basically 
feels like Cygwin lite.

But if you can make it work with Visual C++, go with that.