Energizer Project: Keeps Building and Building
Did you ever have a Visual C++ project that won’t stop building? It builds OK, but if you start the debugger or do another Ctrl+Shift+B, it says it’s out of date and wants to build again? Every time?
This happened to me and I was stumped. There was nothing in the Output window to tell me what was wrong. It looked like a perfectly successful build:
------ Build started: Project: Test, Configuration: Debug Win32 ------ Compiling resources... Linking... Build log was saved at "file://c:\Test\Debug\BuildLog.htm" Test - 0 error(s), 0 warning(s) -------------- Done -------------- Build: 1 succeeded, 0 failed, 0 skipped
The only problem was it compiled those resources every time. It never thought they were up to date.
I tried some Google searches. Nothing. This was annoying me, and the rest of my team.
Finally, out of sheer frustration, I Ctrl+clicked on that “Build log” link, like the helpful tooltip suggested.
Oh. Now it tells me:
Compiling resources... Linking... Test : warning PRJ0041 : Cannot find missing dependency 'ICON_FILE' for file 'Test.rc'. Your project may still build, but may continue to appear out of date until this file is found.
That gives me a desperately needed clue. Looking at Test.rc, I see that I’d coded:
Well, it sounded like a good idea at the time, honest.
The resource compiler has no problem with this, but apparently the dependency checker can’t handle it.
Changing it to this fixed it:
- The information you need may be hiding behind a link. Just because the Output window has always told you about build problems doesn’t mean it will tell you today.
- If your product has an Output window that almost always provides complete information, fix it so it always does.