This just in, Aaron LaFramboise has just released an alpha version of gcc 4.3 for MinGW. And, of course, they are looking for testers. I know I will be. You can give it a try to by downloading it off of I’ve been following the mingw-users mailing list and it’s been a great place to discuss issues. It’s not too busy but it’s been busy enough to be useful.

gcc 4.3 in combination with the new gdb 6.8 really brings the MinGW port for native Windows up to snuff with the gnu toolchain enjoyed by Linux developers. And I think it has a chance to give Visual C++ a run for it’s money. Time will tell of course, and I am wearing my open source colored glasses. But as with the CDT for Windows development, all we’re trying to be is a respected alternative and a valid path for multi-platform development.

Speaking of which, it’s getting time to start working on Wascana 1.0. It’ll be based on the Eclipse Ganymede with the latest tools from MinGW as well as a handful of libraries to help build platform independent apps. And it will use the Eclipse p2 provisioning framework so you can install and update the tools and libraries using the same UI you use for plug-ins. And with 7000 downloads of the last Wascana prerelease, it’s worth the extra time I have to put in to make it happen.