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Recently Microsoft made their C++ Compiler a free as in beer download: see

http://msdn.microsoft.com/visualc/vctoolkit2003/

In conjunction with the Platform SDK and Direct X SDK (urls given to you in the README when you download the toolkit) when you download the above, it's a pretty mean development environment, but hard as hell to drive from the command line (multiple environment variables, complicated makefiles, etc.) This is obviously the sort of arena SCons would do well in, so I have coded up a mstookit scons tool: it targets only Win2000 & IE5 at the moment. I've used it successfully to build the graphics3d http://g3d-cpp.sourceforge.net library and an executable demo that comes with it.

Note that it uses link from the Platform SDK, not from the toolkit, and creates static libs by invoking link.exe with the -lib option. I also havent checked that it works when you install the toolkits / SDK's in non-default locations. Use at your own risk

#!python
"""engine.SCons.Tool.mstoolkit.py

Tool-specific initialization for Microsoft Visual C/C++ Toolkit Commandline

There normally shouldn't be any need to import this module directly.
It will usually be imported through the generic SCons.Tool.Tool()
selection method.

"""

#
# Copyright (c) 2004 John Connors
#
# Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining
# a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the
# "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including
# without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish,
# distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to
# permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to
# the following conditions:
#
# The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included
# in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
#
# THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY
# KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE
# WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND
# NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE
# LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION
# OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION
# WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
#


import os.path
import re
import types

import SCons.Action
import SCons.Builder
import SCons.Errors
import SCons.Platform.win32
import SCons.Tool
import SCons.Util
import SCons.Warnings

CSuffixes = ['.c', '.C']
CXXSuffixes = ['.cc', '.cpp', '.cxx', '.c++', '.C++']

def get_msvctoolkit_paths():
        """Return a 4-tuple of (INCLUDE, LIB, PATH, TOOLKIT) as the values of those
        three environment variables that should be set in order to execute
        the MSVC .NET tools properly, if the information wasn't available
        from the registry."""

        MSToolkitDir = None
        paths = {}
        exe_path = ''
        lib_path = ''
        include_path = ''

        # First, we get the shell folder for this user:
        if not SCons.Util.can_read_reg:
                raise SCons.Errors.InternalError, "No Windows registry module was found"

        # look for toolkit
        if 'VCToolkitInstallDir' in os.environ:
                MSToolkitDir = os.path.normpath(os.environ['VCToolkitInstallDir'])
        else:
                # last resort -- default install location
                MSToolkitDir = r'C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual C++ Toolkit 2003'

        # look for platform sdk
        if 'MSSdk' in os.environ:
                PlatformSDKDir = os.path.normpath(os.environ['MSSdk'])
        else:
                try:
                        PlatformSDKDir = SCons.Util.RegGetValue(SCons.Util.HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, r'SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MicrosoftSDK\Directories\Install Dir')[0]
                        PlatformSDKDir = str(PlatformSDKDir)
                except SCons.Util.RegError:
                        raise SCons.Errors.InternalError, "The Platform SDK directory was not found in the registry or in the `MSSdk` environment variable."

        # look for DX Sdk (expecting DX9)
        # dxsdk docs have a directory key, look for it, extract path
        dxsdkdocs = ""
        DXsdkDir = ""
        try:
                dxsdkdocs = SCons.Util.RegGetValue(SCons.Util.HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, r'SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DirectX SDK\DX9SDK Doc Path')
        except SCons.Util.RegError:
                raise SCons.Errors.InternalError, "The DXSDK directory was not found in the registry."

        DXsdkDir = os.path.split(dxsdkdocs[0])[0]
        DXsdkDir = os.path.split(DXsdkDir)[0]

        include_path = r'%s\include;%s\include;%s\include' % (MSToolkitDir, PlatformSDKDir, DXsdkDir)
        lib_path = r'%s\lib;%s\lib;%s\lib' % (MSToolkitDir, PlatformSDKDir, DXsdkDir)
        exe_path = r'%s\bin;%s\bin\win95;%s\bin' % (MSToolkitDir, PlatformSDKDir, PlatformSDKDir)
        return (include_path, lib_path, exe_path, PlatformSDKDir)

def validate_vars(env):
        """Validate the PDB, PCH, and PCHSTOP construction variables."""
        if env.get('PCH'):
                if 'PCHSTOP' not in env:
                        raise SCons.Errors.UserError, "The PCHSTOP construction must be defined if PCH is defined."
                if not SCons.Util.is_String(env['PCHSTOP']):
                        raise SCons.Errors.UserError, "The PCHSTOP construction variable must be a string: %r"%env['PCHSTOP']

def pch_emitter(target, source, env):
        """Sets up the PDB dependencies for a pch file, and adds the object
        file target."""

        validate_vars(env)

        pch = None
        obj = None

        for t in target:
                if SCons.Util.splitext(str(t))[1] == '.pch':
                        pch = t
                if SCons.Util.splitext(str(t))[1] == '.obj':
                        obj = t

        if not obj:
                obj = SCons.Util.splitext(str(pch))[0]+'.obj'

        target = [pch, obj] # pch must be first, and obj second for the PCHCOM to work

        if env.get('PDB'):
                env.SideEffect(env['PDB'], target)
                env.Precious(env['PDB'])

        return (target, source)

def object_emitter(target, source, env, parent_emitter):
        """Sets up the PDB and PCH dependencies for an object file."""

        validate_vars(env)

        parent_emitter(target, source, env)

        if env.get('PDB'):
                env.SideEffect(env['PDB'], target)
                env.Precious(env['PDB'])

        if env.get('PCH'):
                env.Depends(target, env['PCH'])

        return (target, source)

def static_object_emitter(target, source, env):
        return object_emitter(target, source, env,
                                                  SCons.Defaults.StaticObjectEmitter)

def shared_object_emitter(target, source, env):
        return object_emitter(target, source, env,
                                                  SCons.Defaults.SharedObjectEmitter)

pch_builder = SCons.Builder.Builder(action='$PCHCOM', suffix='.pch', emitter=pch_emitter)
res_builder = SCons.Builder.Builder(action='$RCCOM', suffix='.res')

def pdbGenerator(env, target, source, for_signature):
        if target and env.get('PDB'):
                return ['/PDB:%s'%target[0].File(env['PDB']).get_string(for_signature),
                                '/DEBUG']

def win32ShlinkTargets(target, source, env, for_signature):
        listCmd = []
        dll = env.FindIxes(target, 'SHLIBPREFIX', 'SHLIBSUFFIX')
        if dll: listCmd.append("/out:%s"%dll.get_string(for_signature))

        implib = env.FindIxes(target, 'LIBPREFIX', 'LIBSUFFIX')
        if implib: listCmd.append("/implib:%s"%implib.get_string(for_signature))

        return listCmd

def win32ShlinkSources(target, source, env, for_signature):
        listCmd = []

        deffile = env.FindIxes(source, "WIN32DEFPREFIX", "WIN32DEFSUFFIX")
        for src in source:
                if src == deffile:
                        # Treat this source as a .def file.
                        listCmd.append("/def:%s" % src.get_string(for_signature))
                else:
                        # Just treat it as a generic source file.
                        listCmd.append(src)
        return listCmd

def win32LibEmitter(target, source, env):
        # SCons.Tool.msvc.validate_vars(env)

        dll = env.FindIxes(target, "SHLIBPREFIX", "SHLIBSUFFIX")
        no_import_lib = env.get('no_import_lib', 0)

        if not dll:
                raise SCons.Errors.UserError, "A shared library should have exactly one target with the suffix: %s" % env.subst("$SHLIBSUFFIX")

        if env.get("WIN32_INSERT_DEF", 0) and \
           not env.FindIxes(source, "WIN32DEFPREFIX", "WIN32DEFSUFFIX"):

                # append a def file to the list of sources
                source.append(env.ReplaceIxes(dll,
                                                                          "SHLIBPREFIX", "SHLIBSUFFIX",
                                                                          "WIN32DEFPREFIX", "WIN32DEFSUFFIX"))

        if env.get('PDB'):
                env.SideEffect(env['PDB'], target)
                env.Precious(env['PDB'])

        if not no_import_lib and \
           not env.FindIxes(target, "LIBPREFIX", "LIBSUFFIX"):
                # Append an import library to the list of targets.
                target.append(env.ReplaceIxes(dll,
                                                                          "SHLIBPREFIX", "SHLIBSUFFIX",
                                                                          "LIBPREFIX", "LIBSUFFIX"))
                # and .exp file is created if there are exports from a DLL
                target.append(env.ReplaceIxes(dll,
                                                                          "SHLIBPREFIX", "SHLIBSUFFIX",
                                                                          "WIN32EXPPREFIX", "WIN32EXPSUFFIX"))

        return (target, source)

def prog_emitter(target, source, env):
        #SCons.Tool.msvc.validate_vars(env)

        if env.get('PDB'):
                env.SideEffect(env['PDB'], target)
                env.Precious(env['PDB'])

        return (target,source)

def RegServerFunc(target, source, env):
        if env.get('register'):
                ret = regServerAction([target[0]], [source[0]], env)
                if ret:
                        raise SCons.Errors.UserError, "Unable to register %s" % target[0]
                else:
                        print "Registered %s sucessfully" % target[0]
                return ret
        return 0

regServerAction = SCons.Action.Action("$REGSVRCOM")
regServerCheck = SCons.Action.Action(RegServerFunc, None)
shlibLinkAction = SCons.Action.Action('${TEMPFILE("$SHLINK $SHLINKFLAGS $_SHLINK_TARGETS $( $_LIBDIRFLAGS $) $_LIBFLAGS $_PDB $_SHLINK_SOURCES")}')
compositeLinkAction = shlibLinkAction + regServerCheck

def generate(env):
        """Add Builders and construction variables for MSVC++ to an Environment."""
        static_obj, shared_obj = SCons.Tool.createObjBuilders(env)

        for suffix in CSuffixes:
                static_obj.add_action(suffix, SCons.Defaults.CAction)
                shared_obj.add_action(suffix, SCons.Defaults.ShCAction)

        for suffix in CXXSuffixes:
                static_obj.add_action(suffix, SCons.Defaults.CXXAction)
                shared_obj.add_action(suffix, SCons.Defaults.ShCXXAction)

        SCons.Tool.createStaticLibBuilder(env)
        SCons.Tool.createSharedLibBuilder(env)
        SCons.Tool.createProgBuilder(env)

        env['CCPDBFLAGS'] = SCons.Util.CLVar(['${(PDB and "/Zi /Fd%s"%File(PDB)) or ""}'])
        env['CCPCHFLAGS'] = SCons.Util.CLVar(['${(PCH and "/Yu%s /Fp%s"%(PCHSTOP or "",File(PCH))) or ""}'])
        env['CCCOMFLAGS'] = '$CPPFLAGS $_CPPDEFFLAGS $_CPPINCFLAGS /c $SOURCES /Fo$TARGET $CCPCHFLAGS $CCPDBFLAGS'
        env['CC']                 = 'cl'
        env['CCFLAGS']    = SCons.Util.CLVar('/nologo')
        env['CCCOM']      = '$CC $CCFLAGS $CCCOMFLAGS'
        env['SHCC']               = '$CC'
        env['SHCCFLAGS']  = SCons.Util.CLVar('$CCFLAGS')
        env['SHCCCOM']    = '$SHCC $SHCCFLAGS $CCCOMFLAGS'
        env['CXX']                = '$CC'
        env['CXXFLAGS']   = SCons.Util.CLVar('$CCFLAGS $( /TP $)')
        env['CXXCOM']     = '$CXX $CXXFLAGS $CCCOMFLAGS'
        env['SHCXX']      = '$CXX'
        env['SHCXXFLAGS'] = SCons.Util.CLVar('$CXXFLAGS')
        env['SHCXXCOM']   = '$SHCXX $SHCXXFLAGS $CCCOMFLAGS'
        env['CPPDEFPREFIX']  = '/D'
        env['CPPDEFSUFFIX']  = ''
        env['INCPREFIX']  = '/I'
        env['INCSUFFIX']  = ''
        env['OBJEMITTER'] = static_object_emitter
        env['SHOBJEMITTER'] = shared_object_emitter
        env['STATIC_AND_SHARED_OBJECTS_ARE_THE_SAME'] = 1

        env['RC'] = 'rc'
        env['RCFLAGS'] = SCons.Util.CLVar('')
        env['RCCOM'] = '$RC $_CPPDEFFLAGS $_CPPINCFLAGS $RCFLAGS /fo$TARGET $SOURCES'
        CScan = env.get_scanner('.c')
        if CScan:
                CScan.add_skey('.rc')
        env['BUILDERS']['RES'] = res_builder

        include_path, lib_path, exe_path, sdk_path = get_msvctoolkit_paths()
        env.PrependENVPath('INCLUDE', include_path)
        env.PrependENVPath('LIB', lib_path)
        env.PrependENVPath('PATH', exe_path)

        env['ENV']['CPU'] = 'i386'
        env['ENV']['MSSDK'] = sdk_path
        env['ENV']['BkOffice'] = sdk_path
        env['ENV']['Basemake'] = sdk_path + "\\Include\\BKOffice.Mak"
        env['ENV']['INETSDK'] = sdk_path
        env['ENV']['MSSDK'] = sdk_path
        env['ENV']['MSTOOLS'] = sdk_path
        env['ENV']['TARGETOS'] = 'WINNT'
        env['ENV']['APPVER'] = '5.0'

        env['CFILESUFFIX'] = '.c'
        env['CXXFILESUFFIX'] = '.cc'

        env['PCHCOM'] = '$CXX $CXXFLAGS $CPPFLAGS $_CPPDEFFLAGS $_CPPINCFLAGS /c $SOURCES /Fo${TARGETS[1]} /Yc$PCHSTOP /Fp${TARGETS[0]} $CCPDBFLAGS'
        env['BUILDERS']['PCH'] = pch_builder

        env['AR']          = '"' +sdk_path + '\\bin\\Win64\\lib.exe"'
        env['ARFLAGS']     = SCons.Util.CLVar('/nologo')
        env['ARCOM']       = "${TEMPFILE('$AR $ARFLAGS /OUT:$TARGET $SOURCES')}"

        env['SHLINK']      = '$LINK'
        env['SHLINKFLAGS'] = SCons.Util.CLVar('$LINKFLAGS /dll')
        env['_SHLINK_TARGETS'] = win32ShlinkTargets
        env['_SHLINK_SOURCES'] = win32ShlinkSources
        env['SHLINKCOM']   =  compositeLinkAction
        env['SHLIBEMITTER']= win32LibEmitter
        env['LINK'] =  '"' +sdk_path + '\\bin\\Win64\\' + 'link.exe"'
        env['LINKFLAGS']   = SCons.Util.CLVar('/nologo')
        env['_PDB'] = pdbGenerator
        env['LINKCOM'] = '${TEMPFILE("$LINK $LINKFLAGS /OUT:$TARGET $( $_LIBDIRFLAGS $) $_LIBFLAGS $_PDB $SOURCES")}'
        env['PROGEMITTER'] = prog_emitter
        env['LIBDIRPREFIX']='/LIBPATH:'
        env['LIBDIRSUFFIX']=''
        env['LIBLINKPREFIX']=''
        env['LIBLINKSUFFIX']='$LIBSUFFIX'

        env['WIN32DEFPREFIX']        = ''
        env['WIN32DEFSUFFIX']        = '.def'
        env['WIN32_INSERT_DEF']      = 0

        env['WIN32EXPPREFIX']        = ''
        env['WIN32EXPSUFFIX']        = '.exp'

        env['REGSVRACTION'] = regServerCheck
        env['REGSVR'] = os.path.join(SCons.Platform.win32.get_system_root(),'System32','regsvr32')
        env['REGSVRFLAGS'] = '/s '
        env['REGSVRCOM'] = '$REGSVR $REGSVRFLAGS $TARGET'


def exists(env):
        return env.Detect('cl')

If you're trying to use SharedLibrary but get this error:

scons: *** 'ascii' codec can't decode byte 0x83 in position 9: ordinal not in range(128)

wrap the value assigned to PlatformSDKDir on line 77 with str().

I have submitted bug report #1157430 about this.

Updated