Really? We’re still worried about path variables, and that they have a maximum length?

Really? We’re still worried about path variables, and that they have a maximum length?

I mean, come on already.  I have 8 gigabytes of memory in my machine; and 3 terabytes of storage.  Yet, I just spent 30 minutes getting hosed by an (admittedly poorly written/buggy) installer because I’d exceeded my DOS path length in Windows 7.  Yes, here’s the official solution to an error if you install the Intel Compiler and get this message:

Unable to install the integration into Visual Studio. Failure in “<blahblah>integrate.bat” “<blahblah>Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0Common 7Tools”

If you see it, do this:

Because some others seen the same problem, I’m posting the solution and the rootcause here.

The rootcause: our installation adds the “bin” directories to the “path” environment variable. so after installed many compiler updates, the “path” exceeded the max and the “C:Windowssystem32;C:Windows;” dirs got pushed out; and potentially off the end of the path.

The solution:
1. uninstall the last compiler update that has reported the error
2. clean-up the “path” to remove all the bin directories added by Intel Compiler installation.
As for how to clean up, goto the property dialog of “my computer”.
make sure the system directories are there.
3. install the compiler update again: it will add the bin dir again. this is so you can run your program without adding the bin dir.

The installation of newer compiler does check the length of “path” if I remember correctly. But I need to verify this.

But I mean – why am I still losing productivity with this kind of bug?  Haven’t we the technology to make a path variable as long as we want now?  Ring, ring!  Hello?  1984 called and wants its operating system back.

One thought on “Really? We’re still worried about path variables, and that they have a maximum length?

  1. Yes – I know that if we just made the path longer, all kinds of legacy code would get broken. Consider how many times someone hard-coded the path length into their code; and strcpy-ing or suchlike would result in buffer overruns or missing the last parts of the new, longer paths/etc.

    But it still doesn’t invalidate the fact that we still have puzzling limitations under the covers like this that do nothing but irritate and confuse people – even people that do this for a living. 🙂

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