Digital Mars

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Digital Mars
IndustrySoftware industry

Digital Mars is a small American software company owned by Walter Bright and based in Vienna, Virginia. It makes C, C++, and D compilers, and associated utilities such as an integrated development environment (IDE) for Windows and DOS, which Digital Mars calls an integrated development and debugging environment (IDDE).[1]

The compilers can be downloaded, free of charge, from Digital Mars's web site.[2] Product names changed over time. The C compiler was first named Datalight C compiler, then Zorland C, then Zortech C, then Digital Mars C/C++ compiler. The C++ compiler was first named Zortech C++, then Symantec C++, then Digital Mars C++ (DMC++).

The company gained notice in the software development community for creating the D programming language. D resulted from Bright's frustration with the direction of the C++ language and from his experience implementing it.[citation needed] Digital Mars is also notable for having shipped the first commercial C++ compiler for Windows[3]

In 2002, Digital Mars released DMDScript, an ECMA-262-compliant JavaScript engine, written in D.[citation needed]


In 1988, Zortech was the first C++ compiler to ship for Windows. PC Magazine ran a graphics benchmark, and reported that most executables produced by Zortech ran faster than executables produced by Microsoft C 5.1 and by Watcom C 6.5.[3] Stanley B. Lippman wrote that Zortech was the first C++ compiler to implement return value optimization. Later, the C++ standard required this.[4]

In 2023, Mike Engelhardt released a new simulator QSPICE, which uses this compiler on the backend to allow for C++ and Verilog authored behavioral simulation models to be compiled to native code and loaded by the simulation environment.[5][6]


  1. ^ "Digital Mars Features".
  2. ^ "Digital Mars License Agreement".
  3. ^ a b Randy Davis, Stephen (October 31, 1988). "Zortech Ships First C++ Compiler". PC Magazine. New York: Ziff Davis. p. 38. Retrieved March 7, 2018. The first true C++ compiler for the PC
  4. ^ Stanley B. Lippman (1997). C++ Gems: Programming Pearls from The C++ Report (SIGS Reference Library). ISBN 0-13-570581-9. It was first implemented by Walter Bright in a version of his Zortech C++ compiler
  5. ^ "Using C++ and Verilog in QSPICE". Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  6. ^ "QSPICE Revolutionizes Power, Analog Device Circuit Simulation". Retrieved July 26, 2023.

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