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roark04

Another beginner question - don't not read this one

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OK... I''m new to programming but I want to learn c++ and I''m planning on writing a MMORPG sometime this year... Haha just kidding. OK really - I have very little experience in programming (I can do a little with gwbasic, qbasic, trs-80 basic...) and have decided to start learning c++. My main question is this - what book should I start out with that can teach me from the ground up? Before you start flaming me - I''ve been to the "for beginners" section of this website and I''ve kinda found it out of date and inadequate. It recommends a book (the C++ primer i think it is) for beginners - but when I went to amazon and read the readers reviews on the book, it looked like everyone pretty much agreed that it wasn''t any type of book for someone starting from scratch. The beginners were complaining they couldn''t understand anything, and the experts were saying it was a great book - but not really for beginners. I can afford to spend money on books - but I don''t want to waste money and time on something that''s just going to turn me off to programming because it doesn''t present things in a clear and logical fashion. I consider myself a smart guy, but if a book starts assuming I know things that I don''t know... Another concern I have is that most of the books I see available were published 4 to 6 years ago. It seems to me that a lot of what they teach would be out of date. Is that a valid concern? Also, are most of the books that teach C++ compiler specific? Platform specific? Am I going to get confused if I try to use Devc++ with mingw and the book is trying to teach visual c++? Or does it even really matter for a beginner because everything at my level will all be the same? Also will it be harder for me learn with something like devc++ because from what I''ve read the ide doesn''t "help" you quite as much? Ok I know that''s a lot of questions but I''d really appreciate it if I could get all you guy''s inputs. I kinda think some of the answers you could give would help out other people just starting out. Also if you could, I would appreciate a list of a progression of books that I could work my way through (as opposed to just one starting book). Thanks matt

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I recomend this site for a begginer http://www.cplusplus.com/doc/tutorial/
and also
http://www.gametutorials.com/
as for books just try an stay away from any books saying they can teach you c++ in 21 days.

[edited by - krypto night on April 4, 2004 10:05:40 AM]

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Don''t worry too much about it. It all comes down to your level of dedication, not the choice of books. It doesn''t really matter which one you buy, as long as you avoid the downright sucky ones (*coughSchildtcough*). Personally, I really liked Bruce Eckel''s "Thinking in C++". Haven''t read "C++ Primer", but I''m sure it does an adequate job.

quote:
Original post by roark04
Another concern I have is that most of the books I see available were published 4 to 6 years ago. It seems to me that a lot of what they teach would be out of date. Is that a valid concern?

I wouldn''t worry about that either, unless it''s a book about DirectX or something else that''s updated frequently. C++ hasn''t changed in a radical way lately.

quote:
Original post by roark04
Also, are most of the books that teach C++ compiler specific? Platform specific? Am I going to get confused if I try to use Devc++ with mingw and the book is trying to teach visual c++?

IMHO, get a book on standard C++. That''s the tricky bit to learn. About learning the IDE... well, if the IDE documentation isn''t enough, just post your questions on GDNet:-)

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quote:
Original post by LNK2001
Don''t worry too much about it. It all comes down to your level of dedication, not the choice of books. It doesn''t really matter which one you buy, as long as you avoid the downright sucky ones (*coughSchildtcough*). Personally, I really liked Bruce Eckel''s "Thinking in C++". Haven''t read "C++ Primer", but I''m sure it does an adequate job.



I disagree. The choice of book can really affect how well you learn the language. Some books will do a particularly good job covering some areas, but a terrible job covering others or be outstanding in all areas or just plain suck.

So... I recommend C++: How to Program by Deitel and Deitel. Their books always do a very thorough job covering all areas and are easy to understand. Not only do their books function well as teaching tools they also make excellent references. They also give an absurd amount of practice problems because they are written to be textbooks.

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<< Another concern I have is that most of the books I see available were published 4 to 6 years ago. It seems to me that a lot of what they teach would be out of date. Is that a valid concern? >>

My opinion, No. If you are just trying to learn how to do graphics, any book covering Win GDI or DirectDraw will do fine. So even LaMothe''s Tricks (first edition which I have, 1999) is fine. I use tutorials from GameDev dated 5 years ago or more that teach me basic DirectDraw 1.0 which is what I''m using for a side-scroller.

DirectDraw Programming Tutorial

Still works just fine because of backward compatibility. Eventually I''ll learn the latest (DX 9, 10, 11 whatever it is, OpenGL 2, 3, 4) but there''s no rush. You''re not gonna make a MMORPG or a MMMMMORPG any time soon. Get the basics down, then learn the latest technology. That''s my strategy and I''m sticking to it. You can safely skip DOS and the Apple II though.

Phil P

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I agree with these guys that there are some dogs out there (I hate Dietel and Dietel) but its a matter of choice too. Try checking your library too. I don''t know how many c++ books I''ve read but ''thinking in c++'' by Eckel is very very good (just google for it) His ''thinking in patterns'' is good too.

Beware of books that teach a specific ide. Like ''vis c++ in 21 days''. Its crap.

The best advice I can give is to use a lib like SDL or allegro while you learn. There is nothing like moving sprites around to help learn a language - thats the fun stuff.

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quote:
Original post by jperalta
quote:
Original post by LNK2001
Don''t worry too much about it. It all comes down to your level of dedication, not the choice of books. It doesn''t really matter which one you buy, as long as you avoid the downright sucky ones (*coughSchildtcough*). Personally, I really liked Bruce Eckel''s "Thinking in C++". Haven''t read "C++ Primer", but I''m sure it does an adequate job.



I disagree. The choice of book can really affect how well you learn the language. Some books will do a particularly good job covering some areas, but a terrible job covering others or be outstanding in all areas or just plain suck.

So... I recommend C++: How to Program by Deitel and Deitel. Their books always do a very thorough job covering all areas and are easy to understand. Not only do their books function well as teaching tools they also make excellent references. They also give an absurd amount of practice problems because they are written to be textbooks.


C++: How to Program by deitel is a very good c++ book to learn from ground up. Good examples, covers different libraries, etc. Stay away from the 21 days books.

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some advice is to go to your local book seller and browse through varioius books. This is more important with DirectX (I have over 6 books) because some books are stronger in some areas and weak in others.

As a side note, learn pointers and memory management. they are the most important thing to game programming as the compiler.

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I am learning with C++ Primer Plus Second Edition by Stephen Prata. I know there is a newer version out now but it is a good book and takes into account that you may know nothing about Programming howerver, some programming experience will make concepts easier. Also the C++ Primer Plus books follow the most current ANSI C++ Standard that existed when the book was written.

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Im currently reading Wiley''s Teach yourself C++ 7th addition. It is fairly easy to understand so far and it comes with a compiler. However the compiler lacks a fw functions like Wchar_t wc; (makes your characters wider) but there are ones on the internet you can download. (www.bloodshed.net has some nice free compilers)

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The ''in 21 days'' books aren''t so bad. I learned C in 21 days, then read Thinking in C++. Clear as crystal, and I''m 14

The true general first seeks victory, then seeks battle
- Sun Tzu

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i learnt my c++ from tutorials off the net like others have said, just search for ''C++ tutorials'' or something on those lines and u''ll be bound to find something thats good to learn the basics or even (like my luck) an entire web book about 200 pages on MS Word !!
just search the web...

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'Sams teach yourself C++ in 21 Days', i know everyone always says to stay away from the "teach yourself xxx in 21 days/hours/minutes", thats mostly true but this book is pretty straightforward and he does a good job of explaining everything. just dont get any book saying it can teach you C/C++ in 10 minutes or a day because that would take a miracle.

also this book comes with MSVC++ 6.0 Introductory so you dont have to search around on the web for a crappy free compiler, the only problem with this is that you cant send your programs to anyone with this edition (the programs only work on your computer) which is rather gay but its better than nothin i guess.

~aussie

[edited by - James Sioutis on April 13, 2004 3:14:54 AM]

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I''m reading thinking in c++ right now (bought it off amazon) and I think its great - so thanks to you guys who recommended to me. The cd that comes with it is nice too .. It''s a lot easier to learn like that (with reading and audio explanation). Oh yeah and dev C++ works great too except it locks up every once in a while which is frustating - but i guess thats what you get with beta.

matt

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