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jmics

Do you need Visual C++ to use Direct X?

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For completeness, DirectX is itself language agnostic. It is built on top of COM, which makes it somewhat available to any language that supports COM interfaces. C++ provides the best COM support, as Visual Basic has a number of limitations that require wrapper controls to be written in C++ to expose COM objects to VB from time to time. That said, DirectX can be used from C++, VB, Java, Python and a plethora of other languages.

Given the above, it thus becomes obvious that not only do you not need a specific compiler, such as Visual C++, to use DirectX, but you don't need any particular language. (Good luck using DirectX from, say, Ruby, though, as I doubt a COM interface library exists.)

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I used to use DirectX with Dev-C++, and it worked quite well, but sometimes I ran into problems that were very frustrating and hard to solve. I found that you can download the free Microsoft Visual C++ Toolkit, Microsoft Platform SDK, and Code::Blocks IDE. If you use the Visual C++ Toolkit's compiler, linker, etc... in Code::Blocks, you have a fairly similar interface to Dev-C++, and you are pretty much using the Visual C++ compiler. I still use this, and although I have run into a few problems, they are much easier to solve than the ones I had with Dev-C++.

Hope this helps.

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Just to add a couple of links [smile] ...

NeXe: DirectX Development Using DevCpp

Using code::blocks and the VC2003 toolkit
code::blocks and toolkit

You may also want to consider the upcoming Visual Studio 2005 Express editions - I think they're due out in little over a weeks time, and last I heard they were around £30/$50 - and should have all the necessary bits for DirectX development.

hth
Jack

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