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Cybergrape

Really nerdy C++ question

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Just getting started and have a "dumb" question. The local library had C++ Turbo lite but is it sufficiently similar to C++ to invest time in? Should I learn from the full-blown version straight off? Speaking of full-blown versions there appears to be several out there as well. Which edition of C++ is the most capable/flexible for game programming? I appreciate your input on this, I'ld hate to put a lot of time in going down the wrong road.

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Wow, that might be OK-ish to start off witt, but Turbo C++ is *very* old. You can download the Express edition of Microsoft's latest version of Visual C++ for free.

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OK. Now I'm really fuzzy headed. I thought Borland was the only folks with the C++ license. Isn't the microsoft version just for business development of windows applications?? About compilers; there used to be a reverse function where you could translate the assembly language back into source code, is that still so? In C++ can you run a debug routine without compiling it first? Can you encrypt your final compiled version? Thanks for taking the time!

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Original post by Cybergrape
OK. Now I'm really fuzzy headed. I thought Borland was the only folks with the C++ license.

No, Microsoft make compilers, GNU make compilers, Intel make compilers, Metrowerks make compilers, Digital Mars make compilers. Visual C++ Express is probably your best option.

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Isn't the microsoft version just for business development of windows applications??

You can develop any C++ application with MS Visual Studio (provided you have the required libraries).

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Original post by Cybergrape
OK. Now I'm really fuzzy headed. I thought Borland was the only folks with the C++ license. Isn't the microsoft version just for business development of windows applications?? About compilers; there used to be a reverse function where you could translate the assembly language back into source code, is that still so? In C++ can you run a debug routine without compiling it first? Can you encrypt your final compiled version? Thanks for taking the time!


Its design for windows in mind which mean optimin programs are created but I believe all principle are the same when coding but the api for other systems should be changed

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I'm assuming everyones C++ is fairly standard? Why all the different compilers though? Does one have any particular advantages over the others?

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Original post by Cybergrape
C++ is fairly standard?


Yes, there's a standards board, but turbo C++ is probably so old that the "latest" C++ revisions haven't been incorporated into it completely.

Though no compiler is 100% standards compliant yet.

Different compilers are generally for different prices. It's only recently that microsoft's compiler has been affordable [with the express edition]. Other compilers like gcc's are open source and available on other platforms. MSVC is probably the second fastest compiler around, second to the intel optimising compiler. I'd use VC++ Express because it's the cleanest and easiest to use IDE in my opinion, and it makes good code.

Sorry for being brief.

--CJM

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Original post by Cybergrape
I'm assuming everyones C++ is fairly standard? Why all the different compilers though? Does one have any particular advantages over the others?


C++ is the language set out by document referred to as the 'C++ standard', which is more formally known as the ISO/IEC 14882:2003 C++ Programming Language. You can purchase a pdf version of the C++ standard from here for $18. It is a terrible resource for learning the language as a beginner though, as it reads more like a cryptic document of language law than a tutorial.


There are a wide variety of compilers available, all with varying prices and all with varying support for the features set out in the afore mentioned C++ standard. There isn't a compiler which implements all of the aspects of the C++ standard, as far as I know, but many come close (within 99%). The compilers also differ in the optimizations they perform on the source code, which can speed up your application.

Some popular compilers include:

GCC - a free Command line compiler.
MinGW - Minimalist GNU for Windows - which is free Command line compiler
Comeau - which is a $20 Command line compiler.
Visual C++ toolkit 2003 - which is a free Command line compiler
Visual C++ 2005.Net Express - which is free, and comes equipped with an IDE.
Visual C++ Standard 2003.NET - Which is around £100, but comes with a decent IDE.

A Command line compiler is one where you must give textual commands to compile code, either by hand or via a script of some kind.

An IDE(integrated development environment) usually consists of a source code editor, something which you write your source code into, a compiler, and a debugger (for testing your code and fixing bugs). They help to simplify the development process by removing most of the need for communicating explicitly with the compiler via textual commands. Most IDEs come with, or can be configured to use, one of the above mentioned compilers and debuggers. Some of the more popular IDEs are:

Dev-C++ - Free IDE which comes with MinGW
Codeblocks - Free C/C++ IDE which supports GNU and the Visual C++ toolkit 2003
Visual C++ 2005.Net Express - which is a free IDE.
Visual C++ 2003.NET This is currently the industry standard in game development, but isn't cheap. The standard version costs around $100. The professional version cannot be bought without buying the whole of Visual Studio 2003.net, which is around $1000. The main difference between the standard and professional versions is the compiler. You can, however, get the professional optimizing compiler free in the Visual C++ toolkit 2003 (as mentioned in the compiler section). This compiler can be easily plugged into the standard IDE, effectively giving you the professional version of Visual C++ 2003.net for $100. Comes with Visual C++ compiler and debugger.

Other features of IDEs are syntax highlighting, making your code easier to read, autocomplete functionality, which helps speed up coding, easy source file navigation, making working on multiple source code files easier.

Hopefully that gives you an idea of the different C++ development environments that are available, and their features.

[Edited by - Mxz on January 21, 2006 5:21:15 AM]

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