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Pwn4G4mr

im out to learn C++

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chh ill go ahead and get this all out of the way, yes im a "newbie" at C++, actually i think calling myself a newbie at C++ is a disgrace to them because all i know is HTML that I taught myself for a profile setup (borders table music pictures flashy spinning words exc) but i realize html is useless if i ever want to do anything so im going to begin learning C++. Ive been reading forum posts by newbies and nonnewbies alike for the past 2 hours and ive been trying to read other forums and sites, before i decided to join and post because i know what its like to have someone not do that and just post whatever comes to mind(i post on philosophical boards this is a first on somthing to o with language) i understand people hate when someone comes along expecting everyone to do this for them and its a peice of cake i also understand that the holy grail of a goal of a mmorpg is not somthing i expect i can do anywhere in the next few years but i want to learn so i want to go from te ground up as most of you have suggested doing somthing such as pacman or tetris. my problem is this: i really need someone to "hold my hand" so to speak in the learning process, ive no idea what to do what tutorials are crap and whihc ones are really going to help me, what books i dont need till later on down the road and which ones are good starter books, and what programs that i must have to do this. free is great but i do know alot of this will cost me which is why i want help to get what will be worthwhile to get (not necessarily the cheapest). but i also dont want to waste my scarce amount of money. now i know everyone is into these forums because you can get multiple viewpoints but i would really appreciate someone who could use aim to talk to me. not so much as to guide me every single step but just as assurance that im going the right direction with this. my aim is vtgeez if someone does want to message me, which will be greatly appreciated and if i ever have the means to repay the benefit i will. but if noone wants to do that any posts that are truly helpful, not jsut posts that say go read somthing but a post that contains a link to what to read. you guys that im aiming this message at are the ones who know what they are doing so sites that you all tell me to go to will benefit much more than anything i scrounge up. ive taken the first step to post this and i know it might take many posts to get an answer which i believe to be the hardest part for me hopefully nobody feels the need to flame me to badly.

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As long as you're polite, newbie status is okay ;-) We get plenty of "d00d, build my 1337 MMORPG idea for me", i'm sure you know.

So anyway, here's whats-what:

- C++ is one of the hardest languages to grok. Don't be surprised if you still feel like a newbie 2 years from now. We're all constantly learning.

- I strongly suggest you either purchase or check out a physical book you can put in your hand. There are plenty of internet resources, but nothing beats a good ol' book. I'm in the middle of "Professional C++" which is surprisingly good. It's not for square-one beginners, but try to find it if you can. The book i learned C++ on was a bit old, so i'll let others suggest beginner books. You can probably find a million threads on the topic if you search though. Do NOT get "C++ For Dummies". C++ is not for dummies.

- Start a small-time project for yourself you can tinker on as you learn new concepts. You'll totally kludge the whole thing, but that's how you learn. Book excercises are nice, but it means more if you try to apply what you learn to your own project.

Most people will probably point you here for reading material, so i'll just go ahead and link you to it now:

Thinking In C++

As for hand holding, that's what this forum is for. Feel free to ask (intelligent) questions when you are stumped.

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Dont worry i have no doubts at how hard it will be to learn but ive got the time and tis somthing ive really got my mind set on.

do i need to know of any programs that i should get to be able to use the books?

such as am i going to buy a book and the first line is open the following program to get started. and if so are their any free online ones i can download until i have some money for better ones.

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Try getting bloodshed dev-c++

http://www.bloodshed.net/devcpp.html

It is probably easier to learn using this than to use visual c++ in visual studio, at least that is what I feel.

You can also download visual studio 2005 express edition, it is currently free for download.

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As far as programs go what you need is an IDE and a compiler. An IDE is basically a (very fancy) text editor designed for programming. A compiler is a program that changes your code into machine code. Well there's more to it of course, but that's the jist of it.

Here's a list of some free IDE's that come with compilers. Not that just because it's free doesn't mean it's crap. In the case of C++ almost everything is free except VC Profession, but you don't need that.

Dev-C++
Code::Blocks
Visual C++ Express

I can't really help in the book department, except that you shouldn't use anything that refers to Visual C++ 6 or earlier, as they aren't standards compliant.

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Well, to program C++ you need two things: a text editor and a compiler.

The text editor you should already have: Notepad and Wordpad both work fine. If you want something more advanced, there are plenty to choose from.

For compilers it usually comes down to Microsoft Visual C++ and GCC. GCC is the native linux compiler and is free. Being free, some very intelligent people have ported it to other platforms like Mac and Windows. However, not to be outdone, Microsoft just recently released it's "express" version of VC++ for free as well (with the thought that someday you will get hooked and want to buy their other products, i'm sure ;-)

Then there is an integrated development environment (IDE) that combines the text editor and compiler together in a dandy unified tool. VC++ is an IDE. GCC is not. Although you can get IDEs for GCC.

To get going, i would suggest downloading one of the following:

MS VC++ Express
Dev-C++

If you are really adventurous you can install linux and dink around on that (that's what i did). Most linux distros come standard with a compiler and C++ development software.

If you plan to use windows, VC++ looks like the more attractive option at this point, now that it's free.

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Check out: Starting Out With C++ by Tony Gaddis.

I've only been programming for 2yrs. Expeect to do a good amount of sales calculating programs or banking type stuff with this book. It doesn't actually just do stuff like that but the chapters are full of example and explaination. It was the first book I boaught when taking a intro to c++ class and it's up to date.
About 1200 pages of information and even quickly goes over advanced topics such as binary trees at the end. If too long it at least makes a great reference book.

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If you want to learn C++ you'll need an IDE and compiler. You can currently get Microsoft's Visual C++ 2005 Express for free, and it's an excellent compiler and development environment.

Beginning C++ Game Programming by Michael Dawson is an excellent book for getting started with C++ game development. Thinking In C++ by Bruce Eckel (recommended above) is also an excellent book on the language, but isn't quite as beginner focussed, and also isn't specific to game development. Being freely available in electronic form I'd still highly recommend checking it out though.

You can find some good online tutorials for learning C++ at www.cprogramming.com.

Apart from Beginning C++ Game Programming everything I linked in this post is (currently) freely available.

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