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Ok All, I'm new to this forum, but not new to this site; I've frequented here before but it's proabably been 3 to 4 years ago. Ok, I want to know "where to begin." First, I'll tell you a little bit about myslef and what I want to do. I'm an electrical engineer who's been professionaly unemployed now for a about 4 years (got really burned out). I've always enjoyed programming even in the days of my Commodore 64. What? Yes, my Commodore 64. I learned basic inside and out on it and probably sideways and even learned machine language - which I really liked. As time went on I learned C while taking a course at a community college on my own - I did a lot of study on it outside of class. The following year, I took another couple of courses that reintroduced me to C and then followed up with C++. This was around 1995 still in the early days of Windows 95. As time went on, I never did develop any apps beyond the programs I did for those courses in DOS. Then came my job around 1997, 1998 where I did some Windows apps in the console window - not very exciting. We had regular Windows app code developed then in C, which I could make minor changes to but didn't have a clue where to learn how to devlope full-fledged Windows apps in C at that time. Well, after I had become layed off, and I took a slight interest in developing Windows apps, I came accross Joseph Farrell's Game Genesis tutorial and they were very excellent. Is he still around? Did he write a book? Well, he certainly should have if not. Being disappointed that the tutorial ended, I researched and found a highly recommended resource, Programming Windows 5th Edition by Charles Petzold - also recommended here. However, my windows programming endevour ended..... So, what I want to do now is learn how to build Windows apps. Probably simple to medium type complexity applications. The specific application I have in mind is somthing that accesses the web, looks at information on a web-page, analyzes it, and then performs some type of action based on the data. I did download a free version of Visual Basic as I would like to learn it to develop applications quickly eventually, but I want to get into the nitty-gritty of things and actually learn and gain an appreciation of how everything works. And also I want to avoid the overhead of having to distribute anything along with my app. So....where do I start? I have Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 Standard Edition, Charles Petzold's Programming Windows Fifth Edition, and the free version of Visual Basic. Should I start out learning to develop applications in C and go from there? Notice I didn't mention C++. I know a lot of people like C++ from reading some of the stickys above, but wouldn't that involve learning and becoming familiar with a bunch of MFC stuff? - something I don't want to do. Ok, so if the choice is then C, should I buy some other books, like the other one mentioned for game programming - something something gurus - I can't remember the title now? Anyway, sorry for the long drawn-out story and thanks in advance for your reply! -Rick

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MFC isn't actually your only option, or even a really good option for developing windows apps now (there's a newer thing which totally slipped my mind, though I believe it's c++ only). It is, however, still employed in various apps in the buisness world and therefore if you plan on working on those apps, you might want to pick it up on the job, I wouldn't reccomend "learning" MFC or windows programming in general so much as starting a project involving windows programming and looking up the required functionality. Start simple of course, but doing is the best way to learn it.

Honestly though, I'd reccomend learning (reviewing?) C, then learning C++. Understand the fundimentals, refresh your memory and learn it well before you start mucking with things that thrust you into a unique environment based on standard syntax. I did actually start my own project as well using that newer thing whatever it's called and I managed to do everything I needed to relatively easily... I mean, I must have because that was less than a year ago and I don't even remember the name of the thing. It's just a set of functions and a few extra rules in how the code is structured, it's pretty easy as long as you have the foundation.

I don't do a lot of windows programming, the limited amount which I have done was editing an existing interface (though I did do quite a bit as far as that goes.) But that said, I did it on the job and picked it up rather quickly as I needed it, then prompty forgot about it as the way things go.

You'll find a very strong base in C++ is much more important than blind memorization of the thousands of functions and controls.

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Quote:
posted by M2tM
there's a newer thing which totally slipped my mind, though I believe it's c++ only


C#/C++.NET/VB.net or wxWidgets?
I think it's wx you are refering to but I think some .NET language is the best for quickly getting started with a gui, draw a button, double-click it and write the code, and if choosen given the OP's experience I think C# would be the best.

However the .NET language would need a user to install the .net runtimes and it is probably larger than what he wants so wx(or something similar that I don't know of) is probably what it's best.

Instead of writing a application to connect to the internet(might be troblesome-I don't know), a safer bet could be to write a plugin for a browser, like firefox, to access the net and do the thing.

hth

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Yup, that's what I was thinking of, thankee.

And indeed, C/C++ or C# are all possible to use to connect to the net... with external libs a lot of effort and a little luck. C# is probably a better option if you want to do windows programming specifically anyhow, and it is commonly used in the workforce nowadays anyway though if your plan is a job in programming C/C++ is still a sought-after combo, the C# can be the clincher though.

If you want to get running quickly C# is a good choice.

But if you actually want to get into web stuff (which I totally didn't respond to in my previous post) as some sort of project, I concur with Rick, there may be better ways to go about doing so.

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