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fabiobasile

traumatic experience with MSVC++

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Well, i am a newbie, total newbie. I have always been interested in programming, but i guess i am more of an artist and my work involves 3D animation and illustration. Still i have been always curious, though i never had the time to get seriously into it. Turns out now i do, so i decided to head into Barns&Nobles and browse for some books, armed with a list from GameDev.net and lots of naivety. I found this really great book, by the look of it it seems really complicated, but then when i started flipping through it it seems quite easy to understand even to a newbie like me! :) It's called "The Complete Reference - C++ Fourth Edition" by Herbert Schildt. I couldn't keep off it for a few days until i decided to hunt for a good compiler to try some of the examples and tutorials, which are conveniently downloadable from the Osborne website. I got myself a copy of the free Visual C++ Express because of how everyone was drumming and trumpetting about it (at least on the msdn forums), and the trouble began. I didn't realized it at first, but then the first issue started with VC++ complaining about not finding windows.h as i tried to compile tutorial and sample code. I thought as usual, maybe it's me... i'm a newbie after all and this sounds like the typical thing that happens to newbies. But then i started reading all this nasty messages on the msdn forums about people complainign about the missing windows.h header, so i said.. umm.. lots of newbies. Fortunately some guy who didn't sound like a newbie says: "hey that's easy! all you have to do is download this little thing here and this other little thing there and this other service pack and.. and .. and..." several gigabytes later with a hard drive almost full, i had the feeling someone was taking me for a ride. Either that or i really suck at this "programming thing". Then again... does it have to be this complicated?? It's like i want to learn how to drive and they give me a car with no steering wheel and gas pedal... but its ok... i just need to go to the dealer and grab myself a 300 pounds gas pedal and a 500 pounds steering wheel and i'll be fine... Ok maybe i'm dramatizing just a tad, but if anyone has some good advice for me i'll buy them a car. Of course i can't really include the wheels and the engine... but it's ok, right...? lol :D

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You really only needed to follow the steps here. That should have been enough, but there may have been updates you needed to have.

edit: alternatively, you could have gone with c# :)

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Visual C++ Express itself deliberately doesn't include windows.h and all other parts of the platform SDK, because many people who are using Visual C++ Express don't need it (they're making .NET applications instead of traditional Windows ones). You do indeed need the Windows Platform SDK in order to make native Win32 applications (like the tutorials and samples in your book).

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It might be true that there is no real pleasant introduction into the programming world, especially not if you choose a language like C++.
But in this case you simply landed on the wrong starting page, because this one would have probably saved you some time:
Visual Studio Express Download Instructions
Especially Step 3 should be interesting for you, since it explains how to setup your envirnoment to work on the Win32 API (or Windows API), which is exactly the thing you are trying to do.

Installing the Platform SDK is actually an easy task and one you should be comfortable with, since you will need to take similar procedures when working on any other libraries (DirectX, OpenGL, SDL, ect.).

This is needed because none of those functionalities are part of C++. C++ is just a certain syntax and a C++ compiler provides the Standard C++ Library which adds some streaming classes and the Standard Template Library.

The learning curve might be steep at the beginning, but it will get easier and it is highly rewarding.

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mmh... do you think it might be something about Windows Vista 64bit? I am sure i followed the steps correctly... at least three times now.

I hope this is not one of those typical Microsoft things in which i "just have to reinstall windows and then everything will be alright..."... :(

Here is what i did:

1. Installed MSVC++
2. Installed the service pack+Vista update
3. Installed the Dev Pack

didn't work the first, second and third time... :(

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Well now i am definitely sure something is bogus... Platform SDK is the one in big 'ole letters saying "Microsoft ® Windows Server® 2003 R2 Platform SDK Web Install",right...?

Because it's the same i keep on installing over and over after MSVC++ and all the updates... And after that, i see no more header files popping up in the whole hard drive than before, including windows.h :(

There should be a whole folder called something like "Microsoft SDK Dev" or something, chock full of header files to which i am supposed to link from MSVC++, right?

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I'm not sure if this is the problem, but I saw 64-bit vista and looked this up:
Quote:
1.3. Product Installation
1.3.1 Installation of Visual Studio 2005 on the Intel Itanium (IA64) is not supported.

Visual Studio 2005 does not support the Intel Itanium (IA64) processor.


Hopefully that isn't the problem, but if it is at least you know.

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It shouldn't be a problem, since i build all my machines around AMD processors...

I decided to take a bet and download the full installation of the Dev Pack, which is installing as we speak... if everything goes alright i should find a new folder containing all the new headers, right?

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ok i think i got it... or not.

Anyway i know why nothing works even after installing the dev pack... it took 20 minutes to install the damn thing and at the end i went to look the folder and guess what?

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 2003 .Net 2003\Common7\IDE

Yep. Nothing in it, just the folders. Empty like my pockets.

For some strange reason right after it installs the whole thing Windows Vista just wipes out everything again! ARGH!

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