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Visual Studio 6

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I'm currently checking into learning C++ at as long term hobby. I havn't done any programming for years...to be honest, since my Commodore 64. Prior to that was Basic/Extended Basic on a TI-99 4/a. I have an opportunity to pick up Visual Studio 6 for nothing. After doing some checking it seems it was released in 1998, a tad dated. My question is am I better off picking up a more current version or will this suffice for experimenting/learning with the latest 3d engines. I do like the visual environment. Thank you for any suggestions and please pardon my temporary ignorance.

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vc++ 6 is a bit old.
Get Visual C++ Express instead - it's free and does just about everything you'd ever need.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/visualc/

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Original post by rfterdarc
Get Visual C++ Express instead - it's free and does just about everything you'd ever need.

It doesn't make sandwiches.

Aside from that, another recommendation for Visual Studio 2005 (if only the Express edition). I actually prefer 2003 over 2005 for C++, because I hate the concept of manifests and SxS binaries, despite how "necessary" they may be in the modern world.

But 6 is a piece of trash, get something better ASAP.

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you can also try Turbo C++, form the company formally known as Borland, though from what i heard it is slightly crippled (you can still use it commercially, but i think making your own DLLs and using libraries is kaputza). registration kinda sucks too.

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Thank you for the responses. I've decided to pick up a copy of Visual Studio 2005. Now, there is a Standard version and a Pro version. The Pro costs approximately twice as much as the standard. In another post, I read an opinion that the Pro version isn't worth the extra money. I've checked the MS comparison chart ( http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/aa700921.aspx ) and again my ignorance weighs heavy. In a different thread is seems a lot of people use the Pro version as opposed to the Standard, there must be a reason. Any additional information would be greatly appreciated.

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Original post by Ainshent
Thank you for the responses. I've decided to pick up a copy of Visual Studio 2005. Now, there is a Standard version and a Pro version. The Pro costs approximately twice as much as the standard. In another post, I read an opinion that the Pro version isn't worth the extra money. I've checked the MS comparison chart ( http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/aa700921.aspx ) and again my ignorance weighs heavy. In a different thread is seems a lot of people use the Pro version as opposed to the Standard, there must be a reason. Any additional information would be greatly appreciated.


The differences between Standard and Pro seem mostly centered around server issues which I doubt you'll encounter as a beginner. And the difference between the express edition and the standard edition aren't that great wither.

Seriously, get the express edition of the language you're interested in. By the time you get to the point where you'll want to use the extra functionality there will be newer editions of Visual Studio out. In fact, there will probably be a new C++ standard specification by then as well. The express editions are free, what do you have to lose?

Lastly, why start with C++? My opinion would be to start with C# as you are miraculously given the chance to develop games with XNA that will be able to run on the X-Box 360. But you seem to have made up your mind so I won't push it.

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Original post by Ainshent
Thank you for the responses. I've decided to pick up a copy of Visual Studio 2005. Now, there is a Standard version and a Pro version. The Pro costs approximately twice as much as the standard. In another post, I read an opinion that the Pro version isn't worth the extra money. I've checked the MS comparison chart ( http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/aa700921.aspx ) and again my ignorance weighs heavy. In a different thread is seems a lot of people use the Pro version as opposed to the Standard, there must be a reason. Any additional information would be greatly appreciated.

Go with the free Express version.
Especially if you're just starting out, you won't need any of the other versions.

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If you're going to buy a copy, I'd throw in another vote for the Standard edition. I've been using it for awhile, and haven't found any "missing" features thus far.

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Original post by Mushu
If you're going to buy a copy, I'd throw in another vote for the Standard edition. I've been using it for awhile, and haven't found any "missing" features thus far.


there isnt anything missing in standard , it's just that's there nice additions in pro , if it's twice the money i'd say (but that's personal opinion) that standard has no use unless your budget is really tight , either go with the free express or with the pro if you need the extra (& if the comparison chart makes no sense to you , don't even bother , go with the free express , can always upgrade later)

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Original post by nobodynews

Lastly, why start with C++? My opinion would be to start with C# as you are miraculously given the chance to develop games with XNA that will be able to run on the X-Box 360. But you seem to have made up your mind so I won't push it.




C# is easier to do complex stuff in, but on the flip side of that C++ is easier for simple things. "Hello World" and other beginner subjects are easier to understand in C++. You're not forced to deal with OOP like you are in C#. I would highly recommend starting with C++ for your early text-based procedural stuff, then moving to an Object Oriented language once you have the basics down.

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Sigh.....perhaps I'm just making this more difficult than it really is. I should just do it. Regardless, the replies and additional information are greatly appreciated. Typically, for me at least, an informed decision turns out better.
The financial end of this isn't a biggie, I have no problem vesting some cheddar into my new......hobby at this point. A few months ago I picked up an EVGA 8800 GTS 640meg superclocked video card. Ultimately I hope to take advantage of DX10 and the obvious step up it gains from it's former. I do know that is a ways down the road.
"Nobodynews" threw an interesting one out there with C# and XNA in his post. Prior to that post I had never heard of XNA. As a result I began to do some reading on it. I found it to be very interesting indeed.
OK, interesting is an understatement. I was floored to be honest. Maybe just my ignorance shining through but XNA seems the next logical step in the world of gaming. Was pretty funny yesterday, I was researching XNA and my kiddo, a 12 year old, came in to look for some glitches or something for Gears of War on his 360. He sat down at his computer which is 6 feet away from mine and started surfing for known glitches. I was at youtube watching some things about XNA and he said "XNA?....I just downloaded that onto my 360." I said "What?" He said "Yeah, looks very cool, but it said I need something.....what exactly is it anyways?" So, long story short we sat and watched a slew of videos on XNA. He at the moment is very into the whole XNA thing, wants to learn/help. So I put 3DSmax and Photoshop on his computer for him to play with. He played with Max all day and came up with some pretty interesting messes....uh.....meshes.

Sorry, don't know how to make these a clicky.







Interesting stuff.....

From the Wiki on XNA....
A number of commercial software tools have cropped up for building XNA-based applications with little or no programming required. Most notable amongst these products are Visual3D.NET from Realmware Corporation, Torque X from GarageGames Inc., Blade3D from Digini Inc, and Suva3D from Suva Interactive.

Is the newness of XNA, 12/2006 I think, the reason I havn't heard much about it? My inclination now is C# simply because of XNA. What do others think about C# and XNA?

[Edited by - Ainshent on June 17, 2007 8:48:07 AM]

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I think xna is a very nice api, but overhyped. It has a few major benefits: a cleaner api than managed directx, simpler device management, and of course being able to run on the xbox 360. Obviously, those are all major benefits. But it does have downsides.

For example, it has the feel of a console api that's been ported to windows. So you have to use an awkward content pipeline, you need to use a single specific proprietary audio format, and you're limited to xbox gamepads. It also lacks the fixed function pipeline, so if you're going to do 3D stuff, you need to use shaders for everything (2D sprite rendering uses a built in shader under the hood). It's also not as feature complete as opengl or directx yet, though it's rapidly getting there.

Keep in mind that xna isn't the only graphics solution for c# (though from the way some people hype it, one would think so). You can use managed directx and opengl, and in my opinion these are very reasonable choices if the cons of xna are unacceptable to you.

Personally, since you have an xbox 360, I'd just go that route. And in fairness some of these issues can be circumvented. For example, you can use other gamepads with your game in windows if you use managed directinput, and you can support other audio formats in windows if you use managed directsound. Of course, then you're getting into the realm of "then what's the point of using xna?". This is why I only choose to use xna when I want to port to the 360. If I'm just writing for windows, I'll stick to managed directx. If I'm writing for windows, linux, and osx, I'll use opengl. Depends on your situation.

Quote:
Original post by chefgon_ign
C# is easier to do complex stuff in, but on the flip side of that C++ is easier for simple things. "Hello World" and other beginner subjects are easier to understand in C++. You're not forced to deal with OOP like you are in C#. I would highly recommend starting with C++ for your early text-based procedural stuff, then moving to an Object Oriented language once you have the basics down.


I have to strongly disagree. First, c++ IS an object orientated language, and any c++ hello world tutorial is going to be harder to understand than the c# equivalent. cout<<"Hello World"<<endl; versus Console.WriteLine("Hello World"); Never mind having to explain what headers are and why you have to include them, what libs are and why you have to link them, etc.

I also totally disagree that it's easier to do simple things in c++. Open up vs.net, and compare how long it takes to create, write, compile, and build a simple app in the two languages. To me the answer seems obvious.

I think you're actually referring to c, which is a very different animal. And I'd definately recommend c# before c. Rudimentary object orientated programming is very easy to learn, and you don't need to be an expert at OOP to use c#. Just learn the basics (ie, what a class is), and move on to more complicated concepts like inheritance later. Regardless, the fussiness of c and c++ make them very unforgiving languages for a beginner.

[Edited by - gharen2 on June 17, 2007 1:57:35 PM]

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