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Borland C++ builder 6 vs. Visual C++ 2005?

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I'm currently a college student, C++ beginner. In the class room we have Visual Studio 2005 (i'm not sure of the edition) and I find the IDE to be hard to use, it's not very user friendly (however, i've heard once you've mastered Visual Studio then you fall in love with it and all of it's features). The text book I had to buy for the class came with a Borland c++ builder personal v6.0 install disk. I've installed this on my lap top at home and I liked it more then visual studio 2005 right off the bat. I liked how easy it was to dual moniter with this IDE, and it just seemed more user friendly in general (to me anyway, tell me if you disagree). The only alternative I have to this program at home is the free edition of visual C++ 2005 (I have yet to try it out, however I imagine it's alot like Visual Studio). Do you think I'd have more of a competitive edge in the future if I'm experienced in using Visual Studio AND Borland (I know some companies are starting to switch to unix operating systems so if I happen to bump into one of those companies Borland would be nice experience to have right?)? Do you think If I use both at the same time i'm making it harder/more confusing for myself in which case I should just stick with one IDE(probably visual studio at school and visual C++ at home if that is the case)? Is there anyone out there that swears by Borland C++ builder? Anyone that thinks it's much better then Visual Studio (to all tose microsoft bashers, a non bias opinion is greatly appriciated)? If equal editions could be compared that would be great. ie. Borland C++ builder personal 6.0 = Visual Studio 2005 Standard edition Borland C++ Builder Professional = Visual Studio 2005 Proffesional edition. limmit cross comparrison as much as possible please (tell me if this is a retarded request) Comments/Opinions from people who are pros at using both would be fantastic. Comments/Opinions from everyone else is greatly appriciated.

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Don't worry to much about wich IDE do you use, an IDE is just a tool, the competitive edge that you'll eventually get won't be from the IDE that you use but from the C++ knowledge that you have. While programming you'll familiarize yourself with the concepts of it, and so you'll begin to understand all those options that VC++ 2005(wich by the way is a part of Visual Studio) has.

Since you're learning programming in college I advice you to follow the IDE they use because if you don't, you may get troubles keeping up the pace. Don't worry if VC++ 2005 seems too huge and confusing at the beginning, it's not all that complicated and you'll soon get over it.

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Original post by AndyOB
I'm currently a college student, C++ beginner. In the class room we have Visual Studio 2005 (i'm not sure of the edition) and I find the IDE to be hard to use, it's not very user friendly (however, i've heard once you've mastered Visual Studio then you fall in love with it and all of it's features). The text book I had to buy for the class came with a Borland c++ builder personal v6.0 install disk. I've installed this on my lap top at home and I liked it more then visual studio 2005 right off the bat. I liked how easy it was to dual moniter with this IDE, and it just seemed more user friendly in general (to me anyway, tell me if you disagree). The only alternative I have to this program at home is the free edition of visual C++ 2005 (I have yet to try it out, however I imagine it's alot like Visual Studio).


The MinGW port of GCC has a good C++ compiler, too. There are a couple of IDEs that are built around that tool chain (Code::Blocks and Dev-C++). I hear they're both quite nice. I only use the compiler.

Quote:
Do you think I'd have more of a competitive edge in the future if I'm experienced in using Visual Studio AND Borland (I know some companies are starting to switch to unix operating systems so if I happen to bump into one of those companies Borland would be nice experience to have right?)?


To be honest, I've only ever seen Visual Studio experience mentioned in a job advert. IMO, the skills are largely transferable from one platform to the next. I wouldn't have said borland knowledge provides any kind of advantage on unices. Most (?) people on such systems will use gcc, suncc or whatever compiler that comes with their system (which won't be borland).

Quote:
Do you think If I use both at the same time i'm making it harder/more confusing for myself in which case I should just stick with one IDE(probably visual studio at school and visual C++ at home if that is the case)?


That's possibly true. But there is also the option of not using an IDE at all. I'd recommend this approach to the newcomer (in particular) because an IDE often hides details of the separate compilation model, which is an important thing to understand.

Also, I've found that a lot of people I know that are found of IDEs tend to build up a dependence on the debugger. Integrated debuggers are nice and all, but if you leave it alone you end up thinking about your code more and writing it in a way that is more likely to be correct by design. I can honestly say I haven't used a debugger in my home-grown projects for a couple of years, now. Other peoples experiences will vary, though, I'm sure.

Quote:
Is there anyone out there that swears by Borland C++ builder? Anyone that thinks it's much better then Visual Studio (to all tose microsoft bashers, a non bias opinion is greatly appriciated)?


I'm not a fan of MS, but their 2005 compiler is very good. I don't use their IDE, though, for the (highly subjective) reasons I've already mentioned. Borland's compiler struggles with some of the heavier template code (which means a lot of the nicer stuff in boost is unusable). In general I try to get my code to compile with 4 or 5 different compilers, but I find that I often have to leave Borland (and DigitalMars) behind. That said, you probably won't hit these problems until you start writing complex code.

Quote:
If equal editions could be compared that would be great.
ie. Borland C++ builder personal 6.0 = Visual Studio 2005 Standard edition
Borland C++ Builder Professional = Visual Studio 2005 Proffesional edition.
limmit cross comparrison as much as possible please (tell me if this is a retarded request)

I get on just fine with the 2005 Express edition of Visual C++. I don't see any reason why someone at your level would need anything more. I would recommend starting out with this (free) version and upgrading only when you find it necessary, which won't be a for a while, yet, I suspect. Don't waste your money. By the time you get around to making use of the more advanced features, your version will be out of date!

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