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Gormanilius

Hello. Help someone new with this please?

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I have looked through many of the things this site offers. I went through the programming languages and I have chosen C++ to start off. But When I look through the books, I get frustrated which one would be the best investment for the absolute beginner. Not to mention my tight budget as I am still a teen. It would need to capture my attention and not be deathly boring. It is also hard to find one that is up to date. Any suggestions please?

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You may wish to choose Python as a learning language, you'll see more pay-off for less effort when you first get started.

If you're still interested in learning C++, try these:

http://www.cplusplus.com/doc/tutorial/
http://newdata.box.sk/bx/c/
http://www.cprogramming.com/begin.html

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Quote:
It would need to capture my attention and not be deathly boring


You chose wrong language.

In C++, getting results takes 5-10 times longer than in some other languages. C++ is standardized, but standard complience varies greatly, it's de-facto most messy popular language, and deals with an incredible number of incredibly boring details (for a beginner).

Using C#, Python or Java (the usual suspects here) you will get results in about no time, and rarely shoot yourself in the foot.

With C++, you'll spend a lot of time just setting up the project, then wondering why things break in most mysterious ways.

The reason I'm pointing this out, is because you admitted that you want results quick - knowing that from the start is a good thing. So go with any of the other choices, which will offer you more feedback, and will keep you interested.

C++ is a nightmare, and requires a lot of dedication, devotion, patience and endless hours of debugging and solving obscure problems, not to mention that there are so many different standard compliance issues and other historical problems.

If you get easily frustrated, C++ is wrong choice.

Quote:
It is also hard to find one that is up to date


Welcome to C++. Be prepared to read the compiler's standard library source code and patch notes to know what is up to date and what isn't.

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I agree with the above posters.

But to answer your specific question, the books "Thinking in C++" and "C++: A Dialog" are good choices, if you insist on continuing with C++. They're decent, and they're freely available online (use Google).

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I didn't know C++ was so unpopular. Truth be told I had not heard of C# at all before. Python I have heard of but not much, and Java I have heard of all over the net. So I guess to update the question, which one is best, and is their a good book or tutorial you would reccomend?

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There is no "best," unfortunately. There are just languages that are good beginner choices and languages that are less than good. C++ is one of the less than good options, Python, C# are some of the good ones. If I had to be forced to pick one over the others, I think I might give the edge to Python in this case. It's standard toolchain is slightly smaller and slightly simpler, and there's plenty of good, accurate introductory material on the Python website (here) under the Documentation links.

But really, it mostly matters that you just pick one and start learning.

Quote:

I didn't know C++ was so unpopular.

It's actually quite popular, and has it's uses. But it's probably among the worst options for beginners to try and pick as a first language, for various reasons.

Interestly enough, if you stick around long enough you'll notice a curious correlation between the foaming-at-the-mouth defenders of C++'s viability as a "good first language," and relative lack of technical prowess. Or at least lack of user rating (and thus, respect).

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Original post by Gormanilius
I didn't know C++ was so unpopular.


C++ isn't even remotely unpopular.

But it's the formula 1 of languages. Sure, it's an insanely powerful car. But you need incredible effort to get there.

Meanwhile, your 10 year old family car will get you to the local store every day. But you'll never race with it in professional tracks.

C++ is also not optimal choice for beginner since it almost mandates familiarity with underlying hardware architectures. It's bare bones, and won't even blink when you do something that shouldn't be done, but still can be.

I'd say Python would make good choice. You don't hear much about it, because it's so transparent. It's not something people talk about, they just go and do it. You hear a lot about C++ because of the problems.

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Is there anyone who would like to say something about java?
Java is similar to C# in many respects. Its rigidly OO syntax can be off-putting, and much Java material is geared towards OO design. Like other high-level languages, it drastically simplifies lifetime and memory management compared to C++.

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I learned C++ as my first (and to date, only) programming language ... i am by no means a computer genius (My only formal training is in 3D Studio Max) but i managed to pick up the C++ syntax and the basic principles of Object Oriented Programming within a few weeks.

Looking back, yeah i could have cut some time off that by learning something else .. but i chose C++ for the speed .. and with libs such as SDL out there you dont really have to get your hands dirty with hardware interface programming

The Only C++ book i broughtwas "Sams Teach yourself C++ in 24 hours" (IBSN 0-672-32681-7) this did me ok for teaching me how to use pointers, arrays, references, and most importantly .. object inheritance. With that under your belt you can probably get a dedicated book on game programming to fill you in on the OpenGL graphics api and the other more specialist bits of a game. To fill that spot ... for that i chose "Game Programming in C++: Start to Finish" by Erik Yuzwa (IBSN 1-58450-432-3) ... which is a bit of a rough ride, but teaches some really solid programming methods.

lol, maybe im a sucker for pain ... but i just thought id share my experiances with you to say its not impossible to learn C++ as your first programming language and get results.

GoodLuck wv whatever you choose

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