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kjb281

C++ vs. Visual C++

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I've been looking around on google but I haven't been able to find the answer. What is the main difference between visual c++ and just c++? Also, which is the better compiler Bloodshed or Visual Studio 2008? Which would suit my needs better? (I just started c++ programming)

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Visual C++ is an IDE. An IDE (Integrated Development Environment) usually consists of a editor (typically one that is aware of the syntax of the language and provides colour to the code), a C++ compiler and a debugger. It allows you to write your application code, set the libraries that it will use, compile it and test/run it.

C++ is just a programming language. You need an editor to write the code (you could use notepad if you enjoy pain) and a compiler to turn the source into a runnable executable (there are a number of common compilers including the aforementioned Microsoft one and the Gnu C++ compiler).

Bloodshed's Dev-C++ is an IDE. It is rather lightweight and quite easy to use, but is ageing hard (t hasn't been updated in years) and when more advanced features are needed (like a capable debugger) it is simply not in the same league as Visual Studio.

My advice would be to use the free edition of Visual C++.

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Asside from the IDE vs Language debate, please, Please, PLEASE don't use Bloodshed DevC++. It's ass old at this point, I think the last update was several years ago. If you want a more minimalist IDE similar to DevC++, get Code::Blocks instead. It's actively maintained and supports GNU, Microsoft, and Borland C++ compilers.

That said, I heartily recommend Microsoft's free Visual C++ express 2008, since it puts all other C++ IDEs to shame, save for (arguably) a few expensive commercial IDEs.

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C++ is the name of the language, while Visual C++ is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE for short) with facilities to enhance a programmer's creativity and productivity. An IDE is a comprehensive development suit that consists of a source code editor, a compiler, a build automation system, a debugger, a version control system and tools that are specifically designed for Rapid Application Development (RAD). Some IDEs might miss some of these features, while some others might have some extra features not mentioned above, so this list is by no means comprehensive. All of these features are usually presented to the end user via Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) to ease their job.

It's very important to be able to differentiate between the two. Actually, all you need to program is just a language that you are fluent in and a specific compiler designed for that language. All other stuff are just optional, fancy (and at times very crucial mind you) features to enhance your productivity.

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I used Bloodshed's Dev-C++ for a bit and then switched to MS Visual C++ and C# 2008 express. The C++ book I was using came with Dev-C++ on the book's bundled CD. What I didn't understand is while the book had a recent update it was using an antiquated IDE...

Like everyone said, Dev-C++ hasn't been updated in a while, however there are some recent 3rd party plug-in's. BEWARE: downloading and installing those could be risky since there's no certification process.

Overall the learning experience is much improved with MS Visual.

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I wanted just to add that sometimes you could see 'Visual C++' used to specify the Microsoft c++ implementation, wich consists in a more or less c++ compliant language with a few extensions. Just to say that you actually see 'Visual C++' used to talk about the language.

In addition if you want to use c++ without using the MSCV++ IDE, then you could give a look to Netbeans: the last version also supports c++. With Java is a powerful IDE, with c++ I never tried.

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