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Good day all. I've been searching for days for some useful information, but all I've come across is fodder so far. I want to start programming, and I've been reading the where to start stuff, but I'm still torn about how to begin... Let me cover my intentions first, then my concerns I want to work on a very basic, I'm not going to say simple, text style RPG. after I have learned some of things I know I need to get down, if I still feel compelled to continue my endeavor, I'll see where things lead me. I'm currently running Windows Vista on a laptop, I know it's not a dream machine, but it serves me well. I know that I can write code in notepad, which is what I'd like to do initially. My reasoning for this is simply that I'd like to know how to actually write and debug code before I try to "simplify" my life with an IDE. I intend to start with C++, but here is where my dilemma arises. I'm poor plain and simple. I am trying first to find a relatively effective flowcharting program. After that I need to find a free compiler. I know that I could get all of this if I used Linux, but I'm kind of fond of Windows even though it's not open source. Hopefully I didn't cram to much into this post. Thank you in advance for any assistance any of you might provide. Dave

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Original post by Mike.Popoloski
If you are really determined to use C++, you can use the excellent Visual Studio for all of your development needs, completely free: link.

I would, however, recommend starting with an easier language first, such as C# or Python.


What he said. Also do not use a text editor to code. It won't teach you anything while making your life incredibly difficult.

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I appreciate the idea that Visual Studio Express provides the complete environment, and I will definitely utilize it if I can't find just a compiler for a plain text file. I have it installed, but it just seems a little overwhelming to me at this point, I'm trying to keep it simple still. Does that have some type of flowcharting built in?

I'm open to C# or Basic (VB) I have just read so much that makes me think C# and Visual Basic are geared strictly towards Microsoft Programming if that makes any sense.

Again thank you

Dave

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Original post by dpodschweit
I appreciate the idea that Visual Studio Express provides the complete environment, and I will definitely utilize it if I can't find just a compiler for a plain text file. I have it installed, but it just seems a little overwhelming to me at this point, I'm trying to keep it simple still. Does that have some type of flowcharting built in?


I can understand your situation here. I too found Visual Studio overwhelming when I first began learning to program. As you said, though, you have to start sometime. [smile]

But there's nothing wrong with starting with something simpler at first. A great language that is simple and tends to have simple development tools is Python. Recommendations for Python for game programming here have went down in number since the advent of XNA, but it is still an excellent language for beginners and professionals alike, and it shouldn't be as overwhelming as using Visual Studio for C#.

Python comes with a quick and easy interpreter. This is a text editor, but it compiles and executes your code live within the editor itself. For this reason, it actually is very useful as an advanced, fully programmable calculator. [smile]

When I played around with Python a few years ago, the documentation was excellent and easily readable. To learn Python as a first programming language, check out How to Think Like a Computer Scientist, a book online for free.

For game programming specifically there is the PyGame library, which you can think of as extending the core functionality of Python to include game-specific features.

Quote:
I'm open to C# or Basic (VB) I have just read so much that makes me think C# and Visual Basic are geared strictly towards Microsoft Programming if that makes any sense.


It's certainly true that at first glance C# appears to have a strong association with Microsoft and the Windows platform. Indeed, the strongest development tool for C# programming, Visual C#, is made by Microsoft and only available for Windows.

However, C# is not owned by Microsoft. Mono is a free, open-source cross-platform implementation of .NET that works on Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, Windows, and Unix. Further, MonoDevelop is a GNOME IDE for doing cross-platform development with .NET languages (primarily C#). I have not used it, though, so I cannot comment on its quality.

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