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Twulz

Visual Studio the way to go??

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Twulz    100
I've been trying to learn on and off C++ for a few years (just in holidays, etc.) So I'll just say I'm an absolute beginner to make things simple :) Anyway my old computer decided to crack it and not work anymore (which had my copy of Visual Studio from my friend on it) and I was wondering for my new computer should I try getting my hands on another copy of visual studio or is there an equally good open source/free/downloadable program just for learning C++??

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Twulz    100
hmmm even the .NET version? I thought I was getting a good deal a few years ago...
Opps sorry guys, should have researched it myself better

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Fenrisulvur    186
Quote:
Original post by Twulz
Anyway my old computer decided to crack it and not work anymore (which had my copy of Visual Studio from my friend on it) and I was wondering for my new computer should I try getting my hands on another copy of visual studio or is there an equally good open source/free/downloadable program just for learning C++??

Visual Studio probably has the market cornered on Integrated Development Environments* for Win32 C++ and C++/CLI (more on this one below) work, but the 2005 Express Edition of Visual C++ struck me as grossly ill-equipped for Win32 C++ work, surprisingly, last time I used it. I don't know what their current (2008) Express Edition is like, but you might want to look into Microsoft's DreamSpark scheme and see if you're eligible for a free copy of the full Visual Studio 2008.

Of course there are other options - Code::Blocks and Dev-C++ are the ones I remember. Also, the Java IDEs, Netbeans and Eclipse, have both been talking up their C and C++ support - they might be your best shot if for some reason you want to steer clear of Microsoft but still want a high-end IDE, and they'll be there if you want take up Java (or any of the other languages they support) as well.


Anyway, you might even get away with not using an IDE at all - all you really need is a compiler and notepad (or rather, Notepad++ - you really, really should get this program, it is an absolutely brilliant text editor for practically anything programming-related) to write and build programs.
Bjarne Stroustrup (get used to this fellow, he's the one who dreamt up C++) provides a list of compilers on his website, as well as advice on choosing one, but don't expect him to tell you which one's better.

For the record, I started with the Digital Mars C++ compiler, and notepad. I've never bought the IDE, so I can't comment on it, but I really can't complain about the compiler. You'll probably have to do some reading to figure out how to set it up, but I've distilled that information for someone before, and if you want I can dig up that information for you here as well.

Quote:
Original post by Twulz
hmmm even the .NET version? I thought I was getting a good deal a few years ago...
Opps sorry guys, should have researched it myself better

The .NET dialect of C++ is known as C++/CLI**, and I say "dialect" because it is not C++. Stroustrup commented on the topic here, if you're interested.

You probably don't want to start with C++/CLI - I can't imagine a beginner doing very well with it. The vast, vast vast majority of C++ programming is native and unmanaged***, including anything you're likely to be wanting to do with the language.

As a rule, I tend to direct beginners who show an eagerness for C++ to Steve Heller's C++: A Dialog, as it introduces both the language and the computer science behind it, it uses the C++ Standard Library, and it attempts to take a very newbie-friendly approach - as a beginner, you want all of these things.

Anyway, hope this helps. :)


*An Integrated Development Environment, or IDE, is the interface that displays your source code, current project, etc, and provides all those lovely tools, code highlighting etc that help you write programs. The thing that actually builds your program is called a Compiler, and whereas your IDE will simplify things by calling the Compiler up for you when you build/run your code, you don't need the IDE, or, generally, any form of graphical interface, to operate a Compiler - it can all be done from command prompt.

**There was formerly an implementation known as Managed C++, but we do not speak of this outside of small font-sized footnotes and hushed, shady whispers.

...jk. [lol] It is deprecated, though, so don't worry about it.

***As in, the code compiles into binary which can be directly understood and executed by a CPU - as opposed to anything .NET-based, like C++/CLI, C#, VB.NET etc, where you write managed code for a virtual machine rather than for any specific chunk of silicon.

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Rycross    584
Quote:
Original post by Twulz
hmmm even the .NET version? I thought I was getting a good deal a few years ago...
Opps sorry guys, should have researched it myself better


It depends on what you mean by "a few years ago." They didn't release any express versions up until, I think, 2005.

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lightbringer    1070
While I haven't used Notepad++, I doubt it can match the feature set of a full IDE (like refactoring, call/type hierarchies, context-based code completion, integrated api help, integrated debugging/profiling tools, build support, collaboration support, etc). It's still a great way to learn how the compile/link process really works, but for anything of moderate complexity, you'll save yourself a lot of time with an IDE. Since MIcrosoft now offers theirs for free, there's no real reason not to use it (and if you don't like it, you could try Eclipse with C++ plugins - it's a great IDE, though I have no experience with C++ in Eclipse.)

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Twulz    100
I think I had the 2005 version so it must have been just before they went free...

Since it IS free I've downloaded and installed it from the link provided above and I think I will be using it the most but I'm interested to see how i'd go using the notepad++... I'll have a play later in the week :)

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Fenrisulvur    186
Quote:
Original post by lightbringer
While I haven't used Notepad++, I doubt it can match the feature set of a full IDE (like refactoring, call/type hierarchies, context-based code completion, integrated api help, integrated debugging/profiling tools, build support, collaboration support, etc).

Well it can't, and it doesn't really try to.

It's not meant as a full-featured IDE - it is orders of magnitude more lightweight, and will still be useful as a basic dumping pad for sifting through various clumps of code even when you do have an IDE for the language of choice for your serious projects.
There are some things you (or at least, I) seriously don't want to slop directly into the IDE, like bug-riddled orphan code off of forums, code in another language that you intend on converting, pseudocode, etc, that'd probably set your IDE ablaze with syntax warnings et al. On the other hand, you can sift through it in Notepad++ without worrying about a whinging Pom of a high-end IDE, and still get all your basic perks like syntax highlighting, line numbering, better find/replace mechanisms, and all sorts of other stuff.

I don't know how you carry on without something like Notepad++. Seriously, if you're running Windows, get it now.

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lightbringer    1070
Hehe. Well I am quite happy with Eclipse (and I am on Ubuntu - never boot Windows except for playing games, which means very rarely). But for those scenarios you mention, you are right - one would want something lightweight just to look at random code in random languages. Fortunately, gedit (Ubuntu + Gnome's default editor) has excellent syntax highlighting for a large variety of languages, which is all I ever need in those scenarios. I use it extensively to edit XML game files.

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kbar    96
Definitely take another look at Visual Studio C++ 2008 Express Edition. Note that I wrote 2008, it has come along way from the 2005 version.

And if your interested in having a play with XNA Studio and making games for XBox360 you could look at Visual Studio C# 2008 Express Edition.

If you want to try your hand at developing games using Silverlight (the microsoft version of Flash) then you can download Visual Web Developer Express Edition as well as Silverlight 3.0 SDK.

If you manage to get your hands on a Mac then it comes with XCode. Then if you pay $100 you can get into being an iPhone developer. But you would need to start learning Objective C++.

And finally if your on a linux machine then you can look into using GCC via the command line tools. In which case all you need is a text editor and your up and running.



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Aardvajk    13207
Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
but the 2005 Express Edition of Visual C++ struck me as grossly ill-equipped for Win32 C++ work, surprisingly, last time I used it.


The only real major restriction that Express has over the pro versions in this respect that I'm aware of is the lack of the visual resource editor.

However, you can quite easily integrate the mighty and free ResEdit into VS Express which fills this hole.

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Wes22    104
Yeah, Visual Studio C++ 2008 Express is actually pretty good. I switched from some older non-free compilers/IDE's to this a few months ago, and have been using it with great results. It's good enough to use for professional coding, depending on what you need to do, and is a really easy choice for educational or hobbyist stuff. And the Standard version isn't all that expensive, if you need some more features.

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SimonForsman    7642
Quote:
Original post by Twulz
I think I had the 2005 version so it must have been just before they went free...

Since it IS free I've downloaded and installed it from the link provided above and I think I will be using it the most but I'm interested to see how i'd go using the notepad++... I'll have a play later in the week :)


There are non free versions of Visual Studio still, (The free express edition lacks some of the advanced features found in the standard and professional editions).

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Fenrisulvur    186
Quote:
Original post by lightbringer
Hehe. Well I am quite happy with Eclipse (and I am on Ubuntu - never boot Windows except for playing games, which means very rarely). But for those scenarios you mention, you are right - one would want something lightweight just to look at random code in random languages. Fortunately, gedit (Ubuntu + Gnome's default editor) has excellent syntax highlighting for a large variety of languages, which is all I ever need in those scenarios. I use it extensively to edit XML game files.

Ah, the Linux scene really seems to specialize in the raw hack-and-slash text editor.

I used Ubuntu for a brief stint, but I had a few problems with the update manager, MonoDevelop and NetBeans both blew up in my face, and I went overboard getting that pretty Compiz crap running and decided I really didn't understand how the hell it worked or what I'd screwed with in getting it in place. >_>
I might do a reinstall soon, but I'm less of a fan of dual-booting and the local security hole (I know, personal computer, local security [lol]) it brings up - that and I'm to impatient to reboot computers unless I really have to. :P

I got a chance to use gedit. It seemed decent, but I didn't like having to bring up the console to sudo my way into a GRUB configuration file. I'm probably missing something significant here, but I don't see why gedit couldn't prompt me for the password rather than spitting out an error and giving up.

Quote:
Original post by kbar
Definitely take another look at Visual Studio C++ 2008 Express Edition. Note that I wrote 2008, it has come along way from the 2005 version.

and
Quote:
Original post by Aardvajk
The only real major restriction that Express has over the pro versions in this respect that I'm aware of is the lack of the visual resource editor.

Well, since nobody's bringing up the task of downloading the Windows SDK (my memory's hazy, I think it was the Windows SDK), and hacking one of the project profiles to set it up for Win32 development and have the basic Win32 boilerplate code auto-generate, I'll assume that's only a bad memory from 2005, and that VC++ 2008 Express actually does have everything set up for you, and everything's right with the world again. Lovely. :)

Anyway, I still recommend DreamSpark if you're eligible.

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lightbringer    1070
Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
I used Ubuntu for a brief stint, but I had a few problems with the update manager, MonoDevelop and NetBeans both blew up in my face, and I went overboard getting that pretty Compiz crap running and decided I really didn't understand how the hell it worked or what I'd screwed with in getting it in place. >_>
I might do a reinstall soon, but I'm less of a fan of dual-booting and the local security hole (I know, personal computer, local security [lol]) it brings up - that and I'm to impatient to reboot computers unless I really have to. :P

I can walk up to your pc with a little floppy or cd and boot into my own linux to mount your partitions and bypass your security alltogether, you know. Unless every OS on your PC encrypts their entire partition, which seems doubtful. I solve the reboot problem easily by the way - I just don't reboot, Ubuntu does everything I need it to.

I have had some negative experience with Compiz too, it slows crap down or makes windows behave strangely. Fortunately, eye candy is not as important as functionality and Compiz is straightforward to disable. I admit it looked pretty though. Dunno about the rest - the update manager is straightforward, and if you want fine-grained detail you can use Synaptic. Both NetBeans and Eclipse run very fine on Ubuntu, and I have used both to develop projects, however in my experience you first need to uninstall the opensource JDK and install Sun's JDK. In their infinite wisdom (doubtlessly influenced by Debian's attitutes) the guys at Canonical decided to not make Sun's JDK the default. Again, Synaptic can do this for you in five clicks, but you need to be aware of it to do it.


Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
I got a chance to use gedit. It seemed decent, but I didn't like having to bring up the console to sudo my way into a GRUB configuration file. I'm probably missing something significant here, but I don't see why gedit couldn't prompt me for the password rather than spitting out an error and giving up.

Just the way linux security works. Before sudo came along you'd have had to login as root on the console. Some programs, as you have doubtlessly noticed, do prompt for your password, so it's not theoretically impossible, probably by spawning another process with the right ownership.

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Cygon    1219
Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
Quote:
Original post by Twulz
Anyway my old computer decided to crack it and not work anymore (which had my copy of Visual Studio from my friend on it) and I was wondering for my new computer should I try getting my hands on another copy of visual studio or is there an equally good open source/free/downloadable program just for learning C++??

Visual Studio probably has the market cornered on Integrated Development Environments* for Win32 C++ and C++/CLI (more on this one below) work, but the 2005 Express Edition of Visual C++ struck me as grossly ill-equipped for Win32 C++ work, surprisingly, last time I used it. I don't know what their current (2008) Express Edition is like, but you might want to look into Microsoft's DreamSpark scheme and see if you're eligible for a free copy of the full Visual Studio 2008.


I don't know what you're referring to, but the only issue with Visual C++ 2005 Express I know of was that it didn't include the Windows SDK, so you couldn't just install, create a project and #include <windows.h>.

Since lots of stupid people beginners had trouble getting the Windows SDK installed, this was changed for Visual C++ 2008 Express. It now includes the Windows SDK and you can compile virtually anything out-of-the-box.

The only thing still missing is MFC - but games don't use it and for dialog-heavy applications there are better solutions like Qt.

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Fenrisulvur    186
Quote:
Original post by lightbringer
I can walk up to your pc with a little floppy or cd and boot into my own linux to mount your partitions and bypass your security alltogether, you know. Unless every OS on your PC encrypts their entire partition, which seems doubtful.

Hence the (I know, personal computer, local security [lol]) remark. :)

It might be possible to close out the bootable floppy/CD route with a passworded BIOS and the HDD set as first priority for boot, though, but I'm the first to admit I don't really know what I'm talking about here. >_>

Quote:
Original post by lightbringer
I solve the reboot problem easily by the way - I just don't reboot, Ubuntu does everything I need it to.

Yeah, this is always how it turns out, eh? Unfortunately I can't really afford the time and/or productivity wasted while I research and familiarize myself with a whole new operating system.

Quote:
Original post by lightbringer
I have had some negative experience with Compiz too, it slows crap down or makes windows behave strangely. Fortunately, eye candy is not as important as functionality and Compiz is straightforward to disable. I admit it looked pretty though.

On this note, and I hate to admit it, eye candy rates as a significant factor in selecting an operating system to me. I even prefer to steer clear of Windows XP since Vista'a Aero hooked me in. Ubuntu has a nice colour scheme going for it at first glance, but some of the assets remind me of oldschool Mac OS, and I didn't adapt well to some of the fonts in Firefox. (you call that Arial?)

Quote:
Original post by lightbringer
Dunno about the rest - the update manager is straightforward, and if you want fine-grained detail you can use Synaptic.

I agree - but I was pulling updates over unstable networks at the time, and something went awry. My Vista install suffered, too, but the difference was I could be bothered to do something about that.

Quote:
Original post by lightbringer
Both NetBeans and Eclipse run very fine on Ubuntu, and I have used both to develop projects, however in my experience you first need to uninstall the opensource JDK and install Sun's JDK. In their infinite wisdom (doubtlessly influenced by Debian's attitutes) the guys at Canonical decided to not make Sun's JDK the default. Again, Synaptic can do this for you in five clicks, but you need to be aware of it to do it.

Once again, the fault was (probably) on my end, but I didn't feel compelled to do anything about it.

There's a whole set of proprietary cooties that Ubuntu try to keep off the distro by default - codecs, device driver binary blobs, etc - so that they try to go with an open source JDK (OpenJDK and/or IcedTea? Is that done yet?) doesn't really surprise me. I pretty much installed these things as soon as I stumbled upon them, because, really, I'd prefer my operating system see my video card, and I'm not about to convert thousands of media files. I didn't catch the JDK bit, though.

Quote:
Original post by lightbringer
Just the way linux security works. Before sudo came along you'd have had to login as root on the console. Some programs, as you have doubtlessly noticed, do prompt for your password, so it's not theoretically impossible, probably by spawning another process with the right ownership.

I should probably embrace the spirit of free software and make the change myself. >_>

Quote:
Original post by Cygon
I don't know what you're referring to, but the only issue with Visual C++ 2005 Express I know of was that it didn't include the Windows SDK, so you couldn't just install, create a project and #include <windows.h>.

This is exactly what I'm referring to, yes. :)

From memory one of the available project types had to be mangled to acclimatise to Win32 development, whilst the full VS2005 didn't require this and offered various other project types. Probably trivial, granted - I have no idea what the significance of the other breeds of project was, and definitely never used them - but I'm labelling it poor form anyway because it's a nitpick Microsoft could've easily pre-empted.

Quote:
Original post by Cygon
Since lots of stupid people beginners had trouble getting the Windows SDK installed,

Please don't browbeat the newbies for not having absorbed as much a posteriori as you.

Setting up a compiler can be a pain in the arse for a newbie with no idea what they're doing and no idea where to start, when they should first and foremost be concerned with learning to actually write algorithms. I spent longer than I should've had to, when I first started out, trying to get the Digital Mars compiler I mentioned above working - mining through the depths of online documentation and FAQs for information that should've been collected into one place and meticulously explained for beginners. Ultimately it's not hard to set up by any stretch of the imagination, but the guys who built it and/or maintain the documentation are so completely immersed in the esoterica of the technology and the field that it doesn't strike them that random detail X is something a newbie may not know or infer*.
This is not the sort of user experience I want to see beginners coming through now having, and this is why I'm happy to tap away several paragraphs for people like the OP here - and also why I'd hope Microsoft would know better and send their entry-level IDEs out pre-configured from the start.

*This is also a reason why I'm a fan of Steve Heller's book, linked above. His pupil's queries might not correlate perfectly with those of the reader, but she does a good job of pulling up the lecture for a lot of the little things.

Quote:
Original post by Cygon
this was changed for Visual C++ 2008 Express. It now includes the Windows SDK and you can compile virtually anything out-of-the-box.

Excellent, I have no reason not to recommend VC++ 2008 Express, then. :)

Also, I still recommend trying DreamSpark. No reason you shouldn't have all languages, interoperable, in the one suite, and all the other tools available if you find a need for one of them at whatever point.

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Mike.Popoloski    3258
Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
Setting up a compiler can be a pain in the arse for a newbie with no idea what they're doing and no idea where to start, when they should first and foremost be concerned with learning to actually write algorithms. I spent longer than I should've had to, when I first started out, trying to get the Digital Mars compiler I mentioned above working - mining through the depths of online documentation and FAQs for information that should've been collected into one place and meticulously explained for beginners. Ultimately it's not hard to set up by any stretch of the imagination, but the guys who built it and/or maintain the documentation are so completely immersed in the esoterica of the technology and the field that it doesn't strike them that random detail X is something a newbie may not know or infer*.
This is not the sort of user experience I want to see beginners coming through now having, and this is why I'm happy to tap away several paragraphs for people like the OP here - and also why I'd hope Microsoft would know better and send their entry-level IDEs out pre-configured from the start.

Except that's not how it was at all. The download page for Visual C++ Express 2005 had it *explicitly* mentioned as a step to take if you wanted to do Win32 development, and gave a list of steps and quick link to the download of the Windows SDK if you were interested. Presumably not all users would want the Windows SDK added to their download if it wasn't completely necessary, so they split it out. The only way you wouldn't be able to figure it out is if you didn't even bother to *read* the whole page (pure laziness) or didn't even know what Win32 was, in which case you had no business developing in it.

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lightbringer    1070
Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
It might be possible to close out the bootable floppy/CD route with a passworded BIOS and the HDD set as first priority for boot, though, but I'm the first to admit I don't really know what I'm talking about here. >_>

It's also possible to remove the harddrive and install it in another PC. Depending on your PC though this might be a permanent procedure, but I doubt that will stop someone (though it's probably easier for a thief to just cart off the whole thing).

Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
On this note, and I hate to admit it, eye candy rates as a significant factor in selecting an operating system to me. I even prefer to steer clear of Windows XP since Vista'a Aero hooked me in.

You should be on a Mac. Tiger/Leopard/(Snow Leopard most likely also) are very pretty. I'm very impressed with Macs (we have a bunch), despite the handicapped rodents. Hmm, I should see about getting development tools running on a Mac.

Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
(OpenJDK and/or IcedTea? Is that done yet?)

OpenJDK is the Ubuntu default, yes. I hear it works with LWJGL even, but it didn't like Eclipse the last time I tried that route, which admittedly was something like two years ago. It might be better now, but like you, I can't be bothered to check since I don't bend over backwards just to keep my environment pure open source.

We've gone quite a bit off topic, but the original question has been answered, in my opinion :D

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Fenrisulvur    186
Quote:
Original post by Mike.Popoloski
Except that's not how it was at all. The download page for Visual C++ Express 2005 had it *explicitly* mentioned as a step to take if you wanted to do Win32 development, and gave a list of steps and quick link to the download of the Windows SDK if you were interested. Presumably not all users would want the Windows SDK added to their download if it wasn't completely necessary, so they split it out. The only way you wouldn't be able to figure it out is if you didn't even bother to *read* the whole page (pure laziness) or didn't even know what Win32 was, in which case you had no business developing in it.

Firstly, myself setting up DMC back in the day probably isn't the best case study for "newbie" - I was pretty adept for a beginner. :D

Anyway, I had been writing a bit of Win32 code beforehand, and I did read through and follow the whole process for setting up the Windows SDK for VC++ 2005, without any problems - I just didn't find the outcome anywhere near as pleasing or straightforward as the main VS2005 suite. Hell, I didn't even stick with it for long before I lost confidence in the development platform and went back to DMC.
That's where I drew "grossly ill-equipped" from, and if you think you can coerce me into a different stance, then, whilst I'm pretty open to being persuaded myself, you're probably missing the point: it was an unnecessary and avoidable contrivance that a lot of people weren't happy about.

Hell, I don't understand it from a packaging standpoint - the free version is rationally your student/beginner line, and specifying a manual process for the thing a bulk of users want to do with your product has to be a support nightmare. It just would've made infinitely more sense to offer two packages - one with the Windows SDK, one without - that's if you can prove there's a reasonable market for VC++ that doesn't need Win32 (which I'm not really convinced of).

Quote:
Original post by lightbringer
It's also possible to remove the harddrive and install it in another PC. Depending on your PC though this might be a permanent procedure, but I doubt that will stop someone (though it's probably easier for a thief to just cart off the whole thing).

Hmm, I've seen some sturdier, bolt-down cases, with locks, et al, but I think we're just going to start ascending through increasingly absurd hypotheticals from here. :D
I'm a slight bit more paranoid of someone destroying my data than I am of having any trade/personal secrets compromised, though. My personal details aren't really exciting, and I don't [think I] have anything to hide.

Quote:
Original post by lightbringer
You should be on a Mac. Tiger/Leopard/(Snow Leopard most likely also) are very pretty. I'm very impressed with Macs (we have a bunch), despite the handicapped rodents. Hmm, I should see about getting development tools running on a Mac.

I've never really been a fan of the whole Mac aesthetic - it's pretty, but it also manages to grate with me in one of the worst ways. >_>
A few people have been trying to convince me to pick up a Mac, and - like with any other platform - when I have the necessary cash and time to blow I'll probably give it a shot. But I also tend to dislike Apple's business practices, I'm not a fan of vertically-integrated (as in, OS and hardware in one) systems, and I cringe whenever people launch into an anti-Microsoft ideological rant and posit Apple as an alternative. I guess the big thing, though, is that the grass doesn't really look any greener at all from this side of the fence.

Also, yes, what they do to those mice is animal cruelty!

Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
OpenJDK is the Ubuntu default, yes. I hear it works with LWJGL even, but it didn't like Eclipse the last time I tried that route, which admittedly was something like two years ago. It might be better now, but like you, I can't be bothered to check since I don't bend over backwards just to keep my environment pure open source.

We've gone quite a bit off topic, but the original question has been answered, in my opinion :D

The whole lot's probably better by now - I should probably get back into it.

And er, at least we're around if the OP drops in with more questions? :D

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Cygon    1219
Quote:
Original post by Mike.Popoloski
Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
Quote:
Original post by Cygon
Since lots of stupid people beginners had trouble getting the Windows SDK installed,

Please don't browbeat the newbies for not having absorbed as much a posteriori as you.

Setting up a compiler can be a pain in the arse for a newbie with no idea what they're doing and no idea where to start, when they should first and foremost be concerned with learning to actually write algorithms. I spent longer than I should've had to, when I first started out, trying to get the Digital Mars compiler I mentioned above working - mining through the depths of online documentation and FAQs for information that should've been collected into one place and meticulously explained for beginners. Ultimately it's not hard to set up by any stretch of the imagination, but the guys who built it and/or maintain the documentation are so completely immersed in the esoterica of the technology and the field that it doesn't strike them that random detail X is something a newbie may not know or infer*.

This is not the sort of user experience I want to see beginners coming through now having, and this is why I'm happy to tap away several paragraphs for people like the OP here - and also why I'd hope Microsoft would know better and send their entry-level IDEs out pre-configured from the start.

Except that's not how it was at all. The download page for Visual C++ Express 2005 had it *explicitly* mentioned as a step to take if you wanted to do Win32 development, and gave a list of steps and quick link to the download of the Windows SDK if you were interested. Presumably not all users would want the Windows SDK added to their download if it wasn't completely necessary, so they split it out. The only way you wouldn't be able to figure it out is if you didn't even bother to *read* the whole page (pure laziness) or didn't even know what Win32 was, in which case you had no business developing in it.

That's exactly what I meant. There was a guide that explained, in simple step-by-step instructions, how to open the settings dialog and where to add the paths. If someone overlooked that part and asked why windows.h wasn't being found, no problem, tell him that he needs the Windows SDK and point him to said page. But even then, lots of people managed to screw up their Visual Studio settings and came here with weird error messages

I'm very happy with the decision to include the Windows SDK in Visual C++ Express 2008, it's one less problem for beginners to worry about and any non-trivial project needs it anyway.

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Fenrisulvur    186
Well then we pretty much agree on the crux of the issue. :)

I think the only real disagreement boils down to whether or not it's acceptable to outright call beginners stupid.
On that note, er, I'm regretting tapping out the useless wall of text I produced on the subject. I'd been awake for ~24 hours, etc. >_>

So, redact my stance to this alone:
Quote:
Please don't browbeat the newbies for not having absorbed as much a posteriori as you.

And I suppose it comes down to how much of an optimist you are. I'm surprising myself, at the moment. [lol]

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benryves    1999
Quote:
Original post by Fenrisulvur
I don't know how you carry on without something like Notepad++. Seriously, if you're running Windows, get it now.
Better still, get Programmer's Notepad. Same internal text editor component (Scintilla), but the UI wasn't thrown together by a madman. [wink]

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