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Daivam

How to use Visual Studio

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Daivam    122
Hiya.. I''m completely new to programming. My girlfriend gave me her copy of Visual Studio 6, and I''ve been playing with it a little. Knowing absolutely nothing seems to be hindering me a bit though. I read thru some of the sections of gamedev.net particularly the absolute beginner section, but am still confused about a few things. My goal is be able to program graphically advanced windows games in C++. So I figure the first step along this path is learning C or C++. From the basic just of the information I''ve received from this site, it seems I should just go ahead and learn C++, the only problem being so many of the books about C++ build off of a knowledge of C or atleast Basic Programming Principles it seems. I''ve already ordered copies of Who''s Afraid of C++ and Who''s Afraid of More C++, which should arrive in a month or so. Nothing in the world is slower than book rate mail. ''( Since I don''t know if I''m that patient, I''m contemplating getting either the Absolute Beginners guide to C, Waite''s C++ Primer Plus, or Beginning Visual C++ 6. All of them seem to have fairly good reviews, but I''m not sure which would be more appropriate. A book on C to get the very basics, a book on basic C++, or perhaps the Visual C++ book so that I might learn a little bit about my newfound compiler. What do you guys think? Which also brings me to my next question. What do you reccomend to learn how to use the Visual C++ compiler itself? I can''t seem to make heads or tails of the help file. I''m not even sure how to start the right type of file if I wanted to create a C program. I''m lost in a maze of options, any help or a pointer to a tutorial on the compiler itself would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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da_cobra    122
I''m just like you, also a compleet newbie who would like to make window-games
I bought a book about visual c++, but as long as you don''t understand structures, pointers, classes, objects,.... you can''t do anything with visual c++, because I don''t understand a word about visual c++ :D
so now I also bought a book about c++ and now first I''m learning c++ in a dos-box, after I finished the book, then %I will go over to visual c++
and after that hopefully, directx and/or openGL

Am I doing this the right way? Please some thoughts from the pro''s?!?

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Guardian_Light    122
Steps.
1. Look to top of page.
2. Under Resources, FOR BEGINNERS.
3. Read it through.
4. If you still have questions post them.

"So much fun, so little time."
~Michael Sikora

Edited by - guardian_light on October 14, 2001 5:32:24 AM

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Daivam    122
I checked out the beginner section, and although it was a great help, (it pointed out the who''s afraid series of books to me among other things) my questions still stand. My biggest concern is with the Visual C++ compiler itself. Luckily I seem to have the compiler David Astle reccomends using in his guide, I''m just a bit confused about it''s capabilities.. Whether I have to make programs utilizing it''s MFC capabilities or if it''s backwards compatible and I can make DOS C programs with it just as easily. If the latter is the case I''m curious as to how I would make a Standard C or C++ application with it, or perhaps if there is more understandable tutorial on using the compiler, rather than the help files. ( I checked for a bit, but couldn''t find one)

As I understand it, if a person learns C, they still don''t know C++. However if a person learns C++ do they know C? If this is the case, then I definately shouldn''t get the C book, since C++ is my end goal anyway. However if not, and the industry standard is to know both C and C++, perhaps I should. From what I hear though C++ is basically C with Objects and Classes, and it seems like a knowledge of C++ would therefor include all of C. Correct me if I''m wrong.

I think I''ve decided not to get the C++ Primer Plus book, as doing so would only be indulging my impatience with the postal system. I believe as far as that is concerned I should probably wait the month out for my other two books, and save thirty dollars or so.

Which leaves the Visual C++ book. If it could help me better understand my compiler, including how to make standard DOS C programs with it, then I think I should probably get it. But based upon the reviews, I''m afraid it might already assume some familiarity with the compiler and teach more about MFC''s than anything else. If anyone here is familiar with Beginning Visual C++ 6, perhaps they could tell me if it might help me to understand the visual C++ compiler itself a little better, and if it''s worth the money.

Da_cobra, just to make sure I understand. Do you think I should get a DOS compiler such as DJGPP and get a decent knowledge of Standard C++ before messing with the Visual C++ compiler at all? I''d hate to have to learn the in''s and outs of one compiler, only to switch at later time. But if you think that''s the best way I''ll give it a try. Thanks again, and any comments or reccomendations are very welcome.

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silverlime    122
Hey man, I am new to game programming too. Use Visual C++ just like it is some free thing. Start a new Console Application and put in some code. I recommened buying the Academic version of it because it comes with a great book, Introduction to Microsoft Visual C++ 6. I use it and still do. I don''t use MFC and program with OpenGL (check out nehe.gamedev.net). Hope that encourages you or does something!

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Oluseyi    2116
quote:
Original post by Daivam
Whether I have to make programs utilizing it''s MFC capabilities or if it''s backwards compatible and I can make DOS C programs with it just as easily. If the latter is the case I''m curious as to how I would make a Standard C or C++ application with it, or perhaps if there is more understandable tutorial on using the compiler, rather than the help files. ( I checked for a bit, but couldn''t find one)


You don''t have to use MFC. MFC is for creating Windows GUI applications (and there are arguably better class frameworks). In any case, if you don''t understand C++ MFC is of no use to you. You can''t create DOS applications with modern versions of MSVC, but you can create Win32 Console Applications which behave similarly in most respects.

quote:
As I understand it, if a person learns C, they still don''t know C++. However if a person learns C++ do they know C?


No. The languages are very similar, and anything legal in C is legal in C++, but the languages have significant differences (and the compiler may treat your code very differently if asked to compile as C or C++.

quote:
From what I hear though C++ is basically C with Objects and Classes, and it seems like a knowledge of C++ would therefor include all of C. Correct me if I''m wrong.


Yes and no. C++ started out as C with objects, but the language has changed significantly and there are now C behaviors and attributes that you don''t need to know to effectively use C++.

With regards to your knowledge quests, I suggest studying C++ alone while creating Win32 Console Applications. The MSVC IDE changes every now and then (MSVC.NET features some nice changes), so concentrating so many resources just on learning the IDE is not such a wise ieda. The help files are quite comprehensive; you just need to learn to use its search functionality and to browse the Contents panel - there''s a good section on Introducing Visual C++.

And when it comes time to learn Win32, nothing beats the series of Programming Windows books by Charles Petzold.

quote:
Da_cobra, just to make sure I understand. Do you think I should get a DOS compiler such as DJGPP and get a decent knowledge of Standard C++ before messing with the Visual C++ compiler at all?


You could, if it would offset the cost of committing to MSVC, but since your girlfriend has already given you a copy doing so is largely pointless. Agreed, creating graphics with Win32 takes a bit longer to figure out than with DOS, but DOS is a dying platform.

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DanTheRocker    122
If you''re just begining C++, I REALLY recommend writing DOS applications to start. Don''t worry about DOS being dead, nothing you write at this point will need to be top of the line. What it will allow you to do is to get a firm grasp of C++ using the simpliest interface possible. Try making a text game and you''ll realize how much more complicated it is than it may seem. Windows programing is an advanced topic. If you don''t have a strong grasp of C++ you will be blown out of the water by Windows.
So you have VC++ 6.0 do you? There should be a most EXELLENT c++ tutorial somewhere in there. Something like: "\Microsoft Visual Studio\VC98\Tutorial\WroxTutorial.chm". Look at it. Its the single best tutorial I''ve ever seen. READ IT READ IT READ IT.

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Daivam    122
Thank you everyone, for all your help. That whole console thing threw me at first.. Was expecting a DOS option, but thanks to you guys I''m up and running with Teach yourself C in 21 days. Still don''t know too much about my compiler, but enough to do what needs to be done and will check out the help files again soon. See if they make more sense with my expanded vocabulary.

Incedentally DanTheRocker, I looked for that tutorial but couldn''t find it. The only folders I seem to have in the VC98 directory are ATL, Bin, CRT, Include, Lib and MFC; No tutorial folder ''(. Also did a search for files containing Wrox and chm but couldn''t seem to find it that way either. I guess it''s not the end of the world, but it was a bummer. You seem very vehement about that Tutorial. Wonder why it doesn''t seem to be on my version... Maybe I''m just doing something wrong and completely overlooked it.

Thanks again everyone..

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Shannon Barber    1681
You _don''t want to make DOS applications - they have insiduously difficult memory management issues. You want to make Win32 Console programs - which work like command-line DOS programs (like xcopy or dir) - and Win32 Console programs can be made by MSVC6.

If you don''t know C or C++ yet, you gotta learn that first. Then you can look at msdn.microsoft.com for simple examples and tutorials for nearly all types of Windows programming.

quote:

My girlfriend gave me her copy of Visual Studio 6...


I never thought I''d hear anyone say that . She''s a keeper.

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pizza box    168
If you are completely new to programming, I''d suggest getting Absolute Beginner''s Guide to C. It is about 300 or so pages and it gives you the basics of C in a really easy to understand language. It takes a few days to read at the most, the chapters are brief but explain everything you need to begin. From there I''d suggest picking up some C++ books, maybe Sam''s Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days. Things will be a lot easier after you learn the very basics of C, since many C++ books assume a little knowledge of it.

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IDC    122
I''m going to jump in here as the token C++ purist and advise you to start with a C++ beginners book like C++ How to program, C++ primer plus etc. There is about as much reason to C before C++ as there is to learn binary before using windows.

It''s no harder than C, actually it''s easier, and you''ll avoid picking up bad habits and having to relearn libraries and features that are specific to C.

Similarly, as has been advised, stay away from ''visual'' or ''windows'' books until you''re good and ready.

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