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Help needed to know which C++ API to use for non-game windows application

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First let me tell you what my objective is. I want to create a window application that doesn't deal much with graphics, just words and something like ("show spoiler") button, perhaps include some pdf files in the application.

I want to make an application that makes practicing Cambridge 'O' level Mathematics Syllabus easier for students. 

 

Here's the basic idea:

  1.  In the application, I want to include a drop down menu so that students can choose on which paper they wish to practice on.
  2. What make this different from just collecting a bunch of pdf files of question paper together is that I want to include a "show answer" button next to each question (This will make make practicing easier, rather than checking the answer from the back of the booklet, or going to another pdf file that include the answer again and again after jumping from one question to another) . I'm planning to add question papers from year 1980 to 2011 for this application.

This is just what I wish to create out of window application. Whether this is possible or not, I have no idea (I just started learning c++ since O level exam finished, now I have nothing to do in this 2 or 3 months holiday but waiting for O level result). I really want to make this program before the result come out though, otherwise I wouldn't have much time on my hand.

 

Thanks!

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So you want to write a classical GUI application right?

 

I don't advice you to write it in c++ but to use an high level programming language such as C# (goolge "C# winforms" for more info about writing GUI application in C#)

 

If you really want to stick with C++ you will have to use a GUI libraries such as Qt or wxWidgets.

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You also have the option of using the actual Windows APIs: Win32 and the ATL. I suspect you'll find wxWidgets or Qt easier to learn, but I felt you should know your options. Win32 is a C API and the ATL is a C++ API. wxWidgets and Qt are cross-platform windowing libraries that, on Windows, wrap Win32.

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I agree with renega, that if you want to create a simple application like that, you are better off with a higher level language. C# is good if you are on windows. That said, if you are doing this also to learn C++, I would use MFC if you don't care about crossplatform functionality. Otherwise use QT.

 

And if you really want to learn MS Windows programming, I would recommend using pure Win32 to do you application. It's going to be very slow to develop the first time you do this though. But understanding how things work on a lower level, will make you a much better programmer in the future, even when you are doing development in languages like C#.

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I would personally look into Qt, it's a very powerful GUI toolkit and I have yet to see something more powerful. For simple applications like this you don't even need to use a programming language at all, I never tried it myself yet but Qt has tools to create interactive GUIs with a simple scripting language and visual editors, no need for actual coding is needed unless you want to have some more advanced stuff.

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Bah. I meant MFC when I wrote ATL above. I must have been on the good stuff or something.

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