Console vs. Command windows

This is a discussion on Console vs. Command windows within the C Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Hi, I have written a code modeled after one in a textbook, but it will only run as an .exe ...

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    Console vs. Command windows

    Hi,

    I have written a code modeled after one in a textbook, but it will only run as an .exe in a command prompt window. I want it to operate directly out of the visual studio 2012 debugger console as a .cpp. The headers look the same to me, so I can't figure out what I need to change to make it open the way I desire. Is there a stock header for each, and I just can't tell them apart? Please help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GigTu View Post
    Hi,

    I have written a code modeled after one in a textbook, but it will only run as an .exe in a command prompt window. I want it to operate directly out of the visual studio 2012 debugger console as a .cpp. The headers look the same to me, so I can't figure out what I need to change to make it open the way I desire. Is there a stock header for each, and I just can't tell them apart? Please help.
    C and C++, and other languages, have a concept of "standard input" and "standard output". In C standard output is A FILE * called stdout, and is used implictly in functions like printf(). In C++ it's a stream object called cout. But the same underlying operating system functions will be called.
    The system ties standard input and standard output to some physical reality, which might be dots in a console window, electric pulses going down a telephone wire, a printer, or some internal process in Visual Studio 2012.

    Windows also has the windowing GUI. To use these functions, you need to include windows.h, or some high level file which includes windows.h internally. The windowing GUI doesn't have the same sort of flexibility as standard output, it will always be physically realised as pixels on a screen.

    Visual Studio like you to tell it whether you are writing a GUI program or a standard input/output, or "console" program. It also have various flavours - it likes to persuade you to include a funny header called stdafx.h and use unicode rather than Ascii. Normally you won't want to do this - you just want portable standard C or C++.

    Another quirk of Visual Studio is that when you run programs under the debugger, they tend to open a console window, then close it as soon as the program terminates. often this happens more quickly than you can read the output. There are ways of stopping it from doing this, but basically it's just a silly design feature. If you run the program from a DOS box, it will work as expected.
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    You can set a break point on the final return from main() so that you can at least see the dos console window before it's closed. This works with release builds also.

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