A place to start - mac or pc?

This is a discussion on A place to start - mac or pc? within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; I hope I'm posting this in the right place... I'm learning C++. I'm new to programming. I need a place ...

  1. #1
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    A place to start - mac or pc?

    I hope I'm posting this in the right place...

    I'm learning C++. I'm new to programming. I need a place to start

    I have a mac. The mac comes with XCode - which is able to support C++ but at my level of understanding does not make it especially easy to do anything other than use the console. (I want to get an understanding of the core concepts of C++, be able to create very basic windows and have a bit of success by doing stuff)

    My friend tells me to forget learning programming on the mac, and instead learn on the pc and specifically use the Borland C++ software.

    Is this good advice?

  2. #2
    Registered User jlou's Avatar
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    If you just want to learn C++ and how to program, stick to the Mac. Console programming is all you need.

    If you really want to create something with a user interface other than the console (like a window), then you can do that on a Mac as well, but it will be harder to find resources and get help with that because programming for PC's and unix/linux is more common.

    Some people consider programming UI's to be better left until you become an intermediate to advanced console programmer, but at the same time many people can't stand writing "boring" console programs. It really depends on what you want to do, what you want to learn, and how far you plan on taking this new programming knowledge.

  3. #3
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    Unhappy The bad news is...

    C++ is a powerful language, but there are no windows, graphics, color, sound, or mouse in standard C++. This is because C++ is very portable. It can run on a simple system with a simple text-display and a keyboard.

    So, the normal course is to learn standard C++ first, then learn specialized topics like graphics & Windows. The GUI adds another level of complexity to your programs... I was shocked when I first opened Programming Windows, by Charles Petzold, and "Hello Windows" was almost two pages of code!!!

    If you were taking college classes, you would probably take two semesters of C++, before taking a Windows class. Now, you don't really need to know two semesters worth of C++ before starting GUI, but you should know the basics.... At least work your way through an introductory C++ book first.

  4. #4
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    As a side note, it won't matter which OS you use for learning the basics. And, you can write GUIs in Mac. I know Apple has there own documentation on their own libraries, but there are other libraries available as well. Same for Windows. You don't actually have to program Win32 to write GUIs.
    The word rap as it applies to music is the result of a peculiar phonological rule which has stripped the word of its initial voiceless velar stop.

  5. #5
    chococoder
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    Macs used to be criminally hard to create applications for (especially the GUI libraries). Not sure if that's still the case, much has probably improved with the adoption of a Unix architecture and associated libraries.

    But as said, there's a lot more literature to learn Windows programming from, and almost certainly better tools too (though some have AFAIK been able to get Borland C++ BuilderX working on MacOS/X).

  6. #6
    samurai warrior nextus's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    If you are just learning to program C++ then just stick with the mac because you can learn C++ by just writing console programs...the more complicated things get platform specific (except with JAVA..which is super multi-platform if you have the Java Virtual Machine installed...haha)as long as your compiler..XCode...is ANSI standard then everyting is ok with me...welcome to our world
    nextus, the samurai warrior

  7. #7
    ATH0 quzah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwenting
    Macs used to be criminally hard to create applications for (especially the GUI libraries). Not sure if that's still the case, much has probably improved with the adoption of a Unix architecture and associated libraries.

    But as said, there's a lot more literature to learn Windows programming from, and almost certainly better tools too (though some have AFAIK been able to get Borland C++ BuilderX working on MacOS/X).
    If you don't know what you're talking about, even remotely, don't talk about it. You know nothing of programming for the MAC, so why say it's hard? You've admitted you haven't programmed anything for the new Mac OS, so why say Windows is easier?

    This thread is just asking to turn into an OS holy war. Someone close it.

    Quzah.
    Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.

  8. #8
    chococoder
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    I've not done it myself but I've spoken to people who have (including Mac addicts) and that's what they say.
    And yes, they were programmers on various platforms.

  9. #9
    Sweet
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    To just re-iterate the point. C++ is C++ doesn't matter which system you use it on as long as your compiler is ANSI/ISO standard then your ok. oh and mac sucks (j/k for those without a sense of humor)
    Woop?

  10. #10
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    More to the point, let's talk about the tools you are fairly likely to end up using:
    Mac: XCode with GCC compiler
    Windows: Dev-C++ with GCC compiler
    Linux: GCC compiler

    The word rap as it applies to music is the result of a peculiar phonological rule which has stripped the word of its initial voiceless velar stop.

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    Thankyou very much for the helpful replies and for the welcome to the forum.

    I think the problem is mainly that I don't really know enough of the basics yet to feel confident with including(?) the OpenGL framework or cocoa windows objects /frameworks in order to get a window to appear - and if I could I wouldn't understand how I did it (which is the main objective for me at the moment)

    Also, as several people have pointed out, there seems to be a lack of step by step tutorials which combine mac + (C++) + RAD environment + GUI objects...

    My solution is to do two things:

    a) Work on learning the C++ language on either/both the mac or pc - as people suggest it does not really matter which. I have had success at both, so this seems OK

    b) Use Borland for getting to grips with the GUI


    Thankyou very much again for the help. Hopefully see you all in a few weeks time! Off to find more tutorials now

  12. #12
    chococoder
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    Borland CBuilderX is an excellent tool if it's anything like their older products (of which I have an almost complete line stretching from the mid 1990s to around 2002 at which point my employer went bankrupt stripping me of the funds to buy software so I switched to free alternatives).

  13. #13
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    Also note that it is Borland C++Builder that is good for GUI development, and not simply their free C++ compiler (not that you can't do it, but you don't have the nice RAD framework).

    As a side note, I might be getting into programming with Apple's GUI libraries sometime in the near future, so I'll let you know if I find any good documentation.

    Cheers
    The word rap as it applies to music is the result of a peculiar phonological rule which has stripped the word of its initial voiceless velar stop.

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