Trying to get a few things straight

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    C/C++ homeyg's Avatar
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    Trying to get a few things straight

    I'm pretty new to programming and C++, so I have some newbie questions (sorry if this is not the right forum for these questions or if they've been asked before). I'm just trying to get a few thngs straight.

    1. What do I need to learn besides the C++ language itself to be able to program Windows type programs? Do I need to have all of that MS Visual C++ software or can it be done with a compiler like Dev-C++? Also, before I forget, what is that .NET stuff? Do I need to know about that also?

    2. What about game programming? Does this have any ties to Windows programming? Is DirectX programming a whole separate thing from C++ altogether?

    That's all I can think of for now. Thanks in advance-

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    1.) to make programs with GUI's you need to know the WIN32 API , yes you can use DEV C++ to make them.
    2.)yes direct x has nothing to do with C++ to program with Direct X you need the dx9 sdk you can download it from MSDN but i dont know if you can use Direct X with DEV C++ you might have to "aquire" MSVC++ 6.0

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    What do I need to learn besides the C++ language itself to be able to program Windows type programs?
    Basically you just need to know which API functions to call, and when to call them I'd check out the tutorials at winprog.org for a start. You can program windows programs with any compiler, and knowledge of .NET is unnecessary.

    What about game programming? Does this have any ties to Windows programming? Is DirectX programming a whole separate thing from C++ altogether?
    Game programming has ties to windows programming because you need to know how to use the windows API to create a window, and read messages from the message pump. Game programming also requires you to learn a lot more as well though. You need to learn the API of your graphics library (OpenGL and Direct3D are examples of graphics libraries), and you need to know quite a bit of math as well in order to manipulate 3D enviroments successfully (dot products, matrices, and vectors are all very common things in game programming). There are excellent OpenGL tutorials at nehe.gamedev.net, and you could probably find some good Direct3D tutorials with a google search.

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    C/C++ homeyg's Avatar
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    Thanks for your answers, but I'm still trying to figure out what an API is. Could you fill me in?

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    windows has it's own header file (windows.h), inside that and many other files you won't need to worry about now, are declarations of API functions. The windows API (Application Programming Interface?) are a set of functions already written for programmers to use. With them, you can do lots of stuff with windows. I suggest getting a win32 reference for when you start doing windows programming.

    I wouldn't suggest trying to do windows programming until you are more familiar with c++ (syntax, structures, and such).
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    Quote Originally Posted by neandrake
    I wouldn't suggest trying to do windows programming until you are more familiar with c++ (syntax, structures, and such).
    Oh, I knew that. I'm just trying to find some answers to questions that have been bugging me for a while.

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    30 Helens Agree neandrake's Avatar
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    Yea, the windows API is a slew of functions for you to create and use windows applications. There are container classes for lots of the common apis that make them easier to use (such as MFC). I however, don't like the MFC. When I write windows applications, I build the windows/controls using the resource editor and include it in my project.
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