Help for a beginner!

This is a discussion on Help for a beginner! within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Im a junior in highschool and i wanted to start a programming club at my school to learn C++ cuz ...

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    Help for a beginner!

    Im a junior in highschool and i wanted to start a programming club at my school to learn C++ cuz the programming courses here only taught us visual basic, html, Mysql, and PHP. I picked up a C++ book last week and started going through it a bit. I can do a few simple things so far like type out hello world, declare variables, and make a function. What I really want out of this though is to do something cool or actually useful with the language thats more interesting than making a simple hang man game. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Also, I hate how everything i do comes up in DOS. How do i make a program that will have buttons and backgrounds like a real windows app?

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    Registered Loser nickodonnell's Avatar
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    C++ isn't windows. It takes a LOOOONG time to be able to make useful window apps. You start by learning the basics (and a hangman game isn't as simple as it seems). Basically, you have to learn C++ pretty thouroughly then learn how to program in windows. All the programs you compile in C++ will come up in the "DOS" window.

    The direction I point you in is reading, reading, practicing, reading, and more reading. It takes a while to get good, and alot of programmers spend hours getting the basics when the first start. I'm actually a huge... I hate using this word... newbie. I've probably spent the last 100 hours of my life reading tutorials, writing practice programs, and doing it over again. I've probably mastered about 10% of the language (probably less, but that's an estimate.)

    I'll just tell you the same thing everyone else has told me: patience. You can't just jump into programming and in a few days be able to make useful windows apps. I've heard it takes years.

    And if you don't believe me, ask one of the programmers here who have been doing this for years and know what they're doing.
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    hmm, c++ isn't really a "look what I can do!" language. It's generally meant for professionals, and it's not so simple to do quick and dirty GUIs like VB is, that's why they use VB in highschools I guess. Plus the teachers in highschool generally aren't very good at teaching things like c or c++. I was in a "java for c++ programmers" class in '98 and one of the people in my class was a highschool c++ teacher, she didn't even understand the difference between passing by value and passing by reference or pointer.

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    years arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ......oh well... after all those millions and millions of years you can say, look at my hang man game

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    not true i made a calculator for dos that does cos sin and tan aswell as square routes and all the basic ones and my teacher was surprised and im in grade 8
    so it can be a look wut i can do thing

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    Registered User Jaqui's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Glue
    Im a junior in highschool and i wanted to start a programming club at my school to learn C++
    Talk to a councillor or programming teacher about this, as it would have to have a staff member from the school associated with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Glue
    What I really want out of this though is to do something cool or actually useful with the language thats more interesting than making a simple hang man game. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
    pick a specific application you want to write.
    then start researching what it will need to do.
    ask specific questions for the app, one per thread.


    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Glue
    Also, I hate how everything i do comes up in DOS. How do i make a program that will have buttons and backgrounds like a real windows app?
    this is what Integrated Development Environments, like ms visual studio do. the problem is, they do not write good code.
    you will learn more about the language, and be a better programmer by working with dos level output and creating fairly complex apps for dos than by using a R.A.D. tool like visual studio.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Henager
    If the average user can put a CD in and boot the system and follow the prompts, he can install and use Linux. If he can't do that simple task, he doesn't need to be around technology.

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    Dae
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilhawk2892
    not true i made a calculator for dos that does cos sin and tan aswell as square routes and all the basic ones and my teacher was surprised and im in grade 8
    so it can be a look wut i can do thing
    I'd be more suprised you know what sin cos and tan are in the beginning of grade 8.

    The 'look what I can do' parts of C++ are the libraries, OpenGL, win32, etc. Though there are some dos progs for C++ that are "impressive" - calculator ones, like finding all angles/sides of a triangle and dimensions, doing vector/matrix work, etc... pretty much just math. Text games are sorta impressive, but not so much anymore.
    Warning: Have doubt in anything I post.

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    C++ Enthusiast jmd15's Avatar
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    Well he doesn't have to know WHAT sine, cosine, and tangents are to make something that can display those values. I wouldn't brag too much about being able to calculate sine cosine and tangent because it can be done by including one extra header file, and by using a single function for each. Ex:
    Code:
    #include <iostream>
    #include <stdlib.h>
    #include <math.h>
    
    int main()
    {
    std::cout<<"Sine of a 45 degree angle is: "<<sin(45)<<std::endl;
    system("PAUSE");
    return 0;
    }
    Tangent's function is tan() and cosine's function is cos(). But as for wanting to make programs with a GUI for windows, how about the Win32 API? Read up on that, it's not too tough but if you only know how to output to the screen, declare variables, and make basic functions of your own, I would wait a while.
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    Well ive already made a hangman game in visual basic. Yeah it takes a while to make, but conceptually its pretty simple. But If i wanted to make games, id learn action script and flash which is way easier for that kinda stuff. I had a couple of ideas for some C++ programs. In visual basic I once made a program that looked almost exactly like AIM, by pasting the image of it onto a form. When a person typed the name and password in textboxes and pressed enter, it would save the password and name in a textfile somewhere. For C++, i was hoping i could do the same thing, except make an image take up the whole background of the computer, and make it look like the log on screen for windows. It seems like that would be a simple, but fun program to make. What do yall think?

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    Meganan
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    Look like everybody else has said you just dont go "hmmm...I'll think I'll learn C++ today!" and create Halo 2 in the same day. There is a reason why it takes you another 4 years after high school to become a professional in C++. I have just spent around six months learning the ropes of C++ and only now do i consider myself an average C++ programmer (then again in C++ there's so much to learn you never really can get higher than average can you); and that was learning at about 4+ hours per day (much more time than you get at school). I'd say that it's just now worth trying for at school. Just wait till you're out of school and into high school that's where the fun begins (at least i think so i haven't actually left high school yet but i'm sooo close). If you decide to go ahead well good luck but those are my reasons.

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    C++ Enthusiast jmd15's Avatar
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    Hey I'm a sophomore in high school and I am pretty good at C++(but I don't like to judge myself), you don't need to be out of high school to be pretty good at it. My main focus is the Win32 API just because that's what I and everyone around me uses. It sounds like you want to be learning the Win32 API which is pretty fun but you should get the basics down first. All that Visual Basic crap is poisoning your mind.
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    Registered User Tonto's Avatar
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    I'm gonna come into the computer lab and punch in all your glasses. You should not concern yourself with making flashy windowed applications at this point. You need to get the language concepts down before you start wh**ing out on every language feature you can get your grubby paws on Do a google/board search on windows programming.

    >> not true i made a calculator for dos that does cos sin and tan aswell as square routes and all the basic ones and my teacher was surprised and im in grade 8

    "Cute".

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    Dae
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmd15
    Well he doesn't have to know WHAT sine, cosine, and tangents are to make something that can display those values. I wouldn't brag too much about being able to calculate sine cosine and tangent because it can be done by including one extra header file, and by using a single function for each. Ex:
    Code:
    #include <iostream>
    #include <stdlib.h>
    #include <math.h>
    
    int main()
    {
    std::cout<<"Sine of a 45 degree angle is: "<<sin(45)<<std::endl;
    system("PAUSE");
    return 0;
    }
    Tangent's function is tan() and cosine's function is cos(). But as for wanting to make programs with a GUI for windows, how about the Win32 API? Read up on that, it's not too tough but if you only know how to output to the screen, declare variables, and make basic functions of your own, I would wait a while.
    I'd agree. But actually its not degrees, its in radians, and whats funny is lilhawk's prog was probably set to radians also.

    However we were discussing if it was impressive to us, but non programmers.. though I've got to say a teacher should know that sin cos and tan have scripts for all over.. I mean its on most calculuators.. youve got to assume.
    Last edited by Dae; 10-05-2005 at 08:12 PM.
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    semi-colon generator ChaosEngine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaqui
    this is what Integrated Development Environments, like ms visual studio do. the problem is, they do not write good code.
    you will learn more about the language, and be a better programmer by working with dos level output and creating fairly complex apps for dos than by using a R.A.D. tool like visual studio.
    not true. IDE's certainly help with GUI programming, but they are by no means an absolute necessity, nor do they have to produce bad code.

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    Registered User Jaqui's Avatar
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    IDEs do tend to default to excessive code.
    you can easily strip out 50% of the default code from an ide and still have a functioning app, with a far smaller executable.
    that's what I meant by bad code, the bloat of unused functionality from the default widgets.

    if you really want to code every window class, button class etc, yup you can code from notepad a full windowed application.
    but using builtin win32api or borland's widgets, or qt or wxwindows you are getting a lot of resource wasting code in the app. ( which can also be done from notepad, or even dos edit )

    ms started the drag and drop programming now called rad with their visual c++ and visual basic*, try using rad to develop for an embedded app. even an ide ( which is rad ) will not give you small enough executable for that cell phone. ( most of which are running linux and using ncurses for the interface, the java days are dying )
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Henager
    If the average user can put a CD in and boot the system and follow the prompts, he can install and use Linux. If he can't do that simple task, he doesn't need to be around technology.

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