VC++ version question
Hi-ho, all! My first post here; I hope I don't screw up.
So, I'm told everywhere that my best bet is to get Visual C++.
Now, I'm a mostly-newbie programmer (one college course in C a few years ago, learned a little more on my own, and have been teaching myself Visual Basic -- just what comes with MS Office 2000). I'm not looking to do this professionally in the forseeable future, I just like code, and playing around with making games, a-life simulations and miscellaneous cool apps, on a machine that's several years old.
Som Question: Since I'm unlikely to need anything cutting-edge, is there really any need, IYO, for me to get 6.0, when I could save a few bucks getting a secondhand 5.0? or even a 4.0? On the one hand, I don't want to waste money getting more than I'll need, on the other I don't want to waste it buying something I'll just have to replace soon. In what circumstanes would compatability issues arise?
Actualy, though, Dev-C is what I was already working on, and I was happy with it until, trying to compile some outside source code I was interested in learning from, I kept getting errors. (Of course, now that I think on it, I'm not the sort of person likely to read documentation that well).
This was right around when I started reading recommendations for Visual C++ (on the net and in programming books); I guess that may count as peer pressure. You really think Dev-C is likely sufficient?
Dev-C is totally sufficient. Visual C++ is generally only recommended to use if you want to use Microsoft Foundation Classes(MFC); otherwise you should use a superior compiler. MSVC++ compiler is not a very complient compiler to the ANSI/ISO C++ standards. I'm not too sure about the ANSI C Standard because I prefer C++. I'd go with the Dev-C package and save yourself some money.
The new compiler that comes with Microsoft Visual C++ .NET 2003 is pretty awesome and standards compliant. If you're going to do windows programming, its the best to get. Also the code-completion features that come with it are waaay superior to Dev-C++'s.
Dev-C++ uses MINGW, which isn't 100% STL compliant. It doesn't have wstring, for example. Also, Dev-C++ 126.96.36.199 has a few bugs in the IDE.
You can pick up a VC++.NET2003 Standard Edition for about £100 over here...pretty good price....and that edition is very complient as the last poster mentioned, and will probably have everything you require for quite some time to come
>>is there really any need, IYO, for me to get 6.0, when I could save a few bucks getting a secondhand 5.0? or even a 4.0?<<
A lot of macros and functions are depreciated (no longer in use).
Better memory error detection (in the .NET versions)
Best help is in v5 but is updated in v6 and has the intellisense (fills in values for members, paramaters ect)
Well, I've decided to stick with the free stuff for now, until I run into a specific reason to get something better.
I appreciate everyone's advice, though, and will definitely remember your recommendations when the time does come to get the big toys!
Install the latest Windows Core SDK (after all, they wrote the OS), install STLPort, then pick your favorite compiler/linker combo to put it together for you.