Thread: Visual C++ and C++, does it really differ?

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    Visual C++ and C++, does it really differ?

    Hi,
    I am a newbie and never programmed ever before.
    I did checked the books recommendations mentioned here and here.
    a relative of mine passed away since a while, and his family just give his library to my mother.
    My mother knows that I like computers and internet, so she thought these books will be in a good use for me.
    When I checked these books, I found it from mid nineties till 2001.
    Most of them about C++, but it is written Visual C++.
    It is about 40 or 50 books that has visual C++ in the title (I have that impression that this man was a collector or something), and most of the books have several pages like 900+ or 1300+ etc...
    Also most publishers no longer exists, I mean when I checked the internet and amazon I found publishers like Que no longer exist.
    Most of the books from Que, Wrox, SAMs.
    So my question is ... long-story-short, can I study from these books?
    If it is YES, then it will be a huge saving, plus that I in love with any old book, I smell its papers and like its touch (yes I know, most of the people who know me thinking that I am crazy about books), so reading these old books will be a pleasure for me.
    But I do not know if it is right or wrong to do so, especially that I never programmed before but just above average user for computers and internet (of course my mother things I am the next bill gates).
    When I opened the books, I've found most of them talking about programming for windows.
    So please recommend for what I should do.
    So please if someone may be patience with me and till the differences between C++ and Visual C++, that would be awesome.
    Another issue, is that I will study from books, if these books are old then I will have to buy new current books, which will cost a lot because I hate electronic books.
    Please advise.
    Note: I've a valid visual studio enterprise 2017 license from my college, but never used it ever before, just got it with an education key for windows 10 from college as well. I am just using the windows key.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rokiloc View Post
    plus that I in love with any old book, I smell its papers and like its touch (yes I know, most of the people who know me thinking that I am crazy about books), so reading these old books will be a pleasure for me.
    Same here. I love the smell of old books too! I also love understanding things written in old books, almost feels like I'm uncovering an old secret or something

    C++ is a language that as far as I know is independent of any particular tool used to manipulate it. So Visual C++ is an IDE. Just like Code::Blocks is an IDE and so on.

    An IDE means Integrated Development Environment (I think). A fancy name for an editor. Most likely the Visual C++ books you have refer to code compiled in Visual Studio which is an IDE you can download online.

    Warning though, C++ has undergone many changes in recent years so some of the information in your old books may be out of date but I would imagine the code will still work and the books will still teach you about C++ and coding. Eventually though you'll want maybe just one more up to date book

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    and the hat of int overfl Salem's Avatar
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    C++ is not a good first language to be learning.
    It's large, cumbersome and not without a bunch of traps for the unwary (though not as many traps as C).
    It will take time before you're able to write decent programs to do actual useful things.

    If you want a first language to learn, I would suggest Python.
    It will teach you some good habits, runs on all major operating systems, has plenty of learning resources and a wide set of libraries.
    Unlike some other teaching languages, it's very useful in the real world.

    What do you want to do with this knowledge after you've read them?
    Do you want to be a Windows application developer, or do you want to use your knowledge on interplanetary robots, or the latest smart home gadgets, or console games, or ....
    Software is everywhere.

    Aside from some introductory chapters that introduce the core language (which will pretty much be the same in every single book), all the windows specific stuff probably isn't worth learning.
    Most of the 1990's books will be heavily skewed to 16-bit Win9x operating systems.

    You need both hands to count how many revisions both C++ and Windows OS's have passed since then.
    C++ - Wikipedia
    Microsoft Windows version history - Wikipedia
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
    If at first you don't succeed, try writing your phone number on the exam paper.

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    I've to admit that most what you both said I have no idea about except very few things.
    The reason for choosing C++ was that I read in several places that it is a very good source to learn programming basics, then I can continue with C#.
    The reason for choosing C# was not my pure decision but it was just a recommendations I've come through reading many articles on the web.
    What I want to do from programming is to make applications and sell it online.
    According to what you both said, I can say that I've no idea what shall I do, but I felt lost after reading your replies.
    After reading your words, I've realized that I keep repeating what I read online without understanding it correctly, which is really turned on to be a very stupid and dumb thing.
    I felt very depressed after reading your replies and somehow about to cry, not because of you but because of my situation.
    What would be the right way?
    I want to invest the time and effort but do not know what to do exactly.

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    Get a beginner's book on C++ or as Salem suggested Python.

    Python Programming for Beginners: The Complete Guide to Mastering Python in 7 Days with Hands-On Exercises – Top Secret Coding Tips to Get an Unfair Advantage and Land Your Dream Job!: Amazon.co.uk: Robbins, Philip: 9798376161821: Books

    When you've understood more about coding you can eventually come back to your old books and they will make more sense. You'll understand it eventually if you persist with learning (even when it gets depressing - which it sometimes does).

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    I feel defeated if I moved away from C++, I surrendered many things in my life, and each time I did I was the only loser, and always telling myself to do not repeat the surrender once again next time. So I want to continue what I want to achieve to help myself (sorry to bother you with my issues, but just speak the truth, so I can get a real better help instead of telling bla bla lies).
    The reason for telling my details is that I checked a lot of websites and forums, and this is the only place where I felt there is a real people really answering real questions.

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    - later on edit -
    I do not mind to buy new books, and I am not persist to use the old books I've. I will do what

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    Quote Originally Posted by rokiloc View Post
    After reading your words, I've realized that I keep repeating what I read online without understanding it correctly, which is really turned out to be a very stupid and dumb thing.
    Also you might want to note, that's a good start to programming. At least you realize repeating things you read online is a bad idea. Coding is quite a real profession, rather like a builder or crafter. You need to actually understand and make things. It's not a corporate type profession where you can get away with bull ........ and management speak.

    So in a way you've kinda already learned something

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    Quote Originally Posted by rokiloc View Post
    I feel defeated if I moved away from C++, I surrendered many things in my life, and each time I did I was the only loser, and always telling myself to do not repeat the surrender once again next time.
    That's excessively principled and whilst it may be the case in your real life, it's certainly not happening here. You can just go and learn Python and then come back to C++ with your old books anytime you want. No one is taking anything off you here. For your information the book I use for learning Windows stuff (and I'm still mostly a n00b myself with windows and C++) goes back to 1998.

    It's no shame or bad idea at all to go learn an easier language and then come back to a harder one when you have more competency with code.

  10. #10
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    Regardless of where you want to get to, learning Python will be useful to you no matter what.

    Learning to program is like learning to drive.

    You typically don't learn to drive in a sports car or an 18-wheel big rig.

    But having learnt to drive, whether you then choose to use a sports car or an 18-wheel big rig depends on your circumstances, and what you need to do.
    Yes, each has it's own type-specific quirks, and perhaps variations on road rules, but those are details.
    By and large, every road vehicle operates on the same principles.

    Same goes for learning to write software.

    Your choice of what programming language to use is just one part of it.

    Where your typical student homework of "Write a program to do X" has only one or two requirements, real programs have many 10's to thousands.
    You no longer have the luxury of being able to picture the entire program in your head, and be able to go straight to code.

    To write some substantial new program, 90% of your time will be spend on things that don't involve writing code.
    Systems development life cycle - Wikipedia
    Sure, the whole thing only applies to the largest of developments in any formal sense, but even small projects will benefit from steps either side of "just write the code".

    Before you get anywhere near writing "int main", there's at least some analysis and design up front.
    Get the design right, and your code will be easy to write, debug, test and maintain.
    Get the design wrong (or try to skip it entirely), you end up with a ball of mud where nothing can agree on what needs to be done, and what bit of the code is supposed to do it.

    A good day of design will save you weeks of pointless coding effort.

    Over your entire career, you're going to learn several languages pretty well, be able to 'get by' in more of them, and be able to read nearly all of them.
    Not to mention forget some of them.
    I was taught Pascal in college, but I never used it to earn even a single $. I've never regarded it as being a waste of time.
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
    If at first you don't succeed, try writing your phone number on the exam paper.

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