Thread: Difference between C++ & Visual C++

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Jul 2002

    Difference between C++ & Visual C++

    I've done some C programming and now it's time to learn C++.
    My local college offers courses in both C++ and Visual C++.
    What's the difference? Are they used for different types of applications? Is one favored more by industry than the other?

    My goal is to create simple windows applications at work,
    and perhaps continue with my education towards a 2 yr
    degree in CS.

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Seven years? civix's Avatar
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    Jul 2002
    Umm... Heres what I think on this.. correct me, guys, if i'm wrong but..
    Visual C++ can only be compiled by Microsoft's VC Compiler?
    I think.
    Not completely sure.
    Chew on that for awhile.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    >What's the difference?
    C++ is a powerful and general programming language that is portable across many platforms. Visual C++ is an application distributed by Microsoft that compiles C++ code and has an IDE that makes Windows GUI programming simpler. In summary, C++ is a programming language, Visual C++ is an application.
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  4. #4
    Registered User jlou's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    If you want to do Windows apps, I'd still suggest taking the C++ only classes first. I would guess/hope that they teach you good C++ programming which should give you a good foundation.

    Then, once you feel comfortable with generic C++, you should take a class that uses Visual C++ to build Windows apps.

    Of course, you can still use Visual C++ to do your generic C++ programming. Just because you use the Visual C++ IDE and compiler doesn't mean you have to make Windows programs. If you can, use that in your regular C++ classes and then you'll be comfortable with the environment when you start building GUI apps.

  5. #5
    mustang benny bennyandthejets's Avatar
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    Jul 2002
    I agree with jlou. The C++ classes would most likely offer you a less specific course, which means you may be able to learn more eventually. Can you get a course strcture for both courses? That would show where the differences and similarities are.
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  6. #6
    Hardware Engineer
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    Sep 2001
    Visual C++ is an application.
    Yes. It is Microsoft's compiler (IDE = Integrated Development Environment.)

    It runs in a window, and it can compile Windows applications as well as console applications in either C or C++.

    There are other compilers that can compile Windows applications. This ability is "above and beyond" the ANSI/ISO C++ language standard.

    Check the course prerequisites for the Visual C++ class. They may not requre C++ first. For example, in Programing Windows, Charles Petzold uses C in all of his examples. (I assume this class is going to teach you to write Windows applications using the Visual C++ compiler.) You will need to take the generic C++ class (or self-study) at some point, because there is too much Windows-specific information to cover both topics in one course.

    You can write Windows applications in C, and compile them with the Microsoft Visual C++ compiler. You can include <windows.h> and use the WinAPI functions in either a C, or a C++ program.
    Is one favored more by industry than the other?
    C++ is probably the most common language, and Microsoft Visual C++ is probably the most common compiler. This doesn't mean that everybody uses them. It means that industry is using lots of different tools... I mean maybe Visual C++ is a 10% slice the market (and that's a made-up number), and nobody else has a slice that big.

  7. #7
    Registered User
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    Jul 2002
    Thanks everyone, for the helpful info!

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