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    Question Which IDE is the easiest for dev. Win. programs?


    Short question:
    Which IDE is the most feature-packed and easiest to use in your opinion?

    1-Borland C++ Builder
    2-Microsoft Visual C++ .NET
    3-Metrowerks CodeWarrior

    Question w/explanation:
    After a lot of research and thinking about the recommendations I've received here, I've reluctently decided to use Win32 and C++ and my programming language and API for making my first Windows program. I say "reluctently" because out of the four API's I researched (Win32, Java, Python, and C#), Win32 looks like it's the toughest to learn, but also looks to be the most scalable.

    Anyway, now I'm trying to decide on which IDE to get. I want a program I can use for just about any Windows project that interests me, so usability is more important than cost (they are all about the same price anyway).

    I've looked at CodeWarrior, Visual C++, and Borland C++ Builder, and they all appear to be good programs. I like CodeWarrior's ability to compile both Windows AND Macintosh programs, but if Borland or Visual C++ are better IDEs, I can save my Mac aspirations for another day.

    I look forward to reading your recommendations!
    Last edited by marron79; February 20th, 2003 at 03:57 PM.
    Matt
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    I have never used the other two, but I have never had any problems developing with Visual C++. The only gripe I have about usability concerns the ability to select threads while debugging - in VC6 it was a pain in the @$$. I don't know if they've fixed it in VC7.

    IMO, Visual Studio is the standard for developing Windows applications. The MSDN library is an unbeatable reference that is integrated right into the IDE, so help is just an F1 keypress away.

    You'll find some great opinions (both good and bad) of Visual Studio at http://www.codeproject.com. That site revolves around Windows development with Visual Studio .NET. Ask this question there and you will get many responses.
    Jon Sagara

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    "worse or better IDE" is a matter of personal preference. you should check out all of them.

    from my experience: if you want to do all kinds of different projects for windows, use VC++ (or "Visual Studio").
    Not that the IDE is better or worse than any other, but there is many libraries out on the ´net that will only work with VC++. (eg. borland´s implementation of __fastcall differs from VC´s and AFAIK gcc doesn´t implement __fastcall yet at all.)
    I´ve played with ports of libraries to other C environments and also Delphi, but to get everything out of your windows, IMHO VC++ is the only one :(
    But be prepared that only the newest version will work. And today this is already yesterday´s news...:rolleyes:
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    I personally prefer the Borland C++ Builder IDE. Why?? Because I also program in Delphi and the IDEs are the same. Also, when programming in Windows, it's not just the IDE, but also the class library and the included components that make me prefer Borland C++ Builder to Visual C++. Don't get me wrong here, I have programmed quite a few things in Visual C++, but with one exception, they were things that needed to be small in size and usually had a simpler gui. For bells and whistles, C++ Builder definitely comes in with a lot more of them by default. However, the Borland VCL library makes your programs larger vs. Microsoft's MFC library or even bare Windows API programming.

    Then again, it's largely a question of personal preference.
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    Scorpions4Ever, what is your solution to the __fastcall problem? (or did you never have to deal with it, lucky one?)

    i didn´t get it solved yet.... so i can´t link against DLLs implemented using __fastcall when i´m using BC++ :( (nor using Delphi, but this is another issue anyway...)
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    Thankfully, all the DLLs I've had to work with used stdcall calling conventions. The trouble with fastcall calling convention is that Microsoft and Borland (and Watcom for that matter) use different registers (Microsoft uses only ECX, EDX and then the stack, Watcom and Borland use more registers and then the stack). Seems that someone else has the same problem that you did, and they worked around it:

    http://www.geocities.com/disableddan...ws/XtraInt.htm
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    Thankfully, all the DLLs I've had to work with used stdcall calling conventions. The trouble with fastcall calling convention is that Microsoft and Borland (and Watcom for that matter) use different registers (Microsoft uses only ECX, EDX and then the stack, Watcom and Borland use more registers and then the stack). Seems that someone else has the same problem that you did, and they worked around it:

    http://www.geocities.com/disableddan...ws/XtraInt.htm
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    Genesis3D - this was where i first met this problem too :D

    i´ll read into it on monday. i´m busy till then....
    tnx.
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    Thanks for your prompt replies. I've never heard anyone talk about CodeWarrior, so I'll stay away from that. I found out that both Borland and Visual Studio are on the computers here at school, and like Visual C++...mainly because of the nice Win32 and MFC templates and drag-and-drop features.

    One last question, if I may. I've searched for and read a few posts here on Windows programming, and now I'm not sure whether to use MFC or plain old Win32. Some people say start with Win32 and C, while others say doing that is a waste of time. I have a lot of experience with PHP, and really liked it's object-oriented features. Making my somewhat large website in OO PHP made my life a whole lot easier! I also have a fairly solid understanding of the basics of C++ (took a class last fall, and most of it came naturally to me w/my PHP knowledge). I know it's not a lot to go by, but based on my PHP skills, which would probably be the easiest for me to learn? Win32 (which only uses C, I think) or MFC (which only uses C++, I think)?

    If knowing what kind of program I want to develop helps your decision, I want to make a weather forecasting program that runs much like a PowerPoint presentation. When the program loads, it downloads forecast data from a website. Once it has downloaded the data, it then goes through about 10 screens (i.e. current conditions, local forecast, extended forecast, etc.) while playing an mp3 file in the background. Each screen contains both text data and animated/non-animated images such as a picture of a sun or cloud. One of the screens scrolls through about 20 lines of city-by-city forecast data, and every screen also has a bar at the bottom which displays it's own text presentation of the current conditions, with the current date and time as well.

    I hate to ask a lot of questions, but I don't want to spend a lot of money on books and a program unless I know I've chosen the right language and API. Thanks again for your comments!
    Last edited by marron79; February 20th, 2003 at 05:19 PM.
    Matt
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    Ideally, learn about the Win32 API first and then move on to MFC. If time is an issue, then learn MFC and go from there. You can pick up little tidbits about the API as you go.
    Jon Sagara

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  21. Rut row Raggy!
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    Originally posted by jonsagara
    Ideally, learn about the Win32 API first and then move on to MFC. If time is an issue, then learn MFC and go from there. You can pick up little tidbits about the API as you go.
    Well, this project isn't for a company or school, so I could spend as much time as I want on it, but I'd like to get it out as soon as possible in case my programming/weather friends figure out how to make a similar program before I do. :)

    For those who have read Jeff's MFC book, does he assume you already know Win32 or can a person w/no Win32 experience understand it? Thanks again!
    Matt
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    Yep, you can pick up MFC without first knowing Win32. Knowing Win32 is useful in that it helps you realize what is going on with MFC "under the hood."
    Jon Sagara

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    Originally posted by jonsagara
    Yep, you can pick up MFC without first knowing Win32. Knowing Win32 is useful in that it helps you realize what is going on with MFC "under the hood."
    I've read some book reviews on Amazon.com about MFC, and a few complain that certain books don't explain what's going on "under the hood." What do they mean? Are they wanting to know how things work and why? If so, then I'll pass on Win32. As long as I can figure out how to make a program do what I want in MFC, I don't care how or why it works.
    Matt
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    I've read some book reviews on Amazon.com about MFC, and a few complain that certain books don't explain what's going on "under the hood." What do they mean?"

    My experience is that you follow along with an example in a book and you use AppWizard to generate a bunch of code, and the book tells you to go to a certain place in the code, and then enter the code the book told you to write to perform a certain task. Then you do some graphics or whatever and run the program, and it works great. But, what if you want to create your own program and you don't have a book to tell you what code to generate with AppWizard and where to go to add your own code?

    If you look through the code AppWizard generates, it can be pretty daunting. If you don't know what's going on under the hood, I'm not sure how you're going to get a program to work, unless you decide to learn visual basic. C++ can be a very complex language--orders of magnitude more so than php.

    I have a question for you: how can you link up C++ and php in one application?
    Last edited by 7stud; February 21st, 2003 at 12:56 AM.
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    Originally posted by 7stud
    If you look through the code AppWizard generates, it can be pretty daunting. If you don't know what's going on under the hood, I'm not sure how you're going to get a program to work, unless you decide to learn visual basic. C++ can be a very complex language--orders of magnitude more so than php.

    I have a question for you: how can you link up C++ and php in one application?
    So they don't explain what the code means that you're inserting or generating using a wizard? That makes sense, and something I definatly want to avoid. Before I became comfortable enough with PHP, I had to learn all the ins and outs of what I was going to use. Even after I started building scripts, I always had to refer back to one of my books to see how to do something. Now, not only do I have an entire site generated with PHP, I can pretty much tell you what every piece of code does.

    That being said, I must have at least two books. One that explains the how and why, and another that puts code into practical examples. I figure Petzold's book on Win32, and Prosise's book on MFC would be good for learning the how and why. And since I'll be using Visual Studio, I thought Kruglinki's book on Visual C++ would be a good reference for looking at practical examples.

    Do you recommend any books on C, C++ in addition to the two books mentioned above? As I said before, after taking an intro C++ class, I am comfortable with the basics of it. However, someone here mentioned that K&R's book, "The C Programming Language" is a must while reading Petzold's book (Petzold even mentiones it in the book). I'm a little weary about spending $40 on a book that old. "C: A Reference Manual" by Harbison looks good too (and more recent). What do yout think? Thanks!!

    Sorry, I have no experience integrating C++ with PHP, if that's what you were asking.
    Last edited by marron79; February 21st, 2003 at 02:01 AM.
    Matt
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