1. Rut row Raggy!
    Devshed Novice (500 - 999 posts)

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    Jul 2001
    Tornado Alley
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    Question Making a GUI-based program--where do I start?

    I have a weather-realted website, and I would like to build a fairly simple program that will allow my users to get the forecast for 20 cities nation-wide. The program will work similarly to a Power Point presentation. The process of using the program would go something like this:

    1-User downloads programs and installs using a wizard-driven installation.
    2-User opens program.
    3-If an internet connection isn't available and forecast data aren't on the user's computer or new forecast data can be downloaded, the user will get an error saying they need to be connected to the internet.
    4-If a connection is available, the program automatically downloads the forecast data from my website, as well as a group of audio clips that will play in the background during the presentation.
    5-Once everything has been downloaded, the user is able to load the presentation.
    6-The presentation loads and runs through 21 screens (an intro screen and the 20 city forecast screens--the 20 screens are just a picture representing the city and the forecast data [weather, high temperature, and low temperature] in the foreground), while playing a song in the background.
    7-Once the presentation is done, the user can then either play the presenation again (with a different song playing in the background) or close the program.

    I am new to making GUI-based programs for Windows, but I do have a basic understanding of C++ (I took an intro class last fall). Since I am new, I don't care what language I use, but the easier the language is to work with the better! Unless I'm mistaken, I would prefer to use C++ since Java has a distinct look to it (Java programs have that coffee symbol in the top left-hand corner of the screen). I have searched every bookstore in town looking for a book that teaches you how to program GUI applications, but none of them give you practicle examples. For example, in a book I have on PHP, it tells shows you how to put your skills to use by making a message board, a web-based e-mail program, an e-commerce store, and so on. I am a hands-on/visual learner, so these books that just teach you how to program without real-world examples don't help. There are a lot of great programs out there, but obviously every programmer has to start somewhere, and I'm sure not every programmer learns the same way...so naturally I'm surprised that all programming books that I've found are written the same way--no real-world examples!! Any ideas on books and/or development programs? I am also a college student, so I have little money to spend. Thanks!!!
    Last edited by marron79; January 15th, 2003 at 04:11 PM.
  2. #2
  3. Banned ;)
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Woodland Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA
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    Try getting hold of Borland C++ Builder (there's a free edition available online from http://www.borland.com/), if you're developing for Windows. For Linux, they also offer Kylix which is pretty much identical to C++ Builder. Anyways, developing a GUI app with this is a breeze. You can drag and drop components on to a form and attach codes to events. It's very intuitive and quick to build. In fact, you can pretty much code a complete Notepad clone in like 15 minutes or so with it. Give it a whirl and see if you like it. Hope this helps!

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