Re: cpp help!

  • From: "Littlefield, Tyler" <tyler@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 23:02:40 -0600

If you guys are working this through over a messenger... I could possibly help out. I'm dragging my bedtime out, but I have class late tomorrow, so it's not a huge issue. but I can def help over the weekend.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Joseph Lee" <joseph.lee22590@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 10:58 PM
Subject: RE: cpp help!

Hi Alex,
Good thing you are learning new stuff (so am I). Think of libraries as
collection of tools that a programmer can use to ask the program to perform
certain tasks (at least that's how I'd phrase it).
For Alex M: Could you help Alex H. learn few things in C++? And, if you want
to, please help us out (me and Alex) with a checkbook program emulator for
keySoft and HIMS interface (if you are familiar with user interface and
software architecture of BrailleNote and Braille sense family). We have just started design specs by creating a simple check class (more details on that
later on a separate post). Thanks.

-----Original Message-----
From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Alex Midence
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 9:54 PM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: cpp help!


Thank you for the examples.  Very interesting stuff.  It's slowly
starting to come together in my head.  Also, your point about how the
library and the language are two separate things to learn is wel
taken.  I suppose it's a bit like learning a spoken language and then
learning the local jargons of certain industries and the regional
dialects for others.  I'm somehting of an amateur linguist.  I speak
seven human languages and I can tell you that it's not unheard of for
someone to study one in a textbook, think they have a nice foundation
and then be suckerpunched by encountering a native speaker who speaks
a non standard variant.  German is like that.  I'll never forget my
first encounter with a Swiss German speaker.  We wound up speaking
French after about two sentences.

Thanks again,


What I was writing was pseudocode of a sort.  It was a demonstration
of how I thought writing gui controls could be simplified and take
fewer lines of code to write.  Sorry if I wasn't clear.  And no, I
think I'll stay the course with c++.  I've never let any language
scare me away so quickly.  I just wondered if all the work one so
evidently has to put  into learning it well was a practical investment
of time.  Yor ansers were succinct and to the point.  Thanks.

Alex M

On 8/26/10, qubit <lauraeaves@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Ty is right -- even the supposedly special syntax
  cout << data << endl;
is not part of the language, but the operator<< is overloaded for usage
way in the iostream
Learning the language is separate from learning the libraries you want to
This is true in any OO language, including java, C#, python or whatever.

For example, I am learning java right now, and java has 2 popular
for handling its I/O -- one is SWING and the other SWT.  There are pros
cons to both. But if you know one, it may still take you a little bit of a
learning curve to switch to the other.  It's just unavoidable.

Back to C and C++, I have some handy analogies for understanding and using

First was one a professor related in a class I took ages ago -- suppose
are on a treasure hunt and the map leads you to a box. The box could
hold the goods you are seeking, or the location where to find the next
If it is a location, you could say it points to a new destination.  So
a pointer.

Second observation, in C and therefore C++, the syntax for a declaration
a variable is designed to mimick what an expression would look like if you
wanted to access data through that variable.
Let me sho some examples:

int i; // i contains the int
int *p;  // if you want the pointer int*, just say p, but if you want to
to the int, just say *p, as suggested by the declaration.

Now here's a trickier one:

int *p[5];
int (*q)[5]);

How would you use these in an expression?
If you want to get to an int in the array of pointers to int, the
for p would be
just like the declaration.
(Note: the array reference is evaluated before the * as it has higher
operator precedence.)

But what about q? What is q? Well, answer that by writing expressions that
access q:
q // points to something
*q according to the declaration, is an array
*q[3] is an error because it treats q as an array when it is just a
to an array.
(*q)[3] eureka! you have the int

Pointers and other low level constructs are important in C because C was
originally developed as a semi-high level language for writing operating
systems, and therefore the programmer needed to have access as close as
possible to the hardware while still remaining portable.

C++ inherited a lot of the low level stuff, and kept it in the language
backward compatibility, which was as much a business consideration as a
technical one -- C programs had to compile with the C++ compiler with only
minor changes, or else people might not use it.
So that's why we have the mess we all know and love *smile*

The learning curve for C# and VB I believe is a little easier because of
IDE which has templates of common code configurations built into the
that you can pull down.

Haappy hacking.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Littlefield, Tyler" <tyler@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 7:43 PM
Subject: Re: cpp help!

The C++ specification, or C++ in itself, is platform independent. The STL
and CRT are implemented BY THE compiler your using, for each platform.
call is set so that code can be portable, but the code between windows and
Linux, gcc and visual studio for the CRT and STL isn't the same. The
just makes system calls, which are implimented by the platform itself.

C++ being independent, and with the CRT and STL not technically being part
of the C++ language, it would make no sense to provide a GUI library.

So I guess I'm confused as to what your wanting. C++ -is- not geared only
toward console applications. As I said, it is a low-level language. The
usage of libraries is what makes it powerful. If using libraries and
documentation is a problem for you, I suggest you find something else--the info gathered from what you've learned about c++ minus the asumptions will
help you.

As the CRT and STL are just their own libraries (which are written per
compiler), I don't see the issue with using a GUI library as well.
Technically, your making library calls when you do printf, cout, etc etc.

And... what's this?
"dlg <preferences>" I'm not quite sure where that fits into the c++
at all...
It's almost like your trying to make c++ be more than it is. C++ is just
language; the libraries are what exposes the functionality that your using
even now.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alex Midence" <alex.midence@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 5:54 PM
Subject: Re: cpp help!


I think you need to reread my message, Tyler. I never said I thought
pointers were useless.  I said I personally couldn't imagine myself
ever needing them.  I then proceeded to list instances where I thought
someone else might use them.  Another poster who happens to share my
name said he saw them and understood why other languages dispensed
with them which is where I think you were thrown off.  Secondly, other
languages seem to allow the user to learn how to write gui
applications at a much earlier stage in the learning process than c++
does.  I do realize it is a low level language.  My point was why
doesn't it include some of the gui-producing libraries in its standard
library?  Why can there not be an incorporation of all the gui
toolkits out there into the standard library along with some sort of
way to create them using a built-in type or even a type specified in
the library as is the case with string.  This is a clumsy example but:

cout << "This is a message.";

could have something like this analogous to it:

msg_box << "This is a message.";

Or, another thing:

dlg <preferences>
chgx background;
chbx font;
chbx icons;
btn ok;
btn cancel;
... definitions and manipulations could then follow

Windows and controls would have a default set of specifications that
set the window size, its placement on the screen, and a generic
foreground and background which could perhaps be changed by the
developer with parameters.

The way it's set up now, you have to use nonstandard libraries which
are, in fact, written in c or some other language like that to make a
gui program.  If you use the pure standard library form of c++, you
can make some nice utilities it seems along with all sorts of console
applications that most people do not want to use.  I'm sure there are
ways to make graphics with it but, I only keep  finding references to
them in game programming.  I am not interested in writing games
text-based or otherwise.  I want to work with business applications.
Hence my question, did I choose the wrong language?  Have I wasted my
time?  Is this a language that is actually going to become obscelete
in a few years because the core of the language seems so heavily
geared towards console applications in a world where gui is what most
end users want.

Alex M

On 8/26/10, Littlefield, Tyler <tyler@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Um, they're not murder, and the fact that you haven't found a use for
pointers doesn't make them useless. They can be very powerful.

Second, you want to run before you've learned to crawl. C++ -is-,
enough a low-level language.
Yes, this does mean more code, but it's not all that much once you get
to learning what it does.
No, you will not find a tutorial that teaches you to write a hello world
program in a GUI and be able to learn c++ while you also learn gui
programming--it just won't happen. There may be something, but the fact
you need to understand the language before you start using libraries
the windows API.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alex Midence" <alex.midence@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 3:50 PM
Subject: Re: cpp help!


They're murder!  I can't imagine when I'd want to use one in an
application short of some cellphone app for antiquated models.
Pointers are a bit scary.  What really gets me about c++ is what a
pain it is to write a gui application in it.  It is an undeniable fact
that most people want to use gui applications whether it's for
windows, gnome, or Mac.  Console applications make your average end
user flinch away in horror.  Why then, isn't there a standard library
component that quickly and efficiently addresses writing gui
applications in c++ without requiring about 70 or 80 lines of code for
a Hello World application that takes like 10 lines to write in console
form?  I don't buy the whole platform constraint argument.  I can see
that for the windows api but qt, gtk+ and wx widgets are all touted as
cross-platform gui libraries that make your application portable and
keep much of the same look and feel regardless of where they are
deployed.  Instead you have to spend lots and lots of time slogging
your way through tutorials that teach you pages and pages of code
using things like iostream, cmath, fstream, string, conio, and cstdlib
instead of oh,  I don't know, windows.h, wxsetup.h, and so forth which
appear to be the sorts of things you need to make a real application
somebody might actually want to use some day.  Just got through
reading a book by Herb Schildt last night.  Has 12 chapters of this
sort of thing.  He's got another that has even more chapters about it.
It takes some serious digging to find a c++ manual that teaches you
how to write gui apps and most of them are written by volunteers and
are consequentially sketchy, and at times poorly written.  Before bed,
I then opened up a Teach Yourself Java in 24 hours and there's a gui
app close to the middle of the book using swing for me to write which
I will probably be able to do saturday.  Can anyone shed some light on
the madness?  Did I choose a language that is over the hill?  Have the
past months I've spent on c++ been a total waste?

Alex M

On 8/26/10, Alex Hall <mehgcap@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Thanks. There is a good tutorial there... I can see why pointers have
been left behind in newer languages!

On 8/26/10, qubit <lauraeaves@xxxxxxxxx> wrote: is good
----- Original Message -----
From: "Alex Hall" <mehgcap@xxxxxxxxx>
To: "programmingblind" <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 12:39 PM
Subject: cpp help!

Hi all,
I am working with a few other people on a project. I am the only one
that speaks Python and Java, not cpp. We hope to package this as an
executable, so cpp makes the most sense, plus some source code we
to use as part of the project is written in c already. Does anyone
know of any tutorials for cpp, mainly about classes, objects,
subclassing, file streams, and other semi-advanced topics? I know how
to do the basics, like conditionals or functions, but that is it.
Again, I was taught Java through my first two years of college, then
found, and fell in love with, Python and have used that as my primary
language since January.

Have a great day,
Alex (msg sent from GMail website)
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Have a great day,
Alex (msg sent from GMail website)
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