User interface
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Post User interface

    Hi everybody,

    I'm not sure where to post this, so moderators please feel free to move this thread around as you please.

    After learning C++ in the console, I now want to progress to making actual applications with a user interface. In my quest of doing this, I'm not entirely sure as to what road to go down. Coming from a web design background, I value having as much control as possible over my application design as possible - I don't care about things like how fast I might be able to complete an entire application - libraries like Qt, therefore, are out of the question for me.

    Will Win32 API give me the control I want or would I need to step into other areas, for example Visual C++?

    I'm a beginner, so please correct me if I'm wrong in any instance.

  2. #2
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    Re: User interface

    MFC would be the best way to start.
    Or you could go with the .Net framework stuff like Windows Forms, WPF etc.
    _Superman_
    I love work. It gives me something to do between weekends.

    Microsoft MVP (Visual C++)

  3. #3
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    Re: User interface

    Well, you could do many things with WinAPI. MFC is just basically WinAPI wrapped in fancy classes.

    Can't really comment on .NET as I don't use it.

    But if you want WinAPI you should get Programming Windows, 5th Ed. by Charles Petzold, great book.
    "Windows programming is like going to the dentist: You know it's good for you, but no one likes doing it."
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  4. #4
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    Re: User interface

    Avoid MFC. It's dying.
    Read the Petzold or use .NET.

  5. #5
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    Re: User interface

    Hey all,

    Thanks for your kind replies. It seems like Win32 API is the way to go for me. I'll look into the book as well.

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
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    Re: User interface

    Quote Originally Posted by carl666 View Post
    Avoid MFC. It's dying.
    Avoid such kinda advices. They're misguiding.
    Best regards,
    Igor

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Re: User interface

    Quote Originally Posted by C02 View Post
    ...Coming from a web design background, I value having as much control as possible over my application design as possible - I don't care about things like how fast I might be able to complete an entire application - libraries like Qt, therefore, are out of the question for me.
    How can you even make that determination based on your level of knowledge?

    To underscore my point
    Quote Originally Posted by C02 View Post
    Will Win32 API give me the control I want or would I need to step into other areas, for example Visual C++?
    Visual C++ is not a language, you don't step into it, it is an IDE (tool set) provided by Microsoft.

    Any sane programmer would not use pure WIn32 for almost any kind of GUI programming on Windows unless you like poking yourself with the sharp stick into an eye.
    As was mentioned, MFC is a choice, QT also works, free wxWidgets and of course you also might consider using .NET (C#) for all your GUI needs.

  8. #8
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    Re: User interface

    Quote Originally Posted by STLDude View Post
    Any sane programmer would not use pure WIn32 for almost any kind of GUI programming on Windows unless you like poking yourself with the sharp stick into an eye.
    Well, I would not be so confident about that. It depends on too many conditions while making decisions for some particular project.

    Besides, I always recommend start with barehanded Win32 API programming just to never be lost in depths of any wrapper library, understand alternatives and what happens under the hood at any moment...
    Best regards,
    Igor

  9. #9
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    Re: User interface

    I think you are missing the boat here Igor, OP does not have any experience in C++, and do you really want to suggest to him to use pure Win32 API for GUI programming. Specially for somebody that starting out, programming GUI in it is just pure minutia.

    Besides, I always recommend start with barehanded Win32 API programming just to never be lost in depths of any wrapper library, understand alternatives and what happens under the hood at any moment...
    See that's where we fundamentally disagree, I almost think that you would also suggest using char * array and roll your own containers before using stl. I am in opposite camp, specially when it comes to languages like C++ where learning curve is very steep, start with higher libraries, get your feet wet and then and only then you can start digging.

  10. #10
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    Re: User interface

    Yep, that's where we part.

    I like your suggestion about char array and container classes , but this belongs with CS very basics while we're talking about Windows GUI programming here. The point is in understanding of getting feet wet. And my point is: Making a beginner able to float with high-level library support gives him a false sense of self-confidence of being able to explore far seas. And exactly in case the library suddenly shows a leak right in the middle of the cove, the yesterday swimmer drowns surely and desperately.

    Anyway, never mind, it's all up to the guy who asks for opinions, which way he wants become a true sea dog.
    Last edited by Igor Vartanov; March 2nd, 2009 at 01:27 PM.
    Best regards,
    Igor

  11. #11
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    Re: User interface

    I think you are missing the boat here Igor, OP does not have any experience in C++, and do you really want to suggest to him to use pure Win32 API for GUI programming
    Of course I do. Any high-level library is a real toxic thing, and a beginner has no antidote for it.
    Best regards,
    Igor

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