I've been wanting to learn C++ but I don't know the difference between Visual C++ and C++, is there really even a difference? Also, what would be the best compiler for me to start off with if I wanted to learn C++?
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This "pure" of which you speak (or portable as we would say) would be the standard library which is documented by ISO.
That said, any program you write which sticks to ONLY using the ISO standard library should
a) be compilable by any implementation of C++ which conforms to the ISO standard.
b) produce the same results when executed.
But all implementations have a whole range of implementation specific things as well (eg. windows.h) which are not portable.
> Or did you just mean that Visual C++ implements the C++ language?
That's pretty much what "is an implementation" is.
I use two different compilers/development environments, i.e., Microsoft's Visual C++ 6.0 and Dev C++, the latter of which is a free and relatively small download of about 10 MB. For just starting out I'd highly recommend Dev C++ as a development environment. You can compile console or GUI Windows programs with either. Here is a link to download Dev C++/Bloodshed...
Of course, Microsoft is and has been for some time giving away various free compilers/development tools, but I personally tend to shy away from these as the download size and volume of documentation is beyond what I'm prepared to handle.