Hi all,
So i was just wondering what would be the best software to use to program in C++ and then compile the program. So could you please name any software packages that you know of which can help you to program in C++ and if you could also state if they are free or how much they cost.

Thank you

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Last Post by Chinney

AH IDE's yeah sorry my mine went blank when writing this and just completely forgot the name but yeah i am asking about IDE's


It will depend on the operating system, but for MS-Windows the best program for writing Windows GUI is Visual Studio. That doesn't mean it's the easiest to learn or use. Code::Blocks with MinGW is easier to learn, and for console programs just as good as Visual Studio. Also MinGW is probably better compliant with C++11 standards than Visual Studio.


Just to add a few remarks.

The Visual Studio Express edition is free and completely sufficient. You only really need to pay money for development tools if you are running a mid-to-large software company, below that (small company, personal/school projects, open-source projects, etc.) you will find the free tools to be more than sufficient. Also, when it comes to Visual Studio, AD said that it is good for writing Windows GUIs, that's a bit dubious because the C++ library for GUIs in Visual Studio is MFC, but it is being deprecated and phased out. If not using MFC, you have to go to WinForms, which is a part of .NET, at which point you are no longer doing C++, and you will have to move over to C++/CLI or C#, and pretty much kneel down and pledge eternal allegance to Microsoft!

For GUI programming in C++, you should go for Qt instead, either through Qt Creator and/or the Qt plugin for Visual Studio. Qt is far nicer, portable (Win / Mac / Linux), and standard C++.

Another good option for GUI is the VCL (with C++Builder or RAD Studio). There have been ups and downs with that line of product, but now that they have switched to the LLVM/Clang compiler (and have the only distribution of LLVM/Clang that works for Windows, AFAIK, which is very cool), they seem to have been getting back on the right track. However, this is not free (except on trials).

CodeBlocks is definitely very nice and much simpler and lighter-weight than Visual Studio, and it's also free.

The main alternatives would be Eclipse C++ and Qt Creator. I can't say that I have used them much, and in the little time I've spent with them, I'm not too impressed, but I think some people like them.

If you are using Linux, then I would recommend KDevelop. This is one of the nicest IDE I have ever used, it just gets everything right, without being too heavy nor too minimal.

So could you please name any software packages that you know of which can help you to program in C++

Don't expect any of these programs to really "help you to program". They can assist you a bit with code-completion and tooltip documentation of functions and classes, but they won't do the work for you. Many experts program with a plain text editor most of the time. Just remember to not rely on or expect the tool to really make much of a difference in practice.


Many experts program with a plain text editor most of the time.

Professionals will use any tools necessary to speed up the process, but as it's sometimes said, the tools don't make the programmer. A good developer shouldn't be handicapped if you take away his IDE, he'll just switch gears without pause. That's why it's so important to understand what the IDE does for you and how to get by without it.


wow thats a lot of information. so i guess to start up learning C++ visual studio express can be used as a free option and then on from there i can go onto other IDEs

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