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robcat2075

Who wants to form a C++ study group?

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Would anyone be interesting in joining me while learning C++?

I made a start on learning C++ last year, then got sidetracked with other things so I'm going to start over again. But maybe it would be more fun and more productive to have someone to compare results with every week and help me solve problems when they come up?

 

I have found a Udemy course that seems quite thorough and is FREE

https://www.udemy.com/free-learn-c-tutorial-beginners/

It starts from zero on both "programming" and using C++ so I don't think you need to have done much of either to succeed with it.  I've done a certain amount of programming in Flash Actionscript so i can help with programming concepts but the C++ part will be new to me.

 

Microsoft Visual Studio with C++ is free now and since that is what A:M uses that is what we would use. My goal is to learn enough C++ that we can write and compile plugins for A:M.

How I envision this working is that on our own time each week we would watch the lecture and do the assignment, then meet on Skype at some scheduled time to compare results and resolve questions or showstoppers. Or maybe we would watch the lecture together? They tend to be in the 5 to 15 minute range.

 

Other people seem to learn and program in C++ so it can be done, right?

 

 

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Color me intrigued.

I'm very interested in learning C++.

This not just from the standpoint of plugins but also standalone programs/utilities.

If I had a 'plugin' to champion creating for A:M it might be some form of integration with FFMPEG so that various additional output formats could be generated.

Not sure if that really fits the plugin category but... that's what immediately comes to mind. 

 

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I might be interested.    It has been years since I've done any programming, but if it applies to computer graphics I'd  be interested.   I've actually been thinking about learning Python but C++ might be more relevant.

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The Udemy course I linked to actually has a particle display as a the final project so there is computer graphics involvement .

There is another course i tried that aimed to teach C++ along with the Unity Game engine which sounded very interesting but I ran into some showstopping problem with that one and never got past the second lesson. Now I read that they are revamping the course so maybe it will work?

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I can provide insight/guidance with c++ and development in general. Used to do a lot of web based apps in Microsoft visual studio and c++ before I started turning tricks for my current employer. If you've ever played in java then c++ will prove easy.

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I've never touched Java but I have used Borland Turbo C++ ages ago in college. 

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1 hour ago, Roger said:

I've never touched Java but I have used Borland Turbo C++ ages ago in college. 

"ages ago in college"! For me that was assembler and cobol!

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Having someone who can answer questions about Visual Studio would be very good! 

The course I highlighted is not VS specific and that caused me some delays. I looked at some that were VS specific but there were pretty awful as courses.

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12 minutes ago, robcat2075 said:

Having someone who can answer questions about Visual Studio would be very good! 

The course I highlighted is not VS specific and that caused me some delays. I looked at some that were VS specific but there were pretty awful as courses.

Pick any IDE you want, I can highlite and assist where you need. If ya want, I will take the course too so I can be more focused in assistance

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It has to be VS because that is what it has to be for A:M plugins.

Quote

If ya want, I will take the course too so I can be more focused in assistance

That would be excellent.

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Use Visual Studio Community Edition as IDE... for C++ there is not much better than that.

Best regards
*Fuchur*

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Here's an example of a plugin I'd like to figure out how to make as a starter example project:

The existing Gradient combiner makes a straight linear transition between two "attributes". For many purposes that is unrealistic.

I'd like to make a new version that will make a non-linear transition based on a spline in the properties of the gradient much like we can define the transition of hair color from root to tip with splines.

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I tried the Borland book and couldn't get past page 32 with Hello World without falling asleep. Be nice if you can make plugins. Maybe make LSCM plug for AM for texture mapping?

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I have not abandoned this idea. I just need to get a couple Projects behind me before we embark on this.

It looks like our candidates for IDE are Visual Studio 2015 (because it is what Steffen uses for A:M), Visual Studio 2017 (because it is the most recent well-used version), and Visual Studio 2019 (because it is the latest).

I don't know enough about IDEs to say what the functional differences are?

All are available for free but all require Windows 7 or later.

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I was wondering where you were on this. Let me know when you start and I will try and pace you on my side. As far as an idea is concerned, there most likely isn't a whole lot of difference between them as far as learning is concerned. If you are looking for an apples to apples comparison with a:m then I would go with 2015 if you can find an installer for it ( haven't looked myself and will have to wait until I get back from d.c. on Friday to check).

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I'm gonna tag along if that's okay. I don't use A:M any longer, but have thought about learning C++ for a while now, so this seems like a good way to go about it. :) 

On the IDE front, I'm going to take Eclipse for a spin. I'm on a Mac and could use Xcode, but from what I read it's a bit of a space hog, and space on my hard drive is low as it is. The Xcode download is over 5GB before extraction, whereas Eclipse is only 50MB, so my gut says I'll have an easier time running the latter on my system. I'm also not looking to create any iOS specific apps yet, so I don't really need the extra bulk of Xcode anyway. However, if an experienced Mac developer can point out some element I'm missing that makes Xcode worth the effort, I'm open to reconsidering it.

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2 hours ago, JBarrett said:

I'm gonna tag along if that's okay. I don't use A:M any longer, but have thought about learning C++ for a while now, so this seems like a good way to go about it. :) 

On the IDE front, I'm going to take Eclipse for a spin. I'm on a Mac and could use Xcode...

That would be great to have you, Justin. It looks like John Purcell who teaches the Udemy course is indeed using eclipse on his Mac so you would have the advantage of being able to do exactly what he is doing... and it absolutely should work, right?

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1 hour ago, robcat2075 said:

That would be great to have you, Justin. It looks like John Purcell who teaches the Udemy course is indeed using eclipse on his Mac so you would have the advantage of being able to do exactly what he is doing... and it absolutely should work, right?

Indeed. I initially thought about Eclipse from a prior attempt to study C++ where that was one of the recommended IDEs, so it's pure serendipity that John is using it for his course.

Getting the GCC compiler installed was a little more cumbersome than I thought. For some reason there's not a simple executable installer for it. Of the two Mac links provided on the GCC binaries page, I suggest going with the Homebrew option. Follow the link, copy and paste the provided command into a Terminal window, and let it do its thing to install the Homebrew system. Once that's done, stay in the terminal and execute this to install the latest version of GCC:

brew install gcc

Once that's done, download and install Eclipse.  If you don't have a Java development kit in place (required by the Eclipse installer), then it'll prompt you to go get that. Once that's done, open the Eclipse installer and choose the C/C++ option. It'll likely try to put the .app file somewhere other than your Applications folder, so feel free to change that.  Once Eclipse is installed, just open it and go. It should hook up with GCC on its own, as John indicates in his demo. I didn't have to do anything.

Side note: I've always found it just a tad annoying that installing development software is often more cumbersome than installing just about anything else. You often need to install other helper apps (Homebrew, JDK, etc) before you can get to installing the primary application, and sometimes those helper apps are command line tools. It's almost like they assume that you're already a developer, so they dive straight into the deep end. I've been scripting/programming on the side for many years, and while I've seen enough of this stuff to get me through trickier installs without too many headaches, it still feels like they're almost intentionally trying to make it difficult to break into programming at a certain level.

Anyway,I decided to dive in and start watching stuff in the course, and I'm up to Section 1, Lecture 4. There are some small differences in the latest version of Eclipse—John's demo was recorded in 2014 from what I can see—but overall it's flowing almost exactly as he demonstrates.

I've gotta get back to some other stuff, so I probably won't go past S1L4 for now, but I wanted to throw this out there to help my fellow Mac users (if there are any in this group).

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I am eyeing May 1 as a kickoff date.

I would like to find a weekly time we can all meet to resolve questions we encounter. The Udemy classes have a way to ask questions but I've found they don't always get answered or always get usefully answered. 😀

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May 1 sounds good to me. Re: a weekly meetup, Sundays are a no-go. Evenings and Saturdays are my best options. However, I sometimes work during those times, so I might not always be available.

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Hi! Also want to join

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Here's how i envision this study group working:

Every week, on our own time we watch the assigned lecture and do the relevant assignment.

At our live meet up, everyone shows their assignment running (most of these projects do what they do in about 5 seconds). If anyone doesn't have it running  the rest of us can jump in to figure out why and resolve any remaining questions.

Before we finish, we'll look at the upcoming chapters and agree on how much to take on for the next week.

Rinse, repeat.

 

 

2 hours ago, serg2 said:

Hi! Also want to join

That would be great, Serg!

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Sounds like a great plan!

So now the challenge becomes: when do we meet? I gave my preferences above. 

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If anyone is concerned that this might be too complicated or take too much time... I've done the first third of this course previously and found it moves in very small steps that are easily accomplished.

And if you don't get it... that's what the live meet up is for... to get us over the hump and on to the next goal!

Aside from A:M there are other programs I use that have some Open Source or SDK availability, where I know what I want, i know the program is almost there already but I can't convince them to do it for me and if i only knew c++... i could get it done myself.

You probably have those cases too and that's why you want to learn C++.

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Sounds good but think I just don't have the enthusiasm to dive into this at this time. May change my mind and will let you guys know.

Thanks for the invite though.

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i have been investigating the issue of Visual Studio 2015 vs. 2017 vs. 2019

The word i get is that for novice learners the difference is insignificant. It seems to be primarily about support for large work groups and support for the latest additions to the C++ language, neither of which should impact our use this course which is about plain vanilla C++.

However, 2015 is the one used for A:M.

I'm still thinking...

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I am wondering if in the process of learning C++ we might also be able to identify those obstacles that would prevent use of Visual Studio 2019 in the pipeline.

I'm sure Steffen would be the one to point out the major issues therein.

The thought from my vantage point is that it would be ideal to target MSVC 2019 if/where possible rather than 2015 and leapfrog over 2017 in the process.

Is this possible?  Practical? Ideal?

Not sure.

 

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19 hours ago, Rodney said:

I am wondering if in the process of learning C++ we might also be able to identify those obstacles that would prevent use of Visual Studio 2019 in the pipeline.

 

As Steffen describes it, "a compiler incompatibility", I'm guessing it's pretty deep stuff. Probably beyond the scope of our novice C++ class.  But all the more reason to get started!

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Believe it or not...

there is still room  in our C++ study group for new C++'ers!

If you might be interested, PM me!

It will be easy to catch you up!

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