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Windows Development Tools

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by DBradD, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. DBradD


    Apr 24, 2005
    I'd like to hear some commentary from the resident computer experts with regard to the currently-available Windows program development tools.

    The last time I surveyed these things was in 1995. Back then, Visual Basic produced very amateur-looking programs and required runtime interpretation. Visual C++ was considered difficult by my professional programmer buddies. Borland C++ Builder was just coming onto the market. Delphi was good but used Object Pascal which put off many people.

    What are the tools on the market nowadays? What are your favorites? I have C++ Builder and think it's pretty cool, about like Delphi, but using C++. The desired usage would be to write structural engineering design programs. Most of these have a simple user interface with textboxes to type loads into, etc, then they calculate strengths, select beam sizes, etc. The desired output is a text file or rich text file showing the input and output. The only graphics might be a simple 2D picture of a beam or whatever. Most people I know use VB, but the code that I've seen doesn't look much different than old-timey basic code -- very difficult to follow and unstructured. Granted, they might just be writing bad code. I think that these programs are very amateur-looking also, but I think that's just bad interface design.

    I had a great deal of success in the early 90s using C to develop these programs, but that was in DOS. These programs were 5000-10000 lines to give a sense of scale. I used good structured programming techniques but have never made the transition to OOP techniques.

    Advice and recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Would it work out ok to use C++ Builder but just program all but the interface as if I'm using C with structured programming techniques instead of OOP? I've researched OOP some and find it to be very difficult.

  2. Toyman


    May 6, 2003
    West Michigan
    I started with BASIC in 7th grade, then later taught myself VB, but then switched to Delphi. I know enough C/C++ to be dangerous. :)

    I've created a lot of commercial software with both VB and Delphi. Delphi is faster, and there's a ton of code and components on the web (free and with source). The UI in either can be as good or as bad as you want, it's really not a product of the language but of the designer (you).

    Most of the languages are pretty much the same, they just have their little things that make them different.

    C# seems to be pretty hot right now also, but I think everything MS now is .net runtime bloated.

  3. Glock Bob

    Glock Bob Snack Attack!!!

    Aug 5, 2004
    I took an e-commerce class in college and was given Visual Studio .NET 2003 to use. I still have it and use it all the time. My version came with compilers for VB, Visual C++, C#, J#, HTML, XML, CSS, ASP, and probably a few more that I'm not aware of (I only use CSS, XML, ASP, HTML, and VB). It's a great program, but runs around $800 to $1000. If you're selective about what language you want to use perhaps you could find a cheaper program that's just tailored to that language.

    VB has grown by leaps and bounds since the '90s. It's getting right up there with C++. However, Java, C++, and Cobol still seem to be what employers and looking for, if you want to work in that area. Since you already are familiar with C the transition to C++ or even C# shouldn't be too difficult.