Best resources to learn C++ (free)

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In summary, a good book to learn C++ from is "C++ How to Program" by Deitel. Code Blocks with WXWidgets is a good software development tool to start with. If you want to get into software development, you'll need to learn about practical aspects and the tools of the trade. Herbert Schildt's books have a reputation for being accurate, but many people have criticized them for being difficult to understand.
  • #1
LinuxMicrosoftMCSA
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Hi,
I'm currently trying to learn the C++ programming language to build my apps in my off time. I already have Code Blocks with WXWidgets installed also. I recently heard of firecode.io. I'm looking for more resources like that ideally to learn software development (C++).
 
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  • #3
Also rosettacode.org is a good site for comparative study between languages.
 
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  • #4
I think that a good way to get into C++ is to play with an Arduino kit.

Edit: just re-read the title, an Arduino kit is not free, sorry.
 
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  • #5
LinuxMicrosoftMCSA said:
Hi,
I'm currently trying to learn the C++ programming language to build my apps in my off time. I already have Code Blocks with WXWidgets installed also. I recently heard of firecode.io. I'm looking for more resources like that ideally to learn software development (C++).

One very essential thing is where you are now in programming. For an absolute beginner, C++ can quickly become a real nightmare when it comes to real world programming. It has a number of subtle, excessively wide in scope and cumbersome features which are part of its real power. If you already know some other imperative and / or OO programming language sufficiently enough or if you already know the basics of C++ or you're at an intermediate level at C, things are way easier.

This is by no means a discouraging statement: it just means that if you want to learn C++ from the ground up with no prior programming experience, it's best to base your study and practicing - at least up to intermediate level, on a good book which you must follow closely and systematically. There is a number of good books you can find. I would recommend Deitel's "C++ How to Program" - I've extensively used Deitel's books and resources and I can tell that they are among the best. Keep in mind that although there is a number of good tutorials on the net, a tutorial can never be a substitute for a good book no matter how good is it.

A very essential thing is also studying algorithms and data structures. I really cannot stress out by words the real value of this.

If you want to get into the software development world you'll also need - besides great patience, to learn about the practical aspects you'll need and the tools of the trade. Code::Blocks is given as a top choice in many sites and for good reason. Personally, I've worked with a number of IDEs through the years - my main choice is Eclipse . I also second @BvU for DevC++. I have used extensively 4.9.9.2 version in the past (now abandoned) but there is a 2016 fork named Orwell DevC++ which you can give a try if you wish.

A last thing I want to refer to is in acquiring good programming habits i.e. commenting appropriately, beautifying, documenting, testing code and reading others code in order to edit and develop your own ideas - not copy-pasting. For this last thing, I would regard as a very useful thing to study code from github.io.
 
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I find the tutorials at w3schools useful at times. The C++ tutorial is available here:
https://www.w3schools.com/cpp/default.aspThere is one very good book; it is worth spending on or borrowing from a library:

C++ - The Complete Reference by Herbert Schildt.

I learned Java from this person's other book, and I must say it was one of the best books for beginners. Even now, after more than four years of programming in Java, I have to refer to it sometimes while developing GUI (I am not much into GUI usually).
 
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  • #7
While I learned C++ in a classroom setting, as Wrichik mentioned, w3schools is a great reference for lots of different programming languages. The lessons are simple and there are little quizzes to help you make sure you are understanding the info correctly. While I didn't necessarily use it for C++, it's been a great help for understanding languages
 
  • #8
Wrichik Basu said:
C++ - The Complete Reference by Herbert Schildt.
There are many negative reviews for Herb Schildt's C++ book. When you recommended this book in a post in the Textbooks section, I said this (https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/best-book-to-learn-c.903157/post-5794455)
There is quite a lot of serious criticism of this book by Schildt.

Although most of the 52 people who reviewed this book gave it high marks, quite a few really panned it. Here are some of the critical comments, taken from the Amazon page on reviews of this book.
From Wikipedia:-------------
Schildt's books have a reputation for being written in a clear style, at least at first glance. Their technical accuracy has been challenged by reviewers, including ISO C committee members Peter Seebach and Clive Feather, Steve Summit, author of the C FAQ, and numerous reviews in C Vu from the ACCU.

I recommend you do not use any Herbert Schildt book to learn or reference the C programming language. Instead, I suggest you go straight to the source and use "The C Programming Language" (Second Edition) by Kernighan and Ritchie, aka "K&R".

Also highly recommended by competent programmers are "C: A Reference Manual" by Harbison and Steele, and "C Programming: A Modern Approach" by K.N. King. All of these are good books for beginning C programmers.

Schildt makes numerous errors.
One example:
printf("%f", sizeof f);
Clearly wrong: sizeof f has does not have type double.
Another example:
/* Write 6 integers to a disk file. */
void put_rec(int rec[6], FILE *fp)
{
int len;
len = fwrite(rec, sizeof rec, 1, fp);
if (len != 1) printf("write error");
}
Wrong again; rec is converted to a pointer to int, rather than an array of 6 ints, because it is in the parameter of a function (try it if you don't believe me).

After purchasing three books written by Herbert Schildt, I have to conclude that I am not a fan of this authors' work. While his efforts yield a lot of information, often the book is heavily unorganized and suffers from absence of often basic-yet-critical information.
 
  • #9
Wrichik Basu said:
I find the tutorials at w3schools useful at times. The C++ tutorial is available here:
https://www.w3schools.com/cpp/default.aspThere is one very good book; it is worth spending on or borrowing from a library:

C++ - The Complete Reference by Herbert Schildt.

I learned Java from this person's other book, and I must say it was one of the best books for beginners. Even now, after more than four years of programming in Java, I have to refer to it sometimes while developing GUI (I am not much into GUI usually).

Herbert Schildt's books have a bad reputation among people knowledgeable about C and C++. The 'bullshildt' is named after him.
Jargon File said:
bullschildt: /bul´shilt/, n.

[comp.lang.c on USENET] A confident, but incorrect, statement about a programming language. This immortalizes a very bad book about C, Herbert Schildt's C - The Complete Reference. One reviewer commented "The naive errors in this book would be embarrassing even in a programming assignment turned in by a computer science college sophomore."​

You can find negative expert reviews of Schildt's books on the https://accu.org/index.php?module=bookreviews&func=search. The USENET alt.comp.lang.learn.c-c++ FAQ (scroll down to question 16) also strongly recommends against learning from Schildt's books.

If you're wondering what's wrong with the specific C book cited by the Jargon File entry quoted above, see C: The Complete Nonsense by Peter Seebach.
 
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  • #10
It's a little off topic, since the original post specified free. And it's a bit of an old thread. But, anyway...

When you have learned a bit of C++ and you are feeling your strength a bit, consider starting to learn to do it well, instead of just vigorously.

Koenig and Moo _Accelerated C++_ gives good advice on how to use C++ in the way it was meant to be.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/020170353X/?tag=pfamazon01-20

McConnel _Code Complete_ gives general advice on programming well. Though it is not just for C++.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0735619670/?tag=pfamazon01-20
 
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Related to Best resources to learn C++ (free)

What are the best free resources to learn C++?

1. Codecademy: This online platform offers interactive lessons and projects to help beginners learn C++ for free.

2. Coursera: Many universities offer free online courses on C++ through Coursera, providing a structured learning experience.

3. YouTube tutorials: There are many channels on YouTube that offer free tutorials on C++, making it a convenient and easily accessible resource.

4. Cplusplus.com: This website offers a comprehensive tutorial on C++, along with a reference guide and a forum to ask questions.

5. GitHub: This platform not only hosts a vast collection of open-source C++ projects, but it also offers a community of developers to connect with and learn from.

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