MadSci Network: Computer Science

Re: how can i start a project using c language

Date: Sun Mar 16 14:12:35 2003
Posted By: Mike Westerfield, Staff, Computer Science, Byte Works, Inc.
Area of science: Computer Science
ID: 1044337203.Cs

Your question isn't specific enough to give a specific answer, but I'll try
to give you a few options to pick from. If none are appropriate, feel free
to ask a more specific question.

There are three or four issues you need to deal with to "start a project
using the C language."

First, you need a C compiler and development environment. There are several
available, some of which have free demo versions for you to try. The GNU
project has a suite of completely free tools. See

The commercial compilers make this a lot easier. They are easier to set up,
and come with tutorial material. On Windows platforms, I generally use
Microsoft Visual C++. You can find information at;
search for Visual C++. On the Macintosh, I use Metrowerks CodeWarrior. This
package also works on windows. See

The second hurdle is to learn the C language, and the third is to learn the
environment. Itís usually easiest to learn these together. The books that
come with the commercial compilers generally do a nice job of this. This
will take time. Most people take several weeks to a few months to learn the
basics of programming, and 2-3 years to get good at it. Taking a class at a
local university or community college can be a real help as you get going.
They may also have licenses for C that you can use for free.

The fourth issue is one you may or may not need to deal with, depending on
your goals. Modern computers have an environment in which programs run. The
windowing system and all of the extras that come with it take quite a while
to learn. The environment really has nothing to do with the C language. C
is C, not matter what computer you are on. Creating windows, menus, dialogs
and the like is an operating system dependent function, and varies
dramatically across platforms. When Iíve taught programming, Iíve had more
luck with people who learned the language first and then try to learn a
windowing operating system.

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