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A Complete Guide To Programming In C++ – Visual Programming

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Programming languages have evolved well thanks to the development of the technologies, the availability of education in the technical sciences, and the continuing curiosity of the human mind about searching for and creating new things. Some of the most cutting-edge evolutions and changes to the way we structure and abstract our code were originally made in the C++ language. Since the late 1970s and early 1980s, C and later the C++ programming language and tooling – the compilers, IDEs, frameworks, and other tools – evolved along with CLANG standards such C++98, C++11, C++14, C++17, and more. The technology of the C++ compiler and IDEs have also grown in sophistication and capability as well as visually with the advent of Graphical User Interface (GUI) based operating systems such as Microsoft Windows and macOS.

The invention of elements such as controls which can act as buttons, drop-down lists, date pickers and almost every possible representation of things we could click, drag and push necessitated the creation of new types of GUI-centric libraries that we have come to refer to as Visual frameworks or User Interface Frameworks. Developers can design a graphical user interface, a ‘GUI’, and with the right kind of professional IDEs they can easily develop applications using those GUIs for all sorts of different platforms, for desktop and mobile. In C++ Builder, these GUI / UI frameworks are known as the VCL and FMX libraries.

A Complete Guide To Visual Programming In C++

Originally, computer programs – or applications as tend to refer to them now – had user interfaces which were created by laboriously describing the controls and areas of the screens in a text or code format. It took a long time and was very hit and miss since the developer would need to repeatedly compile and run the program in order to see what the user interface looked like. Programs from that era tended to be designed for a very specific screen size, often in monochrome, and with very crude graphics if they even had any.

A Complete Guide To Programming In C++ - Visual Programming - the Turbo C++ windows
The Turbo C++ IDE window – things have come on a lot since the early days of GUIs! Source: Wikipedia

Thankfully, in the last 25 years or more of coding, you do not need to write arcane manual code to display UI elements. We have a set of special GUI libraries known as UI frameworks. They allow you develop fast, simple and very elegant applications with a lot of different kinds of GUI elements and modifiable properties, methods, events or actions. In C++ Builder, these GUI / UI frameworks are VCL and FMX libraries and in Microsoft Visual C++ these are in visual library. In Linux, there are FMX libraries (with Delphi) and GTK libraries which are used to design GUIs in codes. All the screens are (mostly) designed using the WYSIWYG paradigm – you literally drag the controls you want to use on a representation of your application’s screens or forms. You can immediately see what those screens will look like without having to run the program to do so. In the latest version of RAD Studio, you can also see what the application’s user interface will look like with a screen theme or style applied; all within the IDE at design time. It’s a huge time saver. Combine this with RAD Studio’s included “Multi-device preview”

A Complete Guide To Programming In C++ - Visual Programming - the multi device preview
RAD Studio’s design-time preview capabilities make it very easy to get the user interface’s screens look right

Visual Programming

The development of more powerful CPUs and the advent of dedicated GPUs ushered in a great evolution in operating systems and the graphical user interface or GUI. These allows us to develop faster and more beautiful apps in C++ and in other languages. GUI’s not only used in run time it is also used in design time, for example when you create a UI element, or when you edit its properties or methods, this both design time and run time GUI usage in programming is called Visual Programming. Now let’s see how we do visual programming in C++.

  1. How To Make A GUI In C++?
  2. Easily Learn To Create Powerful C++ Windows GUIs
  3. The Top 5 UI Design Alignment Tips For Your C++ App
  4. How To Design Multiple Platform App Layouts In C++
  5. How To Use The Comprehensive Form Properties In C++ VCL Apps
  6. How To Use Form Properties In C++ Cross Platform Apps
  7. What You Need To Know About Form Methods in C++ Applications
  8. How to Use Powerful Form Methods in Cross-Platform C++ Apps
  9. Learn to Master Every Screen Property in Your C++ Builder FMX Apps
  10. How To Create Gorgeous Transparent App Windows With C++
  11. This Is How To Make Your Non-Rectangular Apps Draggable
  12. How To Make Transparent FMX Applications With C++ Builder
  13. How To Use The HandleMessage Method In Windows Applications
  14. How To Define And Use An Idle Loop In A Windows Application
  15. How To Use ProcessMessages Method In Windows Applications
  16. How To Set Runtime Process Priority On Windows In A C++ App

A Complete Guide To Programming with Components In C++

RAD Studio and C++ Builder are a C++ IDE that allows users to install 3rd party components. These components allow coders to add features and functionality to their C++ apps without needing to write lots of new code. Easy to connect, easy to compile, easy to design and view tables and easy to handle many digital features. There are more than 100 C++ components covering everything from UI controls, mobile device sensor controllers, notification handlers, to sophisticated and powerful database toolsets. All components can be found here.

A Complete Guide To Programming In C++ - Visual Programming
RAD Studio’s own user interface supports the latest innovations in GUIs such as Dark Mode, Light Mode and HiDPI

Basic Components

  1. Learn Basic Components in C++ Builder (Button, Label, Edit, Memo)
  2. Learn About Basic Windows Components In C++ Development (ComboBox, CheckBox, Switch, StatusBar)
  3. Learn About Basic Windows Components In C++ Development (StringList, Memo, ListBox, StringGrid)
  4. Quickly Learn About Basic Windows C++ Components (TrackBar, SpinBox, ScrollBar, SmallScrollBar, ArcDial)
  5. Quickly Learn About Basic Windows Components In C++ Development (Panel, Layout, ScaledLayout, FlowLayout, Splitter)
  6. Quick Look At Basic Color Components On Windows In C++ Builder (ColorButton, ColorBox, ColorCombBox, ColorListBox, ColorPicker, ColorPanel, ColorQuad)
  7. Easily Learn About Basic Windows Components In C++ Development (MainMenu, MenuBar, PopupMenu, ToolBar, SpeedButton, Conlusion)
  8. Learn to Use Timer Component in C++ Builder on Windows
  9. Everything You Need To Know To Create Menus In C++ Builder
  10. How To Create Pop-up Menu in C++ Builder?

Advanced Components

  1. How To Make Visually Stunning Windows Charts In C++
  2. How To Use The Microsoft Edge Web Browser In A C++ App
  3. How To Use The MS Edge Browser In A Native Windows C++ App
  4. What Is An Accelerometer And How To Use It in C++?
  5. How To Make Use Of The Gyroscope Sensor in C++?
  6. This Is How To Use The VCL StringGrid Component In A C++ App
  7. This Is How To Use Shape Components In A Windows C++ App

Library and Component Development

A Complete Guide To Programming with Effects In C++

A C++ IDE is specialized software that focuses on the process of designing, writing and building C++ applications on the Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android operating systems. A good IDE such as RAD Studio makes the process of software development easier and more efficient by combing several great features to help you develop applications as quickly as possible. One of the greatest features of the VCL and FMX UI frameworks is the ability to add various visual and animation effects to UI elements. Here are some of topics about these effects.

Introduction To Effects

  1. How To Add Shadow Effects To Your C++ Apps
  2. How To Make Controls Have A Glow Effect In C++?
  3. How To Add A Sepia Image Effect In Your Apps With No Code
  4. How To Add A No Code Emboss Effect To Images in Your Apps
  5. How To Make Transparent FMX Applications With C++ Builder
  6. This Is How To Add A Blur Effect To Images In C++
  7. How To Add A Reflection Effect In A C++ App?
  8. How To Use A Sharpen Effect in C+ Software On Windows?
  9. How To Make Images Have A Pixelate Effect In Your C+ App

A Complete Guide To Programming Media In C++

Another part of visual programming is video and graphic sound integration. C++ Builder has options to develop apps that interact with 2D or 3D graphics and different sound media types. It has a Media Player component which is a good way to play sounds or videos. You can easily create your own media player in C++ Builder – in fact there are a few demos and samples available which show you how exactly to do it. The included TMediaPlayer component is a very good option to quickly add media playing capabilities to your applications.

A Complete Guide To Programming In C++ - Visual Programming - TMediaPlayer

Introduction To Audio and Media

  1. Learn How To Easily Record Sound In Powerful Modern C++ On Windows
  2. Easily Play Sounds In Modern C++ On Windows With This Snippets
  3. Learn To Develop Your Own Powerful Windows Media Player In C++ Builder

One of the strong parts of C++ Builder is its own built-in components and libraries, plus the support for a rich variety of 3rd-party components and libraries. The Get-It package manager is a good place for developers who want to release these kinds of components, libraries and tools (contact Embarcadero for more details on how to do this).

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C++ Builder is the easiest and fastest C and C++ IDE for building simple or professional applications on the Windows, MacOS, iOS & Android operating systems. It is also easy for beginners to learn with its wide range of samples, tutorials, help files, and LSP support for code. RAD Studio’s C++ Builder version comes with the award-winning VCL framework for high-performance native Windows apps and the powerful FireMonkey (FMX) framework for cross-platform UIs.

You can download the free C++ Builder Community Edition here: https://www.embarcadero.com/products/cbuilder/starter.

Professional developers can use the Professional, Architect or Enterprise versions of C++ Builder. Please visit https://www.embarcadero.com/products/cbuilder.

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About author

Dr. Yilmaz Yoru has 33+ years of coding with more than 30+ programming languages, mostly C++ on Windows, Android, Mac-OS, iOS, Linux, and other operating systems. He was born in 1974, Eskisehir-Turkey. He graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Eskisehir Osmangazi University in 1997. One year later, he started to work in the same university as an assistant. He received his MSc and Ph.D. degrees from the same department of the same university. Since 2012, he is the founder and CEO of Esenja LLC Company. Some of his interests are Programming, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, and Artificial Intelligence. He also likes the graphical 2D & 3D design and high-end innovations. He has married, and he is a father of a son.

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