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Is C++ A Programming Language?

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C++ is a great thing to develop amazing apps but is it a programming tool or a programming language? Using a powerful, fast and reliable C++ compiler, IDE and C++ GUI framework are very important for beginners and professionals but how do they help and what do they do? If a C++ IDE helps C++ developers in remembering which language features exist, how does it do that? If you are an experienced C++ developer, then the answer to you might seem obvious – but we know from our research there’s a whole load of people asking the internet search engines “is C++ a programming language”? So, let’s answer that question together, shall we?

Is C++ A Programming Language? The C++ Logo.

Is C++ a programming language?

Yes, C++ is one of the most powerful programming languages as well as being one of the world’s most popular. In total, it has millions of users worldwide with perhaps billions of lines of C++ code written and powering all sorts of applications from typical business apps like word processors, mobile apps and games, and thanks to C++’s versatility and raw power it also is the primary programming language behind many desktop and mobile operating systems and IoT devices.

What is the difference between a low-level and high-level programming language?

There are two types of programming languages: interpreted and compiled. All computers have a brain – the CPU – which works with machine code, code that can be directly understood by the CPU that tells the computer what to do. This is the lowest level, native, and fastest code, but it requires writing many lines for simple things and is hard to generalize for all kinds of machines. There are specialized sets of instructions which correspond to the native CPU instructions on a one-to-one basis. They are difficult and error-prone for humans to read. We call that kind of programming language a low-level language. We call computer languages which are more readable by humans, more abstract (where one instruction might correspond to several steps and raw CPU instructions) and that uses easier to read keywords a high-level language. C++ is a high-level computer language.

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What is a C++ compiler?

A compiler is a computer program that converts the instructions of a computer program into executable machine code (it also uses a linker). Such code may not be as fast as hand-crafted assembler code, but the difference in speed is usually small. C++ is a very efficient programming language and many of its constructs and keywords are converted by the compiler into extremely succinct machine language equivalents. This is one reason why C++ has a reputation as one of the fastest and most powerful programming languages.

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What is an interpreted programming language?

Interpreted programming languages run inside special executable “runtime” applications like Java, Python, or Visual Basic and have to have their programming code converted at the time the user runs the program to the low-level instructions appropriate for the machine on which it is running. This runtime conversion is called “interpreting”. This is why they are slower when executing operations, as they need to use compiled libraries for faster operations. Most interpreted languages of this sort pre-process the text of their program code into a set of symbols often referred to as “P-code”. These symbols mean the program is ‘portable’ (that’s what the “P” stands for) because they can be copied from one platform to another but each platform has to have a version of the runtime to read that P-code app, turn it into real computer instructions in memory and then execute the program.

This interpretation process can add some significant slow-downs or pauses. Programs written using natively fully compiled languages such as C++ and Delphi do this compilation process long before the user ever decides to run the program, so they are quite often many times faster. The programs created by true compilers like C++ Builder and RAD Studio with Delphi are not P-Code and are ready to run immediately at the full speed of the machine with no additional interpretation steps. This subtle difference between interpreted and true natively compiled languages like C++ and Delphi turns into a huge gap when you run the same routine (i.e. for face recognition) millions of times a millisecond. Quite simply, the C++ and Delphi programs are easily and obviously faster. often by a significant margin.

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Is C++ Builder a programming language?

C++ Builder is not a programming language, it uses the C++ language and is a very professional IDE (an integrated development environment) with a set of C and C++ compilers for different operating systems like Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. It is powered with amazing design tools and components to develop great GUI applications in C++.

C++ Builder comes with two C++ GUI frameworks, these are FMX and VCL frameworks. Thus, we can say that C++ Builder uses C++ language enhanced with VCL and FMX C++ libraries (frameworks) for GUI applications.

If you are beginner and want to learn C++ programming, this article lists topics related with C++ Programming, IDE and C/C++ compilers for Windows with their features. It’s very hard to identify which C++ compiler is the best for you, as this is mostly about what you want to achieve with your code. If you want to implement small projects for analysis and calculations without GUIs and many other features, most small compilers will do just fine. If you want to migrate from building simple exe files to complex professional applications, we highly recommend using a professional C++ compiler with an advanced IDE from the start.

Know more about the C++ set and how it can help you store unique elements in a sorted way.

Is C++ A Programming Language? The RAD Studio IDE
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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. C++ Builder comes with Rapid Application Development Studio, also known as RAD Studio, and C++ Builder is one of the most professional IDE’s that work under RAD Studio. It is the oldest IDE (it began as Borland TurboC in 1990 and was later renamed Borland C++ Builder). Under the Embarcadero brand, multiple new versions have been release, year upon year, along with great new features, updates, and support to ensure that your apps can stay current. 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. There is a free C++ Builder Community Edition for students, beginners, and startups. More details about C++ Builder & RAD Studio for the beginners can be found in Official Wiki of Rad Studio.

In my opinion, if we combine all these above, The Best C and C++ Compiler and IDE for Windows 8, 10 and 11 is, C++ Builder 11.1 IDE and Compiler . 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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Is C++ a programming language with an IDE?

The main C++ is a set of compilers and its extensions like, libraries, headers and other C++ files. An IDE (integrated development environment) is a software application that provides a complete set of features for application development. In theory you can use a simple text editor to create C++ programs and then compile the source code – the instructions of the program in the files – into a ready to use application simply using a compiler/linker. But that is doing it the hard way!

For a developer, beginner or professional, however, a C++ IDE is really important because of powerful tailored features like error highlights, auto code completion, and help system which help ease the process of writing the code in the firs place plus the opportunity to run, test, debug, deploy, merge or transform code to run on other platforms (multiplatform coding) in a powerful, integrated way.

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Is C++ a programming language with CLANG?

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CLANG is a standard for professional compilers, so the best C++ compiler should be a CLANG compiler. CLANG is considered to be a production-quality C, Objective-C, C++, and Objective-C++ compiler when targeting X86-32, X86-64, and ARM. It is a new C/C++ compiler standard (C++98, C++11, C++17, C++20, C++23) supported by the LLVM Compiler Infrastructure Project and has been a default compiler in recent years for the most C/C++ compilers. This means that if you code for a CLANG compiler, most other IDEs, Compilers of Platforms will support your code without any changes. The latest C++17 standard is supported by most C++ compilers.

In Windows application development, a native C++ compiler and IDE that supports the latest Windows features are very important. Some of the IDEs are not specifically designed for C++ development. Some IDEs are designed only for console application developments.

Be sure that your C++ IDE comes with a CLANG-based compiler. It’s also important that your chosen IDE also supports other C++ libraries and standards like Dinkumware standard library, MSBuild/CMake/Ninja support, and popular libraries like Boost and Eigen.

We highly recommend you start with or to move to a CLANG Enhanced compilers like Embarcadero’s C++ Builder, which supports the CLANG (C++11, C++ 17) standard and has its own C++ Compiler, IDE, GUI Designer, and more. The C++Builder Standards and Clang Enhanced Compiler features can be found here.

In my opinion, If we combine all these above, The Best C and C++ Compiler and IDE for Windows 8, 10 and 11 is, C++ Builder 11.1 IDE and Compiler

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Is C++ A Programming Language? A collection of VCL and FMX styles.

Is C++ a programming language which supports GUI applications?

The C++ programming language alone is not enough to develop apps with today’s GUIs in operating systems; you need GUI libraries (frameworks) like VCL, FMX, and GTK for Linux. So, the answer is yes C++ is a programming language which supports the development of GUI applications – but only if supported with one of those GUI libraries.

GUI is a Graphical User Interface that has UI elements to display and to interact with user actions. Note that integrating with the operating system and the device’s sensors such as a GPS location chip is also important. The best GUI frameworks like the FireMonkey FMX Library, are compatible with multiple operating systems and device types. For example, you can use FireMonkey FMX library with Windows, iOS and Android C++ applications.

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Is C++ a programming language you can get for free?

We highly recommend you use free but professional compilers and an IDE, like the C++ Builder CE edition or Dev-C++. Personally, I recommend you use C++ Builder CE version which supports professional quality GUI development and many great features that will power your C++ development to anything you can envision or want to build. You can easily jump from beginner level to professional level with other professional C++ Builder editions.

The C++ Builder CE version is a free complete C++ solution for students, beginners, and startups. It is also easy for beginners to learn with its wide range of samples, tutorials, help files, and LSP support for code. C++ Builder comes with RAD Studio (Rapid Application Development Studio) and is one of the most professional IDEs. 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.

Is C++ A Programming Language? A happy developer

With C++ Builder 11 you can;

  • Provision apps for Windows 11
  • Compile for Android API 30
  • Compile for M-series (Apple Silicon) processors
  • Design on high-DPI 4k+ screens
  • View VCL Styles in design time
  • New & modernized VCL components  
  • Use enhanced remote desktop support to collaborate remotely 

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