C++ is one of the most powerful programming languages as well as being one of the world’s most popular. Using a fast and reliable C++ code editor is very important for beginners and professionals since it helps C++ developers in remembering which language features exist, how to use them, and even detect errors when we get it wrong. C++ Programming requires many pre-defined variables, functions, and libraries for the different operating systems which means you need a professional IDE.
Table of Contents
What is the history of C++ programming?
If you want to learn more here is the long story of C++ Programming,
What part does a compiler play in C++ programming?
There are two types of programming languages: Interpreted and Non-Interpreted (Compiled). All computers work with something called machine code (code that can be directly executed by the computer’s CPU) that tells the computer what to do. This is the most native and fastest code, but it requires writing many lines for even quite simple things and is hard to generalize for all kinds of machines. It’s also not very easy to understand for humans. A Compiler (C or C++ Compiler, etc.) is a computer program that converts a program written in a ‘high level’ programming language such as C++ code into executable machine code. The high level language looks more like English and is much easier to understand and less complicated.
Such code may not be as fast as assembler code (another name for machine code), but the difference in speed is usually very small because modern compilers are very good at producing the most efficient and optimal conversions of the high level language into the machine’s native instructions. This is one reason why C++ is the fastest and most powerful programming language since the C++ keywords are very closely related to the lower level machine code operations and can translate more precisely than a more abstract language such as Python, BASIC, or Java. Interpreted programming languages like Java and Python run inside executable ‘runtime’ applications which add a further layer of interpretation. This is why they are slower when executing operations as they need to use compiled libraries for faster operations. They mostly use C/C++ compilers to build these runtime libraries. Using an interpreted programming language is like being carried by a runner, while a compiled (non-interpreted) programming language is like running itself. This subtle difference turns into a huge gap when you run the same routine (i.e. for face recognition) millions of times a millisecond.
What is a C++ programming IDE?
An IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is a software application that provides a complete set of features for application development. Code is generally written in text format, and you can easily edit or modify your code using text editors like Notepad, etc. 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 with the process of writing the code plus the opportunity to run, test, debug, deploy, merge or transform code to run on other platforms (multiplatform coding) are also important. All these capabilities require a powerful compiler and IDE which is a specialized tool to help developers create and test their code.
In my opinion the Best C and C++ Compiler and IDE for Windows 8, 10 and 11 is, C++ Builder 11.1 IDE and Compiler
What is a CLANG compiler in relation to C++ programming and why do I need support for it?
CLANG is a standard for professional compilers, so the best C++ compiler should be a CLANG compiler
In Windows application development, having a native C++ compiler and IDE that supports the latest Windows features is very important. Some IDEs are not specifically designed for C++ development. Other IDEs are designed only for console application developments rather than GUI apps – programs with a graphical user interface. Some only support a limited set of features.
Be sure that your C++ IDE comes with a CLANG-based compiler. It’s also a huge bonus if your IDE also supports other C++ libraries and standards like Dinkumware standard library, MSBuild/CMake/Ninja support, and popular libraries like Boost and Eigen.
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 most C/C++ compilers. This means that if you code for a CLANG compiler, most other IDEs and compilers will support your code without any changes. The latest C++17 standard is supported by most C++ compilers. More information about core language features can be found here. C++ 20 is new and needs adaptation time.
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
What is a good professional C++ programming IDE?
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. RAD Studio’s C++ Builder 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.
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.
Starting C++ programming – what are the various parts and features of the C++ Builder IDE?
C++ Builder IDE has mainly 5 Parts, the Code Editor Window and Form Designer, Projects Window, Palette Window, Structure Window, Object Inspector Window. You can find more , less commonly used windows from the main IDE menu as well as the right-click context menus. All the basic sections can be summarized in this IDE picture;
Now let’s explain each of these areas shown above.
1.The Code Editor and Form Designer: The Code Editor and the Form Designer occupy the center pane of the IDE window. The Code Editor is a full-featured, customizable UTF8 editor that provides syntax highlighting, multiple undo capability and context-sensitive help for language elements. You can switch between them by using F12 or from lower tabs in IDE. As you design the user interface for your application, RAD Studio generates the underlying code. When you modify object properties, your changes are automatically reflected in the source files.
2. The Project Window : The Project Window displays and organizes the contents of your current project group and any project it contains. You can perform many important project management tasks, such as adding, removing, and compiling files. The default location of the Projects window is the upper right corner of the IDE, but the window is dockable, as are many windows in the IDE
3. The Tool Palette Window: The Tools Palette Window has UI elements, components that can be used in application UI design, it assists with a new project, adds components to a form, or adds code snippets to the Code Editor.
4. The Structure Window: The Structure View Window displays a tree diagram that shows the hierarchy of elements in the active window (that is, the Code Editor or the Form Designer)
5. The Object Inspector Window: The Object Inspector is used to examine and edit the properties and events for the currently selected object or objects. Every design object (Components, UI Elements) can be edited by clicking on it then setting its properties and events in the Object Inspector Window.
Running C++ Code :You can Run your code by pressing F9 or Run button on the top bar. You can use other Run Without Debugging. There is a Stop and Pause button if your code is in loop. On the run time you can use debug, break points, watch variables and many other runtime features.
Switching between the Design and Code View: You can press F12 to switch between the Code Editor and Form Designer. The latest C++ Builder also allows you to use both of them together in the same screen. You can switch code, header and design view from the bottom top bars.
Switching Between the Code Files: You can use tabs on the top to switch between .c or .cpp files and .h headers.
What free compilers are available for C++ programming?
If you are looking to free compilers here are the top free C++ compilers listed,
You’ll find the answers to several questions about String Operations in C++ software.
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.