Previous in Forum: visual basic   Next in Forum: about 3d modeling software
Anonymous Poster

Visual Basic Vs C++

02/18/2007 9:22 AM

Last time I did any programming was in the late 80's. Fortran, Basic, C.

I want to get back into it. I've done a lot of browsing and think I need to learn C++ and Visual basic and Java. I'm just not sure where to begin. Of course, if I knew where I wanted to end up, then I'd know where to start. Anyway, could anyone suggest any reading or give me some insight regarding these or other languages.

I'm not looking to become a professional programmer, just to broaden my horizons.

Pathfinder Tags: programming
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
The Architect
Engineering Fields - Software Engineering - S/W Architect Popular Science - Evolution - Fascinating! Fans of Old Computers - TRS-80 - A fine computer United States - US - Statue of Liberty - NY

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: GlobalSpec, Troy NY
Posts: 386
Good Answers: 5

Re: Visual Basic Vs C++

02/18/2007 7:39 PM

Some thoughts...

  • I can't think or too many reasons to suggestion C++, other than you say you are familiar with C, but C++ isn't exactly a tolerant language.
  • C++ and VB are probably not the best places to start... they are have been replaced (in most circumstances) with C# (C-sharp) and VB.Net, both of which are best learned using Microsoft's IDE, which is not free.
  • I'd say that Java is easily more fun than VB or C++, and on-par with C# (or VB.Net, I suppose)
  • Good free tools (basically, the IDE) can make learning a language much more pleasant. "Eclipse" is free and has great support for Java.

My advice would be to download Eclipse and maybe check out a tutorial for Java on eclipse. (I"m sure there are lots of them out there.)

One caveat: If you want to make applications with GUIs (windows, menus, etc) then I'd probably change my tune and say consider one of the Microsoft languages like VB, VB.Net, or C#. (I'm sure someone out there can offer a good free alternative, including some Java library, but I don't have any experience with those.)

Have fun.

Mark Gaulin
Anonymous Poster

Re: Visual Basic Vs C++

02/19/2007 12:32 AM

I took a class with visual and it was pretty fun, but if you use it, make sure you understand how to save your files. For me, it saved things weird, it didn't put everything you were working on in the saved file so when I would open my program for a grade, I would have missing parts. I finally learned how to save all three things, to the file. Not a reason not to use it, its just something you want to read up on. I thought the program was really fun to use. You can make some neat programs and calculators and things with it. The other guy is right, I couldn't even find a free student version of it, thats just retarded! You would think that they would hand it out left and right to get people liking their software. Another thing you may want to do is look at a college curriculum not to take the classes but to see what order they put the classes in. That will give you an idea of what to try first.

Anonymous Poster

Re: Visual Basic Vs C++

02/19/2007 1:35 AM

Some thoughts about programming languages...

First and foremost, do not fall into the trap of thinking that newer is necessarily better. In fact, the trendiest languages like Java, C#, VB.Net (or anything related to the .Net framework) are about *restricting* what you, the programmer, is *allowed* to do. Working in any language that *confines* you to a "sandbox" and *prevents* you from manipulating pointers and *forces* you to use a class library written by somebody else in order to get any real work done... well, it's worse than useless... except for the rankest of amateurs and simpletons who need to be protected from themselves.

Training wheels on bicycles serve a legitimate purpose, but what if they could not be removed? How much serious competitive riding could you do then? Would you buy a bicycle with unremovable training wheels? Well, the same goes for Java, C# and similar languages. Sadly, the majority of recently-trained programmers have been taught to love the chains that bind them...

For instance, managed code in the .Net framework doesn't even compile down to real machine code! It ends up as "byte code" that is interpreted, not executed. Why? Well, to keep you in the sandbox, of course! To prevent you from hurting yourself with those nasty, dangerous, sharp pointers! You paid for the computer, and the compiler, but Microsoft controls what you can do with them. Not only that, but the religious dogma that goes with the territory requires you to believe that this is a good thing!

Anyway... if you can program in C, I say stick with it, and add some of the "++" features if and when you need them. But be frugal about it. Some of the features in C++ are nice -- classes, templates, namespaces and dynamic casts have their uses -- but they are very easy to abuse, too. In many cases, I find that less is more when it comes to such features. Often the syntactic sugar gets in the way of writing code that is truly lean and mean. As well, generality requires the "++" features to be implemented rather inefficiently... no matter how much doubletalk the compiler brochures throw at you. They also tell you that a good optimizing compiler can generate better code than you can by hand-coding in assembly language. Don't believe it for a second! I've never seen a compiler that could even get within a factor of three of my assembly code, on any platform... and many have tried!

One more thing: don't believe them when they say you need the "++" features to support object-oriented programming. Object-oriented programming is a state of mind, a design approach, a set of coding conventions, that need not be supported by any special syntactic constructs whatsoever. I've written object-oriented, event-driven programs in assembly language.

And lastly, don't believe them when they say you need MFC, or any other class library, to write windows applications. The truth is, everything you need is available in the form of operating system calls. No sub-classing, super-classing, or wrapper functions required. I've written entire windows applications in assembly language, complete with GUI. They're much smaller -- as in, 10's of kilobytes, instead of 10's of megabytes -- and much more transparent, and therefore much easier to debug.

Okay, having said all that, if you want to write toy programs with pretty GUIs, that run like molasses in January but can be thrown together overnight, then pick VB (but not later than VB6).

For real programming, work in C/C++.


Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Israel
Posts: 2922
Good Answers: 24
In reply to #3

Re: Visual Basic Vs C++

03/18/2007 6:16 PM

This was very informative, and confirms with so much I experienced over the years. Bravo for the guts to say all this directly. I think we all owe you a cup of good coffee

Anonymous Poster

Re: Visual Basic Vs C++

02/19/2007 1:49 AM

Hi Guest,

If you want to do quick and simple tasks, then don't go for the big environments such as C++ or VB. Take a look at Liberty Basic, where you can ease your way quite nicely back into the mainstream. It has a good (personal) support forum, with plenty people willing to help you and show you the way. Liberty Basic also can pack a punch in doing GUI interfaces, networking, DLLs and much more.

Anonymous Poster

Re: Visual Basic Vs C++

02/19/2007 2:16 AM

I would recommend Java.
Java is free, you can get very nice IDEs (i.e. Netbeans, Eclipse) for free, there is lots of support for it, and the language specification and tutorials are online. If you go the Linux/Free Unix route, you can work on C++ for free.

With Microsoft, you get to buy the IDE which can be expensive.

Good Luck!

Australia - Member - New Member Fans of Old Computers - H316 - New Member Hobbies - Model Rocketry - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Port Noarlunga, South Australia, AUSTRALIA (South of Adelaide)
Posts: 3048
Good Answers: 75

Re: Visual Basic Vs C++

02/19/2007 2:39 AM

I agree with a lot of what others have said and that a lot of the bells and whistles are a waste of time, money and memory. However the Visual languages do make writing windows application a fairly simple matter.

Coming from the old school and having written a considerable amount of Fortran code I had a look on the net and found that Intel have a Visual Fortran Compiler. I have not used this product and it dose cost a fair amount of money but if you are familiar with Fortran it could be worth looking at.

An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2

Re: Visual Basic Vs C++

02/19/2007 6:30 AM

VisualoBasic is more fundamental than C++ or Java.C++ and Java OBject Oriented Progr4amming Languages.that is,They are upper level.I think that First of all you should learn Visual Basic.Then You learn object concept.

Hobbies - HAM Radio - New Member

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Vancouver (not BC) Washington (not DC) US of A
Posts: 1261
Good Answers: 12

Re: Visual Basic Vs C++

02/19/2007 8:31 AM

My wife just completed a post grad certificate in Information Systems and had to take a series of programming courses (which I thoroughly enjoyed). She took them in the sequence of Visual Basic, C, then Java. In her case she didn't need C++. The C course she took was a bit of a pain because it was designed around a UNIX system at the college, and we had to go through some gyrations so she could do her work on my Borland C++ compiler here at home (which runs under windows)... and the instructor "didn't want to hear about it". I didn't get into the Visual Basic with her because she had a very good instructor and pulled an "A" out of the class on her own. For Windows applications, I would tend to write the code in JAVA. Largely because SUN Microsystems has a humongous library of routines which you can simply call up. For example... to do graphics on the screen, I do not need to know the video memory map of the machine to draw points... lines... etc.

I have a series of programs for filter design... FFT's... modem design... which I originally wrote in BASIC back in the late '70s. I rewrote them in PASCAL in the early '90s, but it didn't have multiple precision arithmetic... so doing any large FFT would result in divide by zero errors and such. Everything to this point ran under DOS.

When I have the time, I intend to rewrite these programs in JAVA, so they can run under Windows, on "modern" machines... not because I have an immediate need for them, but just for the fun of it.

Have Fun!!


Mexico - Member - New Member

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mexicali, BC, México
Posts: 131

Re: Visual Basic Vs C++

02/19/2007 1:02 PM

In my opinion:

1. Learn C/C++ or C#

2. Java

3. Visual


more goint to what you need.

For complity control of the PC you should use C/C++

If you do not need to control the machine (I mean serial/parallel port, USB port, ETC) then use Visual Basic.

I do not know a lot about Java. But Java is something between C and Visual Basic... and it is free :).

Take care!

Knowledge comes from God!!!

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Cleveland, Ohio USA
Posts: 98
Good Answers: 2

Re: Visual Basic Vs C++

02/19/2007 1:48 PM

If you really want to have fun and have total control of the capabilities, I suggest Assembly Language. The raw power from working free of higher level languages can be very stimulating to your imagination!

A good way to learn this is to dream up a project ...some kind of device you want to build. Then list the components needed and browse the internet.

Good microcontrollers & support components are made by

Philips Semicinductor at

Newark & Digikey sell a lot of these components.

Anonymous Poster

Re: Visual Basic Vs C++

02/19/2007 2:07 PM

Take a look at VBA (visual basic for applications). It is based off of VB6.

The IDE (Integrated Development Environment) comes packaged with MS Office as well as a number of other softwares.

This means if you already have Office, etc., you get to dabble and play without spending money. There are also help files associated with most of the functions and properties that can be accessed by right clicking on them in the object browser. It's a nice way to preview before you buy.

From MS Word for example, Click the "tools" pull-down, then click "Macro", then click "Visual Basic Editor" (or just press Alt + F11). Then move across the top toolbar until you find "Object Browser" and start right-clicking in the browser and selecting help for code samples. If you're already familar with C, the logical operators will come naturally.

Anonymous Poster

Re: Visual Basic Vs C++

02/19/2007 5:25 PM

Thanks very much everyone. Just the kind of feedback I was hoping for.


Anonymous Poster

Re: Visual Basic Vs C++

05/09/2007 12:42 PM

Visual Basic and C++ are too complicated for your mind to comprehend, I suggest you try Turing, you may find it challanging at first but you'll get the hang of it. Contact me if you need any help. Email:

Have fun and good luck.

Anonymous Poster

Re: Visual Basic Vs C++

02/26/2009 4:49 PM

Look my dear friend. because i've work with almost any language (from c/c++ through basic and fortran to lisp and simula) i think you should think what kind of application's you want to write. for exaple if you want to write an application that run's on windows pc's, on linux and unix system's even in mobile devices then you should learn java. if you want to write application's on windows platform's and want an easy finished GUI application then you should learn visual basic and if you want to have 100% control of your computer with all resources you should lear c/c++(believe me they very similar) or if you want check assemply(but i would not recommand it to a newbie take the easy way first and then go to deep water's you see if you master the one then you can go trought anythink it's just a matter of experiance) lg dimitri.

Reply to Forum Thread 15 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Alhuey23 (1); Anonymous Poster (8); emrahbektas (1); masu (1); mgaulin (1); Ray8 (1); Sciesis2 (1); Yuval (1)

Previous in Forum: visual basic   Next in Forum: about 3d modeling software