Hi jim,
Yeah, learning C++ from scratch is pretty daunting. No argument from
me on that point. It definitely isn't for the lay programmer, and
takes years of experience to get really good at it.
For example, when I took C++ at Wright State around 1998 I went
through the standard 12 week course. I learned all the basic stuff
functions, variables, pointers, classes, objects, etc.  In a word all
the basics of the language, but when I walked out of that class 12
weeks later I still had no real idea how to put all that together and
create a program I could use. For one thing I hadn't learned is the
more advanced aspects such as the Windows Win32 API or the Microsoft
Foundation Classes which are essentual for indepth Windows
programming. When I eventually got Microsoft's official book on
Windows programming I nearly fainted because it was 1,200 pages of
Windows specific programming that I hadn't even covered in class. Not
something I'd wish on my worst enemy.
With Visual Basic 6, for example, all of that 1,200 pages of stuff is
nicely wrapped by the Visual Basic runtime or you can load additional
components through the com interface. Now days the Microsoft .NET
Framework does the same thing but is available to C++, C#, and Visual
Basic .equally making it hundreds of times easier to write something
without a great deal of the libraries and headers that make up the
Windows operating system.  If you want to draw a window just create a
new instance of the Form class and run with it. You don't have to pump
Windows events and messages, create a Windows process handler,  write
your own garbage collecter, and a bunch of other stuff as the .NET
Framework does all that behind the scenes. Some in the I.T. field feel
we are dumbing down the next generation of programmers, but I will
agree it is way easier to write something for Windows than it use to
be with all of these rapid development languages like C# .NET and
Visual Basic .NET.


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