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2CPP02 - C++ Primer
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2CPP02 - C++ Primer


This is an intermediate conversion course for C++, suitable for second year computing students who may have learned Java or another language in first year.

This is an intermediate conversion course for C++, suitable for second year computing students who may have learned Java or another language in first year.

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  • 1. C++ PRIMER Michael Heron
  • 2. Introduction • It’s my understanding that you all learned Java as your main language last year. • That puts you in a relatively good place for learning C++ • They are somewhat similar languages. • Where possible, C++ code will be related back to Java in example code. • This is not possible in all circumstances.
  • 3. Java versus C++ • The biggest differences, as far as this module is concerned, are as follow: • Java is a platform independent programming language. • C++ is not • Java is a pure object oriented language. • C++ is not • Java handles memory management transparently • C++ requires explicit memory management • Java hides the details of passing by value and reference. • C++ requires explicit handling • Java permits single inheritance only • C++ permits multiple inheritance.
  • 4. Pure OOP • Java is a pure object orientation language. • All code must belong to a class. • C++ permits a mix and match approach. • This is stylistically bad. • For this module, your C++ code should be, as far as is possible, written as if it were pure object orientation. • It is possible to have variables and functions that are not part of a class in C++. • This will be Frowned Upon
  • 5. A Simple C++ Program #include <iostream> using namespace std; int main() { cout << "Hello World!" << endl; return 1; }
  • 6. More C++ Differences • This simple C++ program highlights several differences to Java programs. • First of all, line 1: • #include <iostream> • This is known as a preprocessor directive. • Before any of your C++ code is compiled, the compiler runs a process called the preprocessor on it. • It’s essentially a very powerful search and replace routine. • The #include directive tells C++ to take the file iostream.h and include it, in its entirety, in the current file. • More on the preprocessor later.
  • 7. More C++ Differences • The second line: • using namespace std; • This is something akin to an import in Java. • It tells C++ we are going to be using the classes and methods that make up the std set (primarily this is input and output). • We begin execution from a main method, just as with a Java program. • However, in C++ this main method is never contained within a class.
  • 8. More C++ Differences • In Java we use System.out.println to print text to the console. • In C++ we make use of an IO Stream… specifically, the cout. This represents the standard output stream. It is defined in std. • The << operator is used to send data to the stream. • endl is a special symbol – it represents an end of line. • A n symbol essentially.
  • 9. Creating a C++ Project in Visual Studio • There are many development environments available for C++ development. • I myself am partial to Netbeans. • We’ll be using Visual Studio in the labs. • Start Visual Studio • Create a new C++ Project • A Win32 Console Project
  • 10. Settings • In Application Settings • Application type should be Console Application • Check the Empty Project checkbox • Or you’ll end up with lots of stuff you don’t want. • Click finish • Add a source file. • Go to the solution explorer • Right click on the project file • Add -> Add New Item • The template should be a C++ (cpp file) • Enter the filename (say, main.cpp) to get a blank file.
  • 11. C++ Syntax • Basic structures of C++ are very similar to Java. • They are both c-type languages. • The following are almost syntactically identical: • If statements • Switch statements • Variable declarations • For loops • While loops
  • 12. Some Minor Differences • While the syntax is very similar (and thus we won’t spend a lot of time discussing it), there are some minor differences. • C++ will interpret any non-zero value as true in an if or continuation condition: int blah; blah = 1; if (blah) { cout << "What Up!" << endl; }
  • 13. Some Minor Differences • Strings in C++ are declared in lower case: string bing; • Standard decimal data type is a float. • Not a double. • Booleans known as bool • Work the same way. • Non null values in conditionals evaluate as true. • They don’t have to explicitly be true or false conditions
  • 14. Some Major Differences • Functions in C++ often need to be prototyped. • This means you provide a little ‘hint’ for the compiler by stating the function signature at the top of the file. #include <iostream> using namespace std; void print_message (string); int main() { print_message ("bing"); return 1; } void print_message (string txt) { cout << txt << endl; }
  • 15. Some Major Differences • C++ programs make constant use of pointers. • These are references to areas of memory rather than discreet values. • Java does this too for non-primitive data types. • It handles it automatically. • C++ requires you to explicitly manage pointer references yourself. • Very powerful, but also an easy way to mess up a program! • We’ll talk about pointers towards the end of this lecture.
  • 16. C++ File Structure • The code in a C++ program is usually broken up into two parts. • A header file (with the suffix .h) which contains function prototypes and preprocessor directives. • A source code file (cpp) which contains the code statements. • A header file should not contain code. • A source file can (and sometimes should) contain prototypes and directives.
  • 17. The Preprocessor • Perhaps the most powerful new feature you will instantly encounter is the preprocessor. • As indicated previously, it takes on the form of a powerful, context sensitive search and replace routine. • The two most common directives are #include and #define. • #include we have already seen
  • 18. The Preprocessor • #define allows you to create a token that gets replaced with something during the first runtime pass. • In C++, these get used in the same way as static consts in a java class. • For example, in our header file we might declare the following: #define NAME“michael”
  • 19. The Preprocessor • Whenever we compile a program, the compiler does a pass over our code with the preprocessor. • Every time it sees the token NAME it will replace it with the string literal “michael”. • This allows for constant values to be set in one place and made available to entire programs provided they #include our header file.
  • 20. The Preprocessor • This occurs before any C++ syntax checking in the compiler. • You can introduce syntax errors this way. • Some directives allow for conditional inclusions • For example, the #ifdef directive sets a section of directives to be contingent on a certain token being defined. • That range is ended with an #endif • #else can be used, as in an if-else structure. • #undef can be used to undefine previous defines.
  • 21. The Preprocessor #include <iostream> #define TESTING 1 #ifdef TESTING #define TEXT "this is a test" #else #define TEXT "this is not a test" #endif using namespace std; void print_message (string); int main() { print_message (TEXT); return 1; } void print_message (string txt) { cout << txt << endl; }
  • 22. The Preprocessor • It’s not terribly important you can see why this is useful at the moment. • You should recognise what is happening though, because the preprocessor is one of the biggest differences in C++ programming. • We will be making use of the preprocessor as necessary as we go through the module material.
  • 23. Input in C++ • Text input in C++ is extremely easy to do. • Somewhat of a departure from how it is done in Java. • The cin stream is used for this. • The >> operator is used to pull information out of a stream • cin reading terminates whenever it finds a space. • It is thus fine for reading in single words and atomic data.
  • 24. Input in C++ #include <iostream> using namespace std; void print_message (int); int main() { int age; cout << "What is your age?" << endl; cin >> age; print_message (age); return 1; } void print_message (int txt) { cout << "Your age is " << txt << endl; }
  • 25. Input in C++ • For reading in lines of text with spaces, the getline function is used instead. • This takes two parameters • The input stream to use • The variable into which it should place the received information. • It returns no value. • Often getting input to work properly is a vaguely black are. • We will talk about why later.
  • 26. Pointers • Pointers represent the biggest departure from C++. • They take some getting used to, but become second nature before too long. • I am making the assumption here that you understand (in general, if not in specifics) that you understand how memory works in a computer program. • Interrupt now if I’m wrong!
  • 27. Pointers • In general, C++ passes primitive variables by value. • Functions get a copy of the data, not the data itself. • This means if you change it in one function, it one impact on the original declaration. • This is equivalent to what happens in Java. • But Java gives us limited options for changing the way that works.
  • 28. Pointers #include <iostream> using namespace std; void add_to_num (int); int main() { int num; num = 10; add_to_num (num); cout << "Number is " << num << endl; return 1; } void add_to_num (int num) { num = num + 1; }
  • 29. Pointers • In C++, we have access to two powerful operators. • &, which is the reference operator • You can literally think of this as a shorthand for ‘address of’ • *, which is the dereference operator • You can think of this as ‘value of’ • We can use this to specialise our variables.
  • 30. Pointers #include <iostream> using namespace std; void add_to_num (int*); int main() { int num; num = 10; add_to_num (&num); cout << "Number is " << num << endl; return 1; } void add_to_num (int *num) { *num = *num + 1; }
  • 31. Pointers • I only want to touch on this at the moment. • We don’t need to go into too much depth at this point, we’ll return to the topic later when it actually starts to matter. • The important thing is that you recognise these operators when you see them. • *num means ‘the value of the memory location pointed to by num’ • &num means ‘the memory location where num resides’
  • 32. Summary • C++, like Java, is a C-Type language. • It has many similarities. • It has many differences. • The key differences are: • the preprocessor • pointers • The lack of a pure OOP framework • Over the coming weeks, we’ll learn more about all of these.