Learning C

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by brokensambot, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. brokensambot macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2007
    I'm currently very fluent in several high level OO programming languages so I'm not looking to have my hand held. I'm really interested in two things. What IDE is most popular or best for C on a mac (I'm leaning toward xcode although I have never used it). And what texts or online resources has everyone found to be the best (O'Reilly has always been good to me but I would love to hear what everyone else prefers).

    I value any input you have to offer so thanks in advance.
  2. ScoobyMcDoo macrumors 65816

    Nov 26, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I develop mostly for linux now days for my paid gig. At home I have been playing around with xcode a little bit. It looks pretty, but either they are hiding the really useful code navigation stuff, or it's just not there. On my first look, I'm kind of disappointed when compared to other IDE's I've been using in linux.

    So, under linux, I've been using netbeans lately - yes for C/C++ - believe it or not they have a pretty good (and reasonably fast) C++ plugin. It's way faster than the eclipse c++ plugin. Anyway, I mention this because I'm pretty sure netbeans is available for OS X, however I haven't downloaded/installed it yet.
  3. liptonlover macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2008
    use xcode. It's a great IDE, and you can use it not only for C but for C++, objective C, Java, all sorts of stuff. I believe you want a command line utility for a C application, but I don't remember. Anyways, if you want to learn C and/or C++, go to cprogramming.com/. It's an old website but still perfectly valid, and good as well.
  4. brokensambot thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2007
    Interesting points about xcode. Eclipse is actually my IDE of choice recently as I find it's code completion and SVN plugins very useful during Java development. I didn't even consider trying Netbeans or Eclipse with a C plugin as I assumed it would be a poor choice when stacked against something written for the job.

    I assume both just use GCC for compilation which is nice. My 30 minutes spent with xcode left me feeling like it was a bit bloated so thanks for the idea.
  5. lee1210 macrumors 68040


    Jan 10, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    If you're just starting out there's no reason not to just use a text editor and gcc.

    I can't imagine many situations where an IDE would be able to provide code completion (maybe for struct members?), and when you're starting out your build process is pretty simple.

    This case is a bit different than someone who's never programmed before, but I still think any idea is going to cloud the learning process.

    This is, of course, totally subjective and there are many people on the other side.

  6. brokensambot thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2007
    I understand your point Lee as I often make the same one about holding off on an IDE until you reach a certain level of understanding. However, since I already have a deep understanding of both data structures and design both object and non I think using an IDE and taking advantage of simple things like code coloring would expedite the learning process.
  7. yeroen macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2007
    Cambridge, MA
    By 'code coloring' do you mean syntax highlighting? This is done by vim, emacs, and TextMate, among others.
  8. lazydog macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2005
    Cramlington, UK
    I really like Xcode... I find the all-in-one layout the nicest. I use it for most projects, even for doing html and JavaScript. I also use Eclipse on the Mac for Java, it's got lots of features… more than Xcode… but it's a bit rough around the edges. I much prefer the simple interface of the Xcode. I'm not sure why people say Xcode is complicated and difficult to use. I can't imagine an IDE being any simpler. Xcode 3 also has a project organiser… it looks useful but haven't had time to use it yet.

    What sort of apps will you be developing?

    b e n
  9. brokensambot thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2007
    I actually haven't chosen an app to develop yet. I'm in my last year at university and after looking at the syllabus for a class I need to graduate both I and my professor decided it was a waste of time and money. Learning C will be an independent study solution to this problem. If anyone could suggest a good project to undertake I am all ears. My professor suggested a simple device or communication driver.
  10. toddburch macrumors 6502a

    Dec 4, 2006
    Katy, Texas
    Xcode is great. Go into Preferences to turn code completion on. I frequent the CBOARD for all my C questions these days. Lots of active participants and helpful people. http://cboard.cprogramming.com/index.php. They have a good set of FAQs with example code.


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