where can you download c++?

This simple question is not as easy as you think. The most accurate answer I can provide is:

From the ANSI web store at http://webstore.ansi.org.

This is probably not the answer you were looking for, but it maybe. The above points you to a site that allows you to buy copies of standards, one of which is the ANSI/ISO C++ standard which is available as a PDF download for $18 US (or it was when I bought my copies). The C++ standard is ISO/IEC 14882 dated 1998-09-01. There may be an update to correct and clarify points in the standard; I have not looked to see if it has superseded the copies I have.

I point you to the C++ standard because you asked where you can download C++. C++ is not a single product or application like MS Word. It is a specification of a computer language. Implementations of this standard are the C++ products, and there are many of these.

So I guess you are probably asking where you can download free C++ implementations. Now this depends on what you are after. You give no hint as to the platform (machine and operating system) you will be using to develop on and for which platform your software is to run on. As such the best I can do is to point you at a site which has many free resources for developers: http://www.thefreecountry.com/. The links to freely available C++ compilers can be found at:


As you seem to be new to C++ and probably programming, and have given no further information I am going to guess that you are using MS Windows, in which case the Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Express (http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/visualC/) and Bloodshed Dev-C++ C++ Compiler (http://www.bloodshed.net/devcpp.html) are probably worth looking at. The former is the novice/student/hobbyist version of the latest C++ implementation from Microsoft and lacks some of the more professional features which you almost certainly do not need when starting out. The Dev-C++ IDE is popular with people teaching and learning C++, and uses a MS Windows port of the GNU C++ compiler and related tools. Both come with graphical IDEs - integrated development environments - to make development easier.

Note: I also suggest you look at how to use an Internet search engine such as Google (http://www.google.com) or Yahoo! (http://www.yahoo.com). You could/can use such a facility to locate the C++ resources you needed. On Google the search: "C++ download" produced the two Windows products I mention in the first three listed items. The search: "C++ free" produced thefreecountry around the 8th listed item.  


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Ralph McArdell


I am a software developer with more than 15 years C++ experience and over 25 years experience developing a wide variety of applications for Windows NT/2000/XP, UNIX, Linux and other platforms. I can help with basic to advanced C++, C (although I do not write just-C much if at all these days so maybe ask in the C section about purely C matters), software development and many platform specific and system development problems.


My career started in the mid 1980s working as a batch process operator for the now defunct Inner London Education Authority, working on Prime mini computers. I then moved into the role of Programmer / Analyst, also on the Primes, then into technical support and finally into the micro computing section, using a variety of 16 and 8 bit machines. Following the demise of the ILEA I worked for a small company, now gone, called Hodos. I worked on a part task train simulator using C and the Intel DVI (Digital Video Interactive) - the hardware based predecessor to Indeo. Other projects included a CGI based train simulator (different goals to the first), and various other projects in C and Visual Basic (er, version 1 that is). When Hodos went into receivership I went freelance and finally managed to start working in C++. I initially had contracts working on train simulators (surprise) and multimedia - I worked on many of the Dorling Kindersley CD-ROM titles and wrote the screensaver games for the Wallace and Gromit Cracking Animator CD. My more recent contracts have been more traditionally IT based, working predominately in C++ on MS Windows NT, 2000. XP, Linux and UN*X. These projects have had wide ranging additional skill sets including system analysis and design, databases and SQL in various guises, C#, client server and remoting, cross porting applications between platforms and various client development processes. I have an interest in the development of the C++ core language and libraries and try to keep up with at least some of the papers on the ISO C++ Standard Committee site at http://www.open-std.org/jtc1/sc22/wg21/.


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