| Lesson 2 || C++ Course Prerequisites |
| Objective || Prerequisites for taking the course Building Classes in C++ |
Prerequisites for Building Classes in C++
Make sure you have the background and equipment required for this course.
Building Classes in C++ is intended for experienced C programmers who are already comfortable with the basic difference between C and C++ syntax and who are comfortable working with the
struct construct to build ADTs.
Understand C Data Structures as a stepping stone to C++
A struct in the C programming language is a complex data type declaration that defines a physically grouped list of variables to be placed under one name in a block of memory, allowing different variables to be accessed by means of a single pointer, or the struct declared name which returns the same address. The struct can contain many other complex and simple data types in an association, and is therefore a natural organizing type for records like mixed data types
in lists of directory entries reading a hard drive
- file length,
or other mixed record type.
You can use either Windows, Macintosh, or Linux/Unix machines to take this course.
The course is intended to be platform-independent. Please be sure you are aware of platform-dependent issues that may affect your compiler.
In computers, a platform is an underlying computer system on which application programs can run. On personal computers, Windows 10 and the Mac OS X are examples of two different platforms. On enterprise servers or mainframes, IBM OS/390 is an example of a platform.
Mainframe computers are computers used primarily by large organizations for critical applications, bulk data processing such as census, industry and consumer statistics.
The term originally referred to the large cabinets known as main frames that housed the central processing unit and main memory of early computers. Later, the term was used to distinguish high-end commercial machines from less powerful units
Before we talk about the C++ language, we will briefly discuss the C++ environment and how C++ programs are executed. C++ was developed by Bjarne Stroustrup as an extension to the C programming language by adding object-oriented capabilities.
Since its original development, C++ has undergone significant evolution and refinement. In 1998 the definition of the language was standardized.
Like its predecessor C, C++ has proven to be a popular language for implementing a variety of applications across different platforms.
There are C++ compilers available for most computers. Some of the concepts and features of C++ have been implemented in other languages, including Java.
An extensive collection of classes and functions is available to a C++ program. This collection is known as the standard library. We will discuss numerous capabilities provided by this library in this course. Among them are classes and functions to perform input and output and classes that can serve as containers for values.
A C++ program is compiled into a form that is directly executed by the computer and this form is called machine language. A C++ program does not have to be compiled all at once. Generally, individual functions, or a set of related functions, or a class definition are placed in separate source files that are compiled individually.
For a C++ program to reference a function, class, or variable, the compiler must have seen a declaration of that function, class, or variable.
Thus, if you write a function, class, or variable that you want to be referenced by other C++ functions, you need to make a declaration of it available. Instead of rewriting all such declarations in every file that uses those functions, classes, or variables, you would place the declarations in a separate file to be included by any program file that uses them.
Such a file is called an include file and the the declarations of classes and functions in the standard library are also placed in include files.