Have you ever used Turbo C or Turbo C++? Answer is definitely “yes” if you were a CS student in past and “I am using it” if you are CS Student currently. Programing involves hard work, passion, knowledge and an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) sadly, for a lot of people who are into C or C++ programming, IDE is Turbo C++. For those who have no idea what Turbo C++ is: Turbo C++ is an IDE that is used to write and compile code for C and C++. Sad point is that if you are a young programmer, it is way older than you.
What is bad with Turbo C++
Glad that you asked, please have a look on the gorgeous program:
Please don’t fool yourself I have not taken the screenshot from an Internet Screenshot Archive, instead it is running on a separate Window on my Windows 7 PC.
Turbo C++ was released on somewhere between 1990-1992 (yup, almost 25 years ago) Back then it was a very good IDE and it was used a lot to code C and C++, as on 1990 Windows 95 was not in existence, Turbo C++ ran on DOS. It was not a Win32 application and the good thing was that it never tried to be. It was a 16 Bit application and all application that Turbo C++ compiled and made were 16 bit. That was good at that point of time. Not today.
What is wrong with Turbo C++ today?
Almost everything, first of all it is not standardized with ANSI standardization. It is old, ugly, unstable and heck, it now runs on a DOSBox Virtual Machine.
No Autocomplete: autocomplete features are really helpful on longer projects and in minimizing errors related to syntax, Turbo C++ can’t even spell Autocomplete. You will have to write every bit of code and you will have to close every single function.
It runs virtually: Turbo C++ is 16 bit software and now we are using 64 bit Operating system so the only way to run it is to use it under a virtual machine. Many developers have done that. Now it is an 8 MB installer file that installs DOSBox and then Turbo C++ in the DOSBox.
Compiled Application is piece of S#it: Sorry for that, but it is true, work on a 1000000 line code project, save the CPP file, compile it and make the application. Now exit the IDE and double click the newly made app, you will be greeted by a beautiful error message (giving you the finger).
The sad story is that Code and time moved on but not our teachers and our Education system.I can still see students using that 1990 made IDE in 2015 in my college. Some of my friends (one specially) who are taking C++ and C classes are using Turbo C++ to write and compile code. Even the teachers are encouraging Students to use that Crazy, Blue and Old IDE. They are taking enormous amount of coaching fee and still are not able to teach student how to use a modern IDE.
Or should I say industry standards? Yes there are a lot of free and paid alternatives, some of them are open source. The best thing is that they use standardized ANSI code. Let’s look on some of the excellent options:
Microsoft Visual Studio: It is the best if you can afford it, IDE is slick, UI is excellent and the best thing is that you can make apps for many platforms. Visual Studio is 100 times better than Turbo C++. It provides many solutions to reduce the time and efforts. Students can get it free of cost from Microsoft.
CODEBLOCKS: It is an Open source IDE, so you are free to download and use it. The best part is that CodeBlocks is a cross platform IDE so you can use it on platforms other than Windows. It is not as cool as Visual Studio but still it is a lot better than Turbo C++. Many sample projects and templates are also made available with this IDE.
Which one is your favorite IDE? Have you ever used Turbo C++? Tell us your story in comments…