Is It Possible to Write Code in C?

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Is it possible to write code in C/C++ to scroll through a PDF? If yes, how do I achieve this?

Yes. C is a simple imperative programming language. If you’ve ever programmed before, you can pick up C in about six weeks. Before C++ came along, this was the way with programming languages. Six weeks for Pascal, six weeks for C, ahem, two weeks for BASIC. C++ is what you may call a multiple paradigm programming language. It’s imperative syntax is identical to that of C, so to start with you’d need the same length of time it took you to learn C. But then you’d have to learn classes, and object oriented programming. OO programming is quite subtle. It would take several months before you would trust yourself to do anything with it. Oh yeah, then there’s templates and template metaprogramming. You can spend years learning that. Oh, there’s exception handling too. And you need at least a basic understanding of templates (for RAII) to use exception handling effectively. C++ has a pretty big streaming I/O subsystem to learn. Then there’s the standard library containers, algorithms, and iterators. That’s a pretty big gulp. My experience training professional programmers who already knew C was that it took about two full-time years before you acquired a journeyman’s understanding of C++, and that was before templates and exception handling. Anyone, I mean anyone, who claims t can learn, or did learn C++ in six weeks is full of the brown smelly stuff. Maybe you could learn enough to read other peoples’ C++ code and then gradually acquire an understanding. But not to actually use it unsupervised. What makes C more difficult than C++? C has no way to structure or group common functions together. If you’re building a really big program in C (say 100,000+ lines of code), C’s single global namespace becomes polluted with symbols. Simple functions like get or do have to have a noun affixed to their name to say what thing you are getting or moving, so you have getFoo and doBar to distinguish them from the similarly named getBlah and doZoo . Likewise, the object upon which you’re operating can’t just be implicitly part of the global namespace, but must be an argument to the function. Now you have getFoo(&myFoo) and doBar(&thatBar). In effect, what you are doing is creating C++ classes, but with zero help from the compiler. If you ever use a function pointer in C, or have long chains of if/else statements or a big switch to select which function to call, it’s a signal that what you really wanted was virtual functions in C++. If you write C macros that contain code and look like functions, what you wanted was C++ template functions. The C versions of these things are easy to get wrong, and the error messages the compiler gives when you get them wrong are difficult to interpret.

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In short, it takes a pretty high level of understanding getting C to do what you want it to. And that requires a good deal of practice, rather than being given an overnight C++ course, or a “learn to use C++ in a day” brochure that teaches “C++ for the sake of C++” and then goes on to give no other advice. Which brings me to what your problem really is: You thought you needed to understand C and the language before you could start learning C++. You thought that by getting the two together, you needed to get a lot faster. You thought you needed to learn the language before learning the code. Furthermore, you were wrong to think any of that. By the time you got it working, you didn’t care what language you were using, you just needed to be able to understand the.