Richard Gnall

C++

Visual Studio - Community and Express
Community
Visual Studio Community is free for individual developers, open source projects, academic research, education, and small professional teams.

A free, fully-featured, and extensible IDE for creating modern applications for Windows, Android, and iOS, as well as web applications and cloud services.

Languages and Editors - C, C++, C#, F#, VB, Python, HTML, XML, XAML, CSS, LESS/SASS, JavaScript, …

Mobile App Support - iOS, Android, Windows using Apache Cordova, Xamarin

Web Tools - APS.NET, Node.js, Python, JavaScript

Frameworks - AngularJS, JQuery, Bootstrap, Django, Backbone.js

Tools - NuGet, Grunt, Gulp, Bower, npm, GitHub

Platforms - Apache Cordova, Azure, Office, Sharepoint, Hololens, Kinect, Internet of Things, …

Universal Windows Platform Development - Mobile, Desktop, HoloLens, Surface Hub, Xbox
Express
Visual Studio Express editions provide free tools to develop applications for a specific platform, such as Windows Universal Platform applications, web sites, and Windows desktop applications.

Visual Studio Express products are available at no charge and may be used for commercial, production usage subject to the license terms provided with each product. For example, you can use Express for Windows to create apps that you can then submit for sale in the Windows Store.

Express Editions:


NOTE: Visual Studio Community has all the features of Express and more, and is still free for individual developers, open source projects, academic research, education, and small professional teams.

Visual Studio - Downloads
Web Install and ISO Images
Customizable web installers are available for Visual Studio 2015 and 2013 - Community and Express.

You can chose to configure the web installation to only install the tools you want, which makes the install lighter and faster. If you chose to do a full installation though, Visual Studio Community is a pretty big product and will take over 30GB of disk space after installation and it installs a lot of third party software including the Android SDK, the Java Developer Kit, and the Windows and Android emulators. The progress indicator during installation of the third-party software doesn’t advance, but the software is usually being installed — that’s a bug we’re going to fix. On a slow connection in particular, download can take a very long time or even time out. If setup doesn’t complete successfully, try the ISO image.

ISO Images can be downloaded by opening the Visual Studio downloads navigation panel on the left and selecting ISO in the pane on the right for the following versions:

Visual Studio 2015:


Visual Studio 2013:


Team Foundation Server 2015, 2013
Installing - Community, Professional, Enterprise
The installation experience for Visual Studio 2015 enables you to include or exclude components that you would use on a daily basis. This can result in a smaller and faster installation for a Typical installation. It also means that in previous versions, many components that were installed by default now are considered Custom components that you must explicitly select in this version. Custom components include Visual C++, Visual F#, SQL Server Data Tools, Cross-platform mobile tools and SDKs, and 3rd party SDKs and extensions [Python]. You can install any of the custom components at a later time if you don't select them during initial setup.

NOTE: A custom installation automatically includes the components that are in a default installation.
Visual Studio - Info
Product Offerings and Pricing
Community, Professional, Enterprise
Product Comparison
Community, Professional, Enterprise, Test Professional
System Requirements
Community and Express
Components
Coding, Debugging, App Dev, Web Dev, Languages, Ecosystem
Tools
Dev Essentials, Team Services, Code
Welcome to Visual Studio
TechCrunch Review
Comparison of Express vs. Community versions of Visual Studio. (Nov 12, 2014)
C++ Editions Comparison
Compare Visual C++ Tools and Templates in different Visual Studio editions for 2015, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2008 and 2005.
Microsoft Development Platforms
Resources for various Microsoft languages and development tools.
Visual C++ Redistributable Packages
The following runtime components enable stand-alone C++ .exe files to run without Visual Studio 2015 being installed:
Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable Package (x86)
Visual C++ 2013 Redistributable Package (x86)
Visual C++ 2012 Redistributable Package (x86)
Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x86)
Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package (x86)
Dev C++
Dev C++
Free GNU open source Windows C++ compiler with IDE. By BloodshedSoftware.
Apple
Xcode Developer Tools for MAC
"The powerful open-source LLVM compiler for C, C++, and Objective-C is built into Xcode and available from Terminal. With it, your code compiles quickly, and is optimized by Apple to produce blazing-fast apps specifically tuned for the CPUs in iPhone, iPad, and Mac."
Xcode 6 includes support for Swift, Apple's new programming language.
Parallels Desktop for MAC
Desktop virtualization software which allows one to run Windows on a MAC. "With Parallels Desktop for Mac, you can seamlessly run both Windows and Mac OS X Lion applications side-by-side with speed, control and confidence."
VMware Fusion for MAC
Desktop virtualization software which allows one to run Windows on a MAC. "Run the most demanding Mac and Windows applications side-by-side at maximum speeds without rebooting."
Tutorials
.ipch and .sdf files
This webpage explains how to deal with the large .ipch and .sdf files created by Visual Studio 2010 intellisense. It provides steps for permanently moving these files out of a project's solution folder and into a common folder somewhere else on your system.
Hello World with Visual C++ 2010 Express (.pdf 738KB)
Create a simple "Hello World" C++ program in Microsoft Visual Express 2010.
Breakpoints in Visual Studio 2005 C++ (.pdf 166KB)
Using breakpoints in Visual Studio for debugging C++ code.
File Extensions in Windows Explorer (.pdf 79KB)
Display file extensions in Windows Explorer.
Books
Amazon tech.book(store)
All of Amazon's textbooks on computer technology topics collected together in one location: programming languages, operating systems, networking, robotics, etc.
The Definitive C++ Book Guide and List
"...the few pearls among the dozens of bad C++ books that are released every year." (Stack Overflow)
C++ How To Program, 9th edition
By Harvey & Paul Deitel & Associates Inc. .
Published by Prentice Hall / Pearson Higher Ed.
Succinct and to the point, but still very thorough. If you can't find the answer in any of the other texts listed here, you'll find it in Deitel & Deitel.
Starting out with C++: From Control Structures through Objects, 8th edition
By Tony Gaddis.
Published by Pearson.
Written for the absolute beginner programmer - someone who has never before seen a line of code. Explains in a step-by-step fashion everything a beginning programmer should and should not do.
Object-Oriented Programming in C++, 4th edition
By Robert Lafore.
Published by SAMS / Pearson Higher Ed.
A very good and methodical treatment of object oriented programming concepts.
Ivor Horton's Beginning Visual C++ 2012
By Ivor Horton.
Published by Wiley.
C++ Primer Plus, 6th edition
By Stephen Prata.
Published by SAMS / Pearson Higher Ed.
Online Resources
cplusplus - The C++ Resources Network
Information, C++ Documentation, Forum, Library Reference, Search, Sourcecodes.
TopCoder
"Plug into the World's Largest Community of Competitive Software Developers."
Windows Programming Tutorials
"...tutorials cover various Windows programming topics, but most concentrate on the user-interface aspect of programming. All tutorials and source downloads are in the C programming language. No external libraries such as MFC are required to build the source code presented in these tutorials."
Techniques for Reducing Executable File Size
A list of techniques for reducing the size of compiled Win32 C++ .exe files.