Converter Series: Initial Decisions and Hello World

Starting a new project is a time where you have to force yourself to be a bit patient. It’s easy to jump in and start coding, but it pays to take the time to think out some important points.

For my first decision, I decided to write this project in C++. It’s a fairly easy decision: I’m familiar with the language, and the EU3 to Vic2 converter is also written in C++, so I can borrow useful bits of code. The disadvantage is that C++ is not particularly good at processing strings. We’ll be doing lots of that, and if not for borrowed code, there would be a nearly impossible start to the project. More on that later.

And instead of starting by coding, I start by setting up a SourceForge project. This allows me to keep all my code in a repository, in case of computer-related disaster, and to make it easy to return to a known good state of code, in case of programmer-related disaster. Believe you me, the latter is a far too common occurrence. Also, this will allow other people to participate, and we can very easily share our code.

Finally, after all of that, I open Visual Studio, and start by writing a Hello World program. A Hello World program simply outputs the text “Hello World!” That’s it. It’s not exciting, but it often proves you’ve got all kinds of things set up correctly. It’s always a good starting place. And oddly, it’s starting to show up as a kind of nerd in-joke now and again.

One Comment

  • AJ says:

    I don’t know anything about coding, but I still enjoyed this post. I think it’s true of any venture that time spent planning ahead of time is wise and saves a lot of headaches later (it’s certainly true of composing). And now I know why the default first post on WordPress blogs is called “Hello World”!

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