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[QT 5.5 Opensource] ~ What debugger is best for me?

  • Hi everybody,

    This is my very first time on this forum, I hope my question wont sound too stupid.

    A brief recap of the whole story.
    At school I studied Visual Basic, version 6.0 at the time. Then, through the years, I randomly reinstalled the VB 6.0 IDE/compiler to make some minor programs out of pure inspiration (silly word to use, here).
    Then, for several years, nothing more, until I got in contact with a person who had profound knowledge of C and C++, so I convinced him to teach me as much as he could.
    C went very well, learnt bases and some higher level skills in few days, and I LOVED it. Just another planet, compared to VB.
    To help me make excercises at home, he suggested me to use QT SDK 1.2.1 (2012 stuff) which is obsolete to say the least, by now.

    He has no means to teach me anymore, which blocked my skills' growth somewhere at the threshold of C++.
    Some more time has passed and my desire to learn more is back again, and I'd like to keep using QT as I've become acquainted with it. So I've downloaded the "opensource" version (no money to waste on a C/C++ IDE at all!) which now is confusing me a bit.

    When I first started using QT, with version 1.2.1, I cant remember I had to install any compiler to use it, but now it seems QT has become a mere IDE.
    Googling here and there, I've finally realized (being me a Win7 user), that I can choose between the Visual Studio 2010-2013 and the MinGW versions.

    I didnt even know MinGW existed, so I decided to go for a free version of Visual Studio. On some forums I read all I need is the relative SDK; which is not going to install unless I have the full thing installed (just the whole Visual Studio!!).
    Then what's the point in installing QT at all!? Nevermind.

    My question is: now that I've installed VS2013 and the compiler part is done, what debugger should I choose?

    I've tried installing the "Windows Debugging Tools" included in Windows SDK, but it looks like QT cant find it automatically and I have no idea how to hook it.
    There's supposed to be a "cdb.exe" file, somewhere, but I cant find it.

    Any suggestion/solution? Any other/better debugger I could download and install (for free!!)?
    But also, do I really need a debugger at all?

    Thank you!! =0

  • Moderators

    The easiest way is to install the MinGW version - it comes bundled with everything you need: Qt, Qt Creator IDE, the compiler and debugger.

    MSVC version does not ship with the compiler and debugger, because MS license forbids it.

    I have the full thing installed (just the whole Visual Studio!!).
    Then what's the point in installing QT at all!?

    With Qt, you can write a single code base that you can compile for Windows, Linux, Mac OS, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, QNX and Windows Phone. You can't get that with Visual Studio by iteslf.

  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    Hi and welcome
    No questions are stupid. !
    (well some are in fact a bit - but we do not say it regardless :)
    Yours are not of cause.

    Unless you really,really want to use Visual Studio , I suggest you take the minGW version as that is a complete IDE
    like visual basic is and everything just works out of the box. Including debugger.
    With Visual Studio some amount of fiddling is needed. (not so say evil about VS)

    So you get the MinGw version 5.5 and you be ready to do programming in no time.

    do I really need a debugger at all?

    Well say if you only makes really small programs then we also have a "debug.print" sort of thing
    that could be fine.
    But single stepping some code to see what is going on is often needed so Yes, you will fast need a debugger :)

  • Fair enough. Thank you.

    I'll gladly give the MinGW version a try, as I'm getting really stressed by all that "fiddling" with the VS version, as you said.

    Am I going to notice any real difference, between the two versions?
    I mean, I mostly need something as a base to practice and do some exercises with C and C++.

    I also have some old C exercises like "find out whether a number is prime" which I'd like to turn to a C++ version.
    I guess the compiler doesnt make much difference, in this sense....?

  • Lifetime Qt Champion


    Well you can use newest c++ features with mingw so its not like you are missing any features.
    mingw is gcc for windows. gcc is like VC for linux and of very high quality.

    I guess the compiler doesnt make much difference, in this sense

    No, not at all. So unless you want to play with GUI design, you do not even really need Qt windows etc :)

    You could even use pocketcpp and be happy

    But QT Creator is a really nice IDE and that alone is worth to use it.

  • I never tried this one, but maybe you want to take a look: https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/products/visual-studio-community-vs.aspx
    Qt creator is a disaster for newbies, it has such an endless list of bugs and idiosyncrasies, it's a nightmare. It's more or less okay if you're already knowledgeable in C++ and used to various IDEs, but for learning i strongly recommend against using it.

  • @gyll
    I mean, I've been using it for months (just C) and never really met a single problem.

    As I said, a friend passed it to me (mostly for a matter of consistence between his teachings and my exercises) and I've never had any kind of problems.

    And I agree with @mrjj , it is a very nice IDE, simple and practical.
    I know Visual Studio, I got a copy of it as well, but it's way too complicated, for me (yet). It comes up with loads of tools that I dont really need as a beginner while it maliciously hides what should be the very highlight.
    Like when I wanted to somehow learn its GUI and was trying to start a Visual C++ project and couldnt, for the life of me, find out how to design a form!! Seriously?!
    I had to google it and it seems there's a complicated mix of settings that you have to meet at the very beginning, or you're screwed and wont be able to use that part at all....if you can believe it.

  • Well, if you've been using it already for so long and you didn't find it frustrating then it's okay, my comment was only for newbies (and you're no longer in that category after months of using it)