The goal of this lab is to become familiar with the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET IDE (Integrated Development Environment), to compile and run a C++ program, and to observe several types of common compile-time errors. The IDE provides a broad set of development tools for completing, testing, and refining your program.
STEP 1 – Create a Project
In this step you will create a project that contains a single C++ source file.
1. After you have logged into Windows 2000, start up Microsoft Visual Studio .NET. It’s located under Start à All Programs à Microsoft Visual Studio .NET. Once it is loaded, you may want to maximize it, forcing it to cover the entire screen.
2. The first thing you will see is the “Start Page”. This page allows you to set some profile information, open a new project or select a previously open one, and browse on-line information about .NET. We will not need to use this page.
3. Before you can write a program, you must create a new project. Create a new project by selecting from the menu File à New à Project… The “New Project” dialog box will be displayed.
A. Under “Project Types:” select Visual C++ Projects folder.
B. Under “Templates:” select the Win 32 Project icon.
C. Type “lab1” for the Name of your project and “C:\” for the Location. This will place your project files off the root directory on the hard drive. Later when you are finished programming, you’ll want to copy your work to your MyDrive (drive M). The hard drives are regularly cleaned-out, and you don’t want to leave your work sitting around where someone else can see it.
Drive M: is called "MyDrive." It’s a network drive which contains 40 MB of space for you to work with. It is available to you (and only you) no matter what machine you login to. NOTE: If for some reason the network is down, you may not have access to this drive.
D. Press the “OK” button. The Win32 Apllication Wizard dialog box will open. On the Application Settings page choose Console Application and Empty Project.
E. Press the “OK” button. This will close the dialog box and create the lab1 project. It will also create a lab1 “solution.” A solution contains one or more projects. In this case, the lab1 solution contains the lab1 project. Usually the project and solution names will be the same.
4. You will now create a C++ program file that will be added to your project.
A. Right-click on the lab1 folder in the Solution Explorer. From the pop-up menu, select Add à Add New Item… The “Add New Item” dialog box will pop up with a variety of file types that can be created.
B. Select the “C++ File (.cpp)” icon.
C. Give the file a name by entering “dec2bin.cpp” in the Name field.
D. Click the Open button. This will create the file, displaying an empty window entitled “dec2bin.cpp”.
5. Now if you click the “+” beside the Source Files folder in the Solution Explorer, you will see the dec2bin.cpp file has been added to your project. It should look something like this:
STEP 2 - Compile the Program
Now that you have an open project with a .cpp file in it, you are ready to enter and compile a C++ program that converts decimal numbers to binary as in the attached flow chart.
1. At this point you should now have a Lab1 project open containing the file dec2bin.cpp. Attached to this lab is a printed copy of the dec2bin.cpp program which you should now type into the dec2bin.cpp window. Type the program exactly as shown (use your own name though), comments and all. Note: Do not type in the numbers at the beginning of each line; they are for reference only.
2. Once you have entered the entire program, notice the asterisk (*) next to the dec2bin.cpp in the title bar (blue area) of the program window. The asterisk indicates that the file has not yet been saved. Select the “Save” option on the “File” menu to make sure your file is saved. Once the file is saved, the asterisk will disappear. It should be noted that even if you do not save your program, Visual C++ will automatically save it for you when you compile your program (in the next step).
3. From the “Build” menu, select the “Build Solution” option. This will do two things: 1) compile the program and 2) build the executable if there were no compiling errors. At the bottom of the VS .NET IDE, you will see the compiler messages as it attempts to compile and build the application. If you typed in the program correctly, you will see the following message shortly:
Build log was saved at "file://c:\lab1\Debug\BuildLog.htm"
lab1 - 0 error(s), 0 warning(s)
---------------------- Done ----------------------
Build: 1 succeeded, 0 failed, 0 skipped
4. If the dialog box says there are one or more errors, then you have mistyped something. Scrolling back up the compiler message window a little will reveal the errors encountered when compiling the program. Double-clicking on the error message will move the cursor in the dec2bin.cpp window close to where the error occurred. Syntax errors almost always occur at or above the line indicated by the compiler. Sometimes one error will kick-off one or more additional errors. It’s always best to fix the first error and recompile to see if the rest go away. If you have difficulty correcting the error(s), seek assistance from the instructor so that you may continue with the lab.
STEP 3 - Run the Program
In this step you will run your program and make some observations about it.
Once you have a program that compiles without errors, run
your program by pressing Ctr-F5. Your
program will then run in a black window.
2. When the program asks you a yes/no question, you must respond with a lowercase “y” character for the program to treat your answer as a “yes.” Everything else, including “Y”, is treated as a “no” response.
3. Use the program to convert the decimal value 12345 to its binary representation. Write the binary number in the space below.
4. Enter some smaller numbers to verify that your program is working.
5. When you are finished converting numbers, answer ‘n’ to the question that asks if you would like to convert another number. The window will say, “Press any key to continue.” Press a key to close the window.
Note: Occasionally when you make changes to your program and attempt to run it before building it, the following dialog box will appear:
Just press the Yes button, and the project will be re-compiled before running.
STEP 4 - Syntax Errors
In this step you will introduce some errors into the program in a controlled manner to observe the messages reported by the compiler. This will assist you in “debugging” your programs when you encounter these error messages in the future.
1. Remove the ‘#’ character from the beginning of line 10. The line number is displayed bottom of the Visual C++ window (e.g. “Ln 10, Col 1”). That is, change line 10 from
#include <iostream> to include <iostream>
How many errors does this simple “typo” generate when you compile the program? Record your answer here, and then restore line 10 to its original value before proceeding.
2. Now comment out line 10 and recompile. That is, change line 10 so that it now appears
Notice that this generates 19 errors. Record the first 2 errors generated by this typo below.
Since iostream is the library which defines cout, cin, and endl, commenting-out the header file hides the definition of these from the compiler. Be sure to restore line 10 to its original state before proceeding.
semicolon character on line 16 and observe the results after recompiling. What line number does the compiler say the
error is on?
Sometimes the compiler errors are on the line(s) previous to the actual line the compiler is complaining about. Put the semicolon back before proceeding.
4. Change the “<<” operator at line 21 to “>>” and observe the error(s) generated after recompiling. Put line 20 back and then try reversing the operator at line 21 and note the error generated. In both cases, almost the exact same error messages are generated. Unfortunately they are very cryptic and don’t give any hint as to what exactly is wrong. Just remember to check the direction of your arrows if you see these types of errors on input or output statements.
5. Change the variable “askuser” at line 22 to “akuser” and recompile. Record the generated error messages, then change it back.
Delete the ‘}’
character at line 62 and recompile.
Record the error message generated below.
Missing a closing curly-brace is a very common although difficult to catch error if you are not careful.
STEP 5 – Finishing Up
When you are through programming, close your solution by selecting “Close Solution” from the “File” menu. If you are asked to save changes to your project, click “Yes”. Once all the windows have closed, you may exit the application.
It’s important that you transfer all of your work from the C: drive to your M: drive, especially if you haven’t finished the lab. If you leave your work on the C: drive, someone might erase your work.
Use Windows Explorer to move the entire Lab1 directory to your M: drive. Then delete the Lab1 folder on the C: drive.
If you want to run your project again later, follow these steps:
Now that you have written your first C++ program, type in and run the program from chapter 1, pg. 16 (Listing 1.5) of your text book. This program determines the volume of a box with the given coordinates. You will need to repeat the steps of this lab for typing in and running this program. These steps are summarized below:
AUTHOR: Your Name
DATE WRITTEN: Today’s date
This program accepts decimal (base 10) integers from the user and
outputs their binary (base 2) representation.
using namespace std;
int decimal; // Number to be read in from user
int p; // Used as a power of 2 for converting
char askuser; // To ask user if he would like to continue
// First, ask the user if he would like to convert a number
cout << "Would you like to convert a number to binary (y/n)? ";
cin >> askuser;
// As long as the user says 'y' then convert numbers
while (askuser == 'y')
// Get the number from the user
cout << "Enter a positive decimal integer to convert to binary: ";
cin >> decimal;
// Display a short message preceding the binary output
cout << "The binary value is ";
// Find the largest power of 2 that goes into the number
p = 0;
while (pow(2, p) <= decimal)
p = p + 1;
p = p -1;
// While p is non-negative, output the current bit
while (p >= 0)
if (decimal >= pow(2, p))
cout << "1";
decimal = decimal - (int) pow(2, p);
cout << "0";
p = p - 1;
// Leave one blank line before we prompt the user again
cout << endl << endl << "Would you like to convert another number (y/n)? ";
cin >> askuser;