Create a C++ project

The first step is to get an integrated development environment (IDE) up and running, and which IDE you use depends on whether you are using Windows, Mac, or Linux.


I am assuming you are using Windows 8.1 (but these instructions may also work for Windows 7 or Windows 10).

Download and install the free Microsoft Visual Studio Community 2015 for Windows Desktop from the Visual Studio web site.  Perform a custom install and check only Visual C++ to save disk space. Note that even this will take a very long time (more than 3 hours for me!). Once it is downloaded, you will need to restart Windows. After starting VSC (my abbreviation for Visual Studio Community), you will be asked to select a default configuration: choose Visual C++ here (we will not be using any other development environment for this project).

Once you have started VSC, close the start window and use File > New > Project… to create a new Empty Project (Visual C++) called strom (and check Create directory for solution). I will refer to the folder where the strom project is saved as PROJECT_DIR. For me, PROJECT_DIR is simply C:\Users\plewis\Documents\.

Using Project > Class Wizard… and click the Add Class… button to create a new C++ class named Node(check Inline to prevent the wizard from asking for a .cpp file name), and name the header file node.hpp (you will need to add “pp” because the default name will be node.h). Leave the Base class field empty. Right now, we are just creating files; you will fill in these files later in the tutorial.


I am assuming you are using MacOS 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.

Download and install Xcode if it is not already installed on your Mac. Once you install Xcode, you’ll also want to install the command line tools. To do this, go to Xcode > Open Developer Tool > More Developer Tools…, create/login using your Apple ID, then choose the latest Command Line Tools download.

Once you have both Xcode and command line tools installed, choose File > New… > Project… from the main menu. Under OS X > Application, choose the Command Line Tool project template and press the Next button. Under Product Name, type strom and be sure that Language equals C++, then press the Next button, choose a folder and press the Create button.

In the Project Navigator pane on the left, you should now see your strom project (beside a blue icon), and inside that you should see a strom folder (beside a yellow folder icon), and inside that you should see a file named main.cpp. (If you do not see anything like this, it may be because your Project Navigator pane is not visible. You can always get it back using View > Navigators > Project Navigator from the main menu.) Command-click the strom folder and choose New File… from the popup menu, then select Header File and press the Next button. Name the new file node.hpp, check the strom target, and press the Create button to save node.hpp alongside main.cpp in the strom folder. You do not need to add any code to either main.cpp or node.hpp now. Right now, we are just creating files; you will fill in these files later in the tutorial.