First you have to know a little bit about folders and files. All information stored on a computer disc is stored in files. All files have a name and an extension (although both Windows and the MAC often hide the extension from you). The extension identifies to the operating system the type of file. Some types which might be familiar to you are:
|.doc||Word document files|
|.jpg||The commonest type for Digital photos|
|.mp3||The commonest type for Audio files|
Thus the identification of a file consists of two parts,first the name then the extension, with a dot between them as
myCV.doc happyBirthday.mp3 myPuppy.jpg
Individual files are then grouped together and stored in folders (sometimes called directories).
To make it completely general, folders can store other folders as well as files, making what we call a tree.
Often the Windows Explorer on your computer doesn't show them this way. Instead you see icons or thumbnails. Computer engineers generally turn those off since they take up a lot of space, often without providing a lot of informations. Here is an icon view of myDocuments as viewed from WindowsXP's Windows Explorer.
If you don't know how to start Windows Explorer, click on the Start Icon at the lower left corner then click on either My Documents or My Computer. Both start up Windows Explorer, they just start at different places in the computer system.
By Simply clicking on View and picking Details
And then clicking on the folders icon beside SEARCH on the top, I get a much more useful view.
Look at the folder pane on the left. In the Teaching folder we see there is also an Introduction to Programming folder with an expander (a plus sign) on it. Clicking on the expander lets me see the next level of folders, thus
You can see a Model Student Folder has been created inside Introduction to Programming, Expanding that down a view levels yields:
This is how you might want to set up folders for your courses. First a
then inside that a folder for each of your course. Inside
might have a folder for
Assignments and one for
Now you can see how folders expand downward in a structure rather like a tree
Eclipse has its own organization scheme and it's very fussy about it.
A workspace is a folder that contains projects. In the example above we
will use the
Assignments folder as the workspace.
A project is a folder that contains all the files for that project. Let's
Notice I've clicked on the Assignments folder after clicking the expander (the folder is highlighted in blue to show it has been selected) and its contents are shown in the file pane to the right of the Folders pane.
At the moment there's nothing in the Assign1 folder so let's create an Assign1 project in the folder. I can do it in Eclipse by creating a new CC++ Project.
First I start Eclipse then I make sure its pointing at my new workspace
by Selecting File - Change Workspace. If there is a workspace that is already
pointing to the Assignments folder, otherwise select
Then navigate through your file system (using the
to select your
Once you've selected Assignments click the OK button. Eclipse will disappear and rekindle itself in a few seconds. If there is a welcome screen, close it. You should see a blank Project Explorer pane. Unless, of course you've already created Eclipse projects inside the Workspace.
Click on the file menu, select New and C++ Project. Set the Project name to Assign1 and you should see this
Here I've got a warning that a Directory (that is, a Folder) with that name already exists. That's ok, I created it for this purpose so go ahead and click NEXT. You'll get a select configurations window. Uncheck the Release box. Now select FINISH.
You'll see in the Project Explorer Pane that an Assign1 project has been created. If the folder doesn't already exist, Eclipse will create it automatically.
If you step outside of Eclipse and use your Windows Explorer, you will discover that Eclipse has created a couple of project files in the Assign1 project folder
Assign1 folder is only a place to keep the files of the Assign1
project. When you create the project in the folder, Eclipse puts a couple of
files for keeping track of the project into the folder. (It also created the
Assignments workspace.) Now we'll add our own files. Going
to our website we find the assignments page
and click on the Assignment 1 link in the table, bringing up the actual assignment 1.
Now we click on the
a1main.cpp file and then the
assign1.h file in turn, and
save them directly into our
Assign1 project folder (here we are saving
When we look back at Eclipse, we find they aren't there!
Relax. We just need to refresh the file list. Make sure
Assign1 is selected
in the pane (it will be highlighted in blue as above) then hit the F5 key
to "refresh" the list.
Here's a fast way to get started on your project while making sure it is set up right.
Double click on
assign1.h in the explorer pane. The h file will open up. Click
inside it and hit CNTRL-A (the control key and A simultaneously) to select
everything inside the file. Then hit CNTRL-C to copy the selection. Now hit
Now name the file
assign1.cpp in the dialog window and hit Finish
Now you'll get a blank
assign1.cpp file in your project
Now click inside the new empty file and click CNTRL-V. You should see the
contents of the
assign1.h file get copied into the
cpp file. If not hit CNTRL-Z
(to undo whatever did get copied in) , select the
assign1.h tab, click inside
that file again, hit CNTRL-A to select everything and CNTRL-C to copy it, then
switch back to the empty
assign1.cpp file, click inside it and hit CNTRL-V
to insert the contents.
While you MUST NOT edit the contents of
assign1.h, you can copy them to
assign1.cpp and edit them there to make the start of your assignment. What you should
Edit it to change the university to your name, eliminate comments that don't hold for this file, then change your functions to look like this.
What has been done for each of the functions is to replace the ; with a function body. The functions now return numbers, as they are required to do. At the moment they don't return the right numbers, but you will fix that later. At this point, we have a project that Eclipse should be able to compile and run, even though it won't yet be computing the right results. Functions like this that are ready to be compiled, but otherwise unfinished, are often called stubs.
Now you can replace the functions with the correct formulae, one by one and still have everything compile (unless what you created has an error in it). You don't have to wait until you are completely finished to try out part of your program. Nice, eh? Professional programmers do this all the time.
To compile, save the file first (getting rid of the asterisk before the file name on the file tab).
Then click on the Project menu at top and select Build all. Then Run the project from the run menu. Of course, no matter which test you run, your answer will always be zero. But you've got the skeleton of the project and now you can work on your functions one at a time.
Sept. 29, 2008