Now we aren't saying you "shouldn't" learn DirectX, if that is what you want to learn I say go for it (I started out with DirectX also, until I switched over to SFML because it was far easier to use). Just be warned that it is not very beginner friendly, and you will be bombarded with a lot of information when you are just starting to learn it.
But other choices are these.
SFML 2.0 - Hard to install, easy to use.
SDL - Haven't tried it so can't comment
Aleggro - Also haven't tried
OpenGL - Good API on par with DirectX and is not restricted to windows
For beginners yes. I know when I first tried to install it I spent hours and hours trying to get it to work. But then again that was trying to get it to work with VS2012 and I had to compile it and build it.
Now I believe they have versions of 2.0 compiled for all the major IDE's and compilers though so it shouldn't be to hard I guess if you understand linking.
It's just the documentation on setting it up isn't the best. But many of us have now installed SFML so we should be able to help you.
DirectX is about as low level as it gets for graphics, so naturally you're going to be doing pretty much everything yourself. It's worth learning, but I wouldn't expect to be very productive in it for awhile.
I have only managed to install sdl and open gl ever!! i couldn't believe it when it worked, i bounced around the room.
but boost, c++11, sfml tutorials have never worked for me, chwsks was kind enough to talk me through installing boost, I will start trying again and take him back up on that when i finnished learning java basics (javas fun but i dont feel like im learning about programming)
The problem with SFML is that it uses <> for inclusion instead of "" so you can't do relative include paths like with every other library on earth - you're forced to dump it into your global headers folder or add it to your include path; both of these options are hard for beginners and annoying for experienced users.
That is, the last time I checked. Hopefully that's changed.
How is that hard? IMO it is hard for beginners because they also need to learn to use cmake to create the makefile then compile and then link in their IDE. And as beginners they probably aren't familiar with most of that process.
If you want a C++11 compiler and boost, take a look at nuwen's mingw distro http://nuwen.net/mingw.html The latest release uses gcc-4.7.2 and i includes boost-1.53
IMO it is hard for beginners because they also need to learn to use cmake to create the makefile then compile and then link in their IDE. And as beginners they probably aren't familiar with most of that process.
What are you talking about? I certainly didn't use cmake when I got started with SFML.