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Win32 Programming Paperback – Jan 6 1997

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1568 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (Jan. 6 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201634929
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201634921
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 8.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #857,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Amazon

Win32 Programming, by Brent E. Rector and John M. Newcomer is a massive, 1,500-page guide to Win32 C programming, something of a lost art these days. Although even the authors admit they use C++ and MFC in their own work, this text, as a one volume document of the powerful Win32 API programming, is truly comprehensive and can replace any number of texts on a programmer's bookshelf. Win32 Programming examines the basics of programming in Windows: from a minimal skeleton program to aspects of the Win32 API, from graphics, menus, user interface components (including the Windows 95 common controls) to more advanced topics like memory management, multithreaded programming, and synchronization objects. (These last topics are useful in that system programmers--or those who write device drivers--may need access to the C API directly.) In addition to presenting reference material (including all the API calls themselves), the authors explain the ideas of how to program in a clearly written style. Though some of the material feels dated (from 16-bit Windows 3.x programming), by and large, the authors do a good job of updating this to Windows 95 and Windows NT. Sections and tips that apply only to one API or operating system are clearly marked. The CD-ROM also includes over 140,000 lines of source code to experiment with, truly a historical treasure trove for the Win32 C programmer. Developers who need to use C calls, or prefer to have printed documentation instead of online help in their compiler, should consider making space on the bookshelf for this enormous title.

From the Back Cover

Windows developers: a thorough understanding of the Windows API will enable you to create applications that are elegant, efficient, and powerful.

You will find comprehensive information on all aspects of Windows GUI programming, such as:

  • Windows Controls, including the common controls
  • GDI, including new features like transformations and geometric pens
  • Printing, including a reusable print engine
  • Common dialogs, including customization
  • Background processing, including synchronization

In addition, the book covers such important advanced topics as creation of Dynamic Link Libraries, storage management, windows subclassing, the Multiple Document Interface (MDI), and threads and their synchronization.

More than just an introductory book, Win32 Programming is a reference to many of the more obscure and sometimes incomprehensible advanced features of the user interface and graphics subsystems. It is useful not only for C programmers but also for C++/MFC programmers because the API forms the basis for most MFC methods. The book's extensive and comprehensive index means you will never again have to search through pages of examples to find the example of the API function you want to see. This book is designed both to teach basic Windows programming and to be a useful companion for years to come.


This book comes in two volumes they both have the same ISBN. 0201634929 B04062001


Volume 1 ends with Chapter 10, Volume 2 begins with Chapter 11.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
Very good on the level of detail, and incredible on the pitfalls and specific problems they found when actually writing the code for the examples. Be careful, though - a number of the tables (and even some of the printed code samples) contain typos and other minor errors (like missing headings, making one table pretty useless!). You can figure out what's wrong, but if you just use this as a reference and happen to hit a section with an error you might not catch it without reading the accompanying text. I read it through, rather than as a reference, and it was clear which parts of the text had only been lightly checked for the latest edition.
Again, 95+% of this book is really great! And the anecdotes and clear detail on where MS documentation is "flawed" are of terrific value - I definitely am glad to have purchased it, but I also want to point out that if something in it doesn't make sense - you're probably not crazy. It's quite likely to be a typo...
Oh - one more thing. The "Explorer" samples they include were a fabulous idea, and have really helped me figure out what the heck some of the various style (and other) flags really meant. Extra credit for the CD! :-)
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Format: Paperback
The book has a very good foundation for the development of Win32 applications and system programming. I found the book to have many well established examples and definitely could be used as a reference. The CD provided with the book is loaded with lots of good code examples.
This book is not for the newcomer, in order to get good information from the book you should have some good experience in both software programming and some experience with operating systems in general. The book is highly technical and may require the reader to sometimes re-read items in order to totally understand them. The book listings and explanations through tables and figures were very helpful, I must admit that without those tables and figures it would have been much more difficult for me to understand many of the technical items conveyed in the book.
I had the chance to try a few of the book examples (too many to try all) and found that they all were working fine. I did find the book a bit hard to navigate through; It may be due to the quantity of information or what I felt was a very small font size which made the book feel a bit crowded. -- Review by Michael S.
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By A Customer on Aug. 13 2002
Format: Paperback
At first glance, this book seems excellent because it describes Win32 with a lot of details. The biggest problem is that, the code in the book and the one on the CD-ROM are not the same. For example, while the book describes raw Win32 wonderfully, all of the code on the CD-ROM is 100% Microsoft Visual C++ biased. Just to start, all classes use the MSVC naming convention; of course, that's not a big deal. The real problem is that ALL examples were written using MFC. For example, the combo boxes, list boxes, edit, property sheets, etc, use MFC objects and their code is not transferrable.
This book was supposed to let people using any Windows compatible compiler to use its code. But the code doesn't work. All the manipulations of controls highly rely on how MFC implements them. Therefore, if you are using MSVC and are a Microsoft fanatic, like the authors, this is a good book. If you are using another compiler, you will be extremely disappointed. What a shame? There are not enough books on the subject. The only one I can recommend is Windows 98 Programming (which is out of print, unfortunately).
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Format: Paperback
I am an experienced software engineer with a Unix/X Window System background and needed to get up to speed on the Win32 API without being coddled like a child or taught how to program. I looked at Win32 books for several months before I found this book on the shelf.
I like the organization of the book which starts with the core of a well-behaved Win32 application and moves on to bigger and better things with each chapter. I learned many good Win32 programming habits, such as the proper use of Unicode and <tchar.h>, proper message loop structuring, and so-on from this book. These lessons in Win32 programming were learned the hard way (from the school of hard knocks also called "experience") by the authors so that I didn't have to suffer the same torturous fate.
The authors start with the core of a Win32 application and then move through the core GDI objects: device contexts, fonts, windows, etc. Then they proceed to examine all the common controls one by one with an exhaustive reference of all their messages.
Along the way, the authors point out places where porting from Win16 to Win32 might be a problem, as well as pointing out known bugs in the MSDN documentation and the Win32 implementation, referencing knowledge base articles for more detail. I also found the advice for those transitioning from a unix background helpful.
This might not be the best book for a beginner that has never written a GUI application before, but if you're familiar with the basics of event driven GUI applications from other window systems (AmigaOS, BeOS, MacOS or X Window System), then this book will teach you what you need to know about Win32 without wasting your time explaining things that you already know and understand.
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