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Joseph Nelson
Joseph Nelson

Programming Windows


There are several broad categories of Windows applications that you can create with C++. Each has its own programming model and set of Windows-specific libraries, but the C++ standard library and third-party C++ libraries can be used in any of them.

To get started with traditional Windows C++ programming, see Get Started with Win32 and C++. After you gain some understanding of Win32, it will be easier to learn about MFC Desktop Applications. For an example of a traditional C++ desktop application that uses sophisticated graphics, see Hilo: Developing C++ Applications for Windows.

In general, .NET programming in C# is less complex, less error-prone, and has a more modern object-oriented API than Win32 or MFC. In most cases, its performance is more than adequate. .NET features the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) for rich graphics, and you can consume both Win32 and the modern Windows Runtime API. As a general rule, we recommend using C++ for desktop applications when you require:

It's also possible to combine the power and efficiency of C++ with .NET programming. You can create a user interface in C# and use C++/CLI to enable the application to consume native C++ libraries. For more information, see .NET Programming with C++/CLI.

Many Windows programming scenarios also require the Windows SDK, which includes the header files that enable access to the Windows operating system components. By default, Visual Studio installs the Windows SDK as a component of the C++ Desktop workload, which enables development of Universal Windows apps. To develop UWP apps, you need a Windows 10 or later version of the Windows SDK. For more information, and a download link, see Windows SDK. (For more information about the Windows SDKs for earlier versions of Windows, see the Windows SDK archive).

This book aims to be a comprehensive source for any developer who is interested in programming for the Windows platform. It starts at the lowest level, with the Win32 API (C and VB Classic) and then goes over to MFC (C++). Beyond these basic sections, it will cover COM, and the creation of ActiveX modules from a variety of languages. Next, it delves into the Windows DDK, and talk about programming device drivers for Windows platform. Finally, it moves on to the highest-level programming tasks, including shell extensions, shell scripting, and finally ASP and WSH.

This book will focus on topics that are specific to Windows, and avoids general programming topics. For related material the reader is encouraged to look into Wikibooks other works, they will cover general programming, ASM, C, C++, Visual Basic and Visual Basic.NET and other languages and concepts in greater detail. Appropriate links to these books are provided.

He graduated with a Master of Science in Mathematics from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1975. Aside from writing books about Windows programming he has contributed to various magazines about computers.

He had an interest in electronic music and in 1977 started building electronic music instruments out of CMOS chips. In 1979, Petzold started building a computer-controlled digital electronic music synthesizer based on the Zilog Z80 microprocessor.[3] This experience of digital circuitry and assembly language programming formed the basis of his book Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software.

Microsoft then decided that Microsoft Systems Journal would cover both DOS and Windows programming. Jonathan Lazarus, who contracted with Microsoft, recruited Petzold to write some articles.[3] Petzold wrote the article A Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your First Windows Application" for MSJ, Vol.1, No. 2 (December 1986) which he believes was the first article about Windows programming to appear in a magazine.[3]

When you create a new database, you typically begin by creating several database objects such as tables, forms, and reports. Eventually, you reach a point where you have to add some programming to automate certain p


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