Win32 Programming (Addison-Wesley Advanced Windows Series)(2 Vol set)

32 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0201634921
ISBN-10: 0201634929
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Paperback, Unabridged, January 16, 1997
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Editorial Reviews Review

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1568 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional (January 16, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201634929
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201634921
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 3.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #946,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Richard Thomson on December 14, 2000
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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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By James H. Fink on November 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
Anyone who currently programs in the Win32 environment or wants to learn how to do so needs this book. It exhaustively details the thousands of widgets (i.e. functions, manifest constants, structures, etc) that make up Win32, and provides detailed intellegent discussions of the concepts behind those widgets. These discussions are conducted in excellent English. The examples are mostly in 'C' with some 'C++'.
As a consequence this book is not for beginners. You must have a firm grasp of 'C' in order to follow the thread of the model program which is developed in the book. Since this is some of the most difficult programming imaginable, it is not a good place to start learning 'C'.
Some of the conceptual discussions are outstanding. I particularly liked the section on coordinate transformations. I had orginally consulted Windows "Help" and Petzold trying to get a handle on this elusive and difficult subject. I found that the explanation in this book was by far the most accessable and exhaustive.
The index is particularly well arranged and useful, and add immeasurably to the utility of the book.
This book is unique in its structure, in that it serves as both a reference and a teaching guide simultaneously. If one merely needs to refresh the memory or one encounters a new concept that need elaboration, this book will almost certainly fill the bill in the most efficient way possible.
I will use this book for many years to come, and wish that I had known about it earlier as it would have saved me an enormous amount of labor.
It is one of those rare computer books that is written for the ages, rather than the current release of the software.
(the author of this review is a software engineer of over 30 years experience, most of it non-Windows)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "webgeekinc" on October 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
My only criticism of this book is the title "Win32 Programming" which encompasses far more than just GUI programming. This book does not cover many important sections of the Win32 API (no single book can), it focuses primarily on GUI programming.
If you are writing Win32 applications with a GUI interface, this book is a must. No other book is as comprehensive and I found the text as well as the code easy to follow (and I'm not a C/C++ programmer).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is KEY. By that I mean that regardless if you choose to use MFC or not (and I do a lot of stuff that does not, being a graphics person) this book offers insight into programming, the mess that is Win32, and how to deal with it. If offers help regarding the various versions of Windows and the associated history and language conventions, the most correct and incorrect ways to deal with typing issues that some compilers would let you get around but would hamstring you later in porting your code, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, it is readable. It isnt very often you get a programming book you can take somewhere and read it, comprehend it, come back to the compiler and run the sample code later and still retain comprehension. You can do that with this book. Code is good, the explorer progs are better, but the text is first rate. I would buy this and Petzold, and your choice of MFC book, and you should be well on your way.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. Reese on January 21, 2004
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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Win32 Programming (Addison-Wesley Advanced Windows Series)(2 Vol set)
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