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Programming Windows®, Fifth Edition (Developer Reference) 5th Edition

112 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1572319950
ISBN-10: 157231995X
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About the Author

Charles Petzold has been writing about programming for Windows-based operating systems for 24 years. A Microsoft MVP for Client Application Development and a Windows Pioneer Award winner, Petzold is author of the classic Programming Windows, currently in its fifth edition and one of the best-known programming books of all time; the widely acclaimed Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software; and more than a dozen other books.

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Product Details

  • Series: Developer Reference
  • Hardcover: 1100 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 5th edition (December 2, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157231995X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572319950
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 2.8 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Derrick Schommer on June 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I would reference this book as the "bible" of win32 programming. This book covers many features of the Windows 95/98/NT features including printing, MDI, Mouse, Keyboard, and all the goodies.
This book sits upon my desk as the #1 reference when writing win32 code (without MFC). If your new to programming and are thinking about MFC I would consider starting with this non-object oriented approach so you understand what MFC is doing behind all the objects.
Easy reading (compared to other programming books) and a great deal of learning can be done.
To 4th edition "Programming Windows 95" owners:
1. If you want to use ToolBar's you better hold on to the last revision because it's missing in this one. I was very unhappy about that.
2. It's huge! If you thought carrying that last book was an issue, add a hard cover and a ton more pages and you've better start working out before carrying this around.
3. More usage of UNICODE and "NT" style information that is repeated in each code segment so be prepared.
It's a revision, and it's good. It's the best out there right now, but will not solve every problem you'll have.
Note: If you like object oriented, and uses of all the enhanced features of C++ you're not going to find it here.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Steven Kobes on October 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is great for anyone who wants to learn Windows programming using its native API. It is very readable and requires only a basic knowledge of C, so it is an excellent tutorial for beginners, but there is enough meat in it that it is quite useful for advanced programmers as well. The author explains everything clearly, thoroughly, and accurately. The numerous example programs he uses to illustrate his concepts are well-written and free of bugs.
The book is peppered with occasional historical asides. If you can't stand historical asides, you may be frustrated, but it's understandable that a guy who's been programming Windows for 15 years will have a few stories to tell.
The book has excellent, awesome, unbeatable, all-that-almost-anybody-would-ever-need coverage of: window procedures and messages, keyboard and mouse input, fonts and character sets/Unicode, the GDI (including mapping modes and metafiles), dialog boxes and child/MDI windows, palettes and bitmaps of all kinds, menus and resources, timers, and printing.
The book has very good coverage, without going into the really advanced details, of: DLLs, multithreading, MIDI and wave audio, Winsock, and internet functions.
Notable omissions are: registry functions, file I/O, COM/OLE/ActiveX controls, Setup applications, the Shell (links, namespace extensions, screen savers, WinHelp), and the common controls (toolbars, sliders, tree views, property sheets/wizards, list views and header controls).
Despite its omissions, this book is well worth its money for anyone who wants to learn (or learn more) about the Windows API.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By koalaroo on March 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I own 'Programming Windows 95' which is a previous version of this book...this newer version adds additional information, while retaining the best of the older versions.
I'm a self-taught software engineer and have relied on books for most of my training. When I needed to learn the Win32 API to write Windows application programs, I initially turned to the Microsoft website and their tutorials, but found this approach frustrating because there was no overall picture presented...a lot of knowledge was assumed.
Petzold's book was the answer to my assumed no Windows specific knowledge, although general C/C++ background is assumed. The book starts with simple examples that are thoroughly explained. Once enough topics are covered, an excellent overview of Windows as an event-driven operating system is presented, and the remainder of the book is devoted to covering real-world, useful examples in enough detail that they provide starting points for the reader's own development projects.
In the companies for which I've worked, most of the programmers refer to Petzold's book as the 'bible' for Windows programming...for good reason. This is the best book for learning Windows programming if you are starting with no previous knowledge of the Windows operating system.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A. Scudiero on July 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an absolutely golden book. Don't be intimidated by the page count or the title - this book is actually a very easy to use ground up tutorial in Win32 programming. He starts out talking about the basics and then slowly moves into more advanced topics.
As always it's important to know what a book is NOT. This book is not a tutorial for writing windows applications, nor does it discuss MFC or most of the common methods used today for rapidly producing computer programs. This is not REALLY a reference book on win32 either.
Instead it provides a tutorial-style documentation for the monstrous win32 API at its most fundamental levels. This book sets the standard for all other code written for any modern version of windows. It addresses real world issues and real world solutions to those problems (such as the chapter dedicated to making unicode friendly programs), as well as some historical issues (the difference between wParam and lParam).
No manual is without its flaws. This book is a bit too braod spectrum in the detail levels. There are places in the book where he will delve into details that you could care less about, and there are points that he will put in two or three sentences and assume you understand, although you may not.
Despite this, this book is essential to everyone writing code for Microsoft Windows (ANY version). You needn't read it cover to cover, but readiny section I (about 1/3 of the book) is essential. My one wish is that this book came in three volumes, if you haul it between home and school/office it gets to be buronsome. That's about all I can really complain about with this book.
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