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Programming Windows®, Fifth Edition (Developer Reference) 5th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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 frustrations...it 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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The amazing and still champion resource. With this, it's easier to write working code in C than C++. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ronald Greenberg
There is no doubt this book is great for its topic, but in 2015 I really don't think it's relevant anymore. Read morePublished 12 months ago by CZ
This book has shown me how to use the Win32 API to capture and process audio in real time using my PC. Read morePublished 12 months ago by dapeters
It is a priceless book on Win32 API! It obviously lacks lots of new features appeared since the time of publishing (almost 20 years ago! Read morePublished 12 months ago by andy_l
Very Good,still useful for now, include nearly everything you need to know about windows programmingPublished 15 months ago by John Xu
The book was physically in good condition...no marks inside and the binding is still strong...got exactly what I paid for.Published 18 months ago by Larry G Davenport
Old, but a lot of bang for the buck. Just what I was looking for!Published 20 months ago by Mike B @ Phoenix
Charles Petzold's "Programing Windows", Fifth Edition is of the first rank, on par with Tom Swan's "Mastering Borland C++ 4.5", which I also have. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Veritas