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Programming Windows with MFC, Second Edition Hardcover – May 13, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The second edition of Jeff Prosise's Programming Windows with MFC is a great introduction to the programming language that will help you build client-side applications in MFC. Though it doesn't cover Internet development, this title provides a worthy tutorial on traditional MFC programming.

After some MFC basics, the book looks at Graphical Device Interface (GDI) graphics with a fine discussion of drawing and font handling. Following this, Prosise introduces the use of the MFC collection classes (an alternative to STL) and file I/O, as well as adding serialization support to custom classes.

He also dedicates a fair amount of text to basic Windows controls and dialog boxes. His tour of support for both the Single Document Interface (SDI) and Multiple Document Interface (MDI) application styles is just excellent. The built-in view classes in MFC and how to use them in a Windows Explorer-style sample program are covered. From there, it's on to other common GUI interface models such as toolbars, status bars, and the new Internet Explorer-style rebars. After a useful section on printing (including some valuable real-world tips for this tricky topic), the rich array of Windows common controls is discussed. As in the first edition, Prosise's introduction to MFC multithreading and synchronization objects (like mutexes) is a standout.

The last section of the book provides a comprehensive discussion of COM and ActiveX programming for the MFC developer. Although the Active Template Library (ATL) is omitted here, there are fine examples of building and using ActiveX controls, including the basics of OLE automation.

Newly revised with richer examples and the latest Windows functionality, the second edition of Programming Windows with MFC provides one of the best available tutorials for traditional MFC development. --Richard Dragan


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1200 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 2nd ed. edition (May 13, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572316950
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572316959
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 2.5 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #754,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If I were a practising MFC programmer at the junior or intermediate level, I'd definitely want to have this book as a reference. It is one of the most complete MFC books around, and I like the author's approach of starting off with MFC basics and wrapper classes before moving onto application framework stuff and wizards. This is one of the few books that tells you what's behind some of those macros like DECLARE_DYNCREATE and tells you where to look for it in the source code of MFC itself.
However, if you are new to Visual C++ or have never heard of MFC, this is not the book I would recommend. I would suggest picking up Ivor Horton's Beginning Visual C++ 6 instead. Real beginners need a book that tells them how to use the IDE, debug programs, and use the wizards. So what if after reading it, all that wizard generated code becomes a blur to you. That's what Prosise and other more advanced books are for.
I'm an experienced C++ developer and I had read two MFC books (Beginning Visual C++ 6, MFC Programming by Alan Feuer) and Petzold 5th ed before reading Prosise and I still found it a little difficult reading, mostly because it starts off kind of slow (as someone else mentioned too). The chapter I found most difficult was the one on OLE clipboard/drag & drop.
I really recommend reading Petzold 5th ed before reading this or any other intermediate/advanced MFC book. Petzold is more of a beginner's book for Win32 SDK-style GUI programming.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best MFC book ever. Conversational style, and authoritative reference. He puts logic into the nonsensical, and starts slow (no appwizard shtuff and confusion until chapter 4) so everyone can understand. In chapter 4, he slowly walks you through your first simple program involving Visual C++ 6.0's mfc appwizard. This book was made for those who have no clue about the MFC tutorials (95% of those who use Visual C 6.0) in the MSDN library, but yet want to understand MFC someday.
However, know your inheritance of classes in C++ before reading. Reading Programming Windows 5th Edition by Charles Petzold before this isn't a bad idea either, but it isn't required, it just makes a much greater appreciation of MFC. MFC still doesn't stand totally on it's own without the win32 API either, but it comes pretty close. The last word of warning is that it is geared to the Visual C 6.0 compiler. So for those with Insprise, you aren't out of luck (it facilitates understanding 1000% still), just some of the stuff about using appwizards (which, come in handy) isn't going to apply to you. Prosise makes compensation for those with other compilers.
At the end, he goes into a pretty good COM ActiveX, and OLE tutorial (and how they apply to MFC) but nothing huge (a mere 220 pages).
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By A Customer on May 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book covers MFC in great detail. That can be a plus or a minus, depending on how you look at it. If you're a beginner, I would not recommend this book. Interestingly enough, in the book's introduction, the author writes: "[This book] was written with two kinds of people in mind: (1) Windows API programmers who want to learn MFC; (2) Programmers who have never before programmed Windows." I strongly disagree with (2). If you want to spend hours and hours reading this book at a snail's space, and then going back and continually reviewing what you read, then I guess it's possible for you as a beginner to learn MFC from this book. For the majority of beginners, however, starting out with this book would not be the best way to learn MFC. (Of course, the author's job is to sell copies of his book, so why wouldn't he claim that it's for beginners too?)
The best part about this book is its comprehensiveness. So, if you're looking for a good reference, this book definitely gets a thumbs-up. But if you want clear discussions of fundamental MFC concepts, this book falls short. When you read this book, in many ways you can't see the forest for all the trees. That is, Prosise does a rather poor job of separating key, high-level concepts from more advanced, low-level details. The result is a book that is very dense and not so readable.
Even when he isn't getting bogged down in details, Prosise doesn't always present topics effectively. At some places his discussions are pretty good, but at others they aren't so clear. Frankly, although Prosise is a brilliant programmer, I don't think he's that gifted as a teacher. He no doubt understands the material himself, but he isn't nearly as skilled at presenting it to someone with little exposure to it.
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Format: Hardcover
When I started to learn MFC, I bought many books. Well, after I read all of them, I can create application myself without understanding the concept of MFC. Most of other MFC books just tell you to insert this and that to the .cpp and .h files without even mention what those lines mean. But this book is really fantastic in explaining all the codes in MFC, from the auto included codes done by visual C++ to all the codes that the book tells you to insert.
Besdies, the examples of this book are very illustrative. Though the examples are more complicated than other MFC books, the author explains them really well, and from the example, you will actually catch the concept of MFC programming.
One little flaw about this book is that it's not written as a reference book. it's more like a tutorial to someone who's new or intermediate to MFC but have some knowledge on C++. Thus, after 1 or 2 years in MFC, you might want to look for another MFC reference book.
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