Is this book any good to me?

This is a discussion on Is this book any good to me? within the Windows Programming forums, part of the Platform Specific Boards category; I have just about got the basics down with c++ and thought i would start to dabble with windows programming ...

  1. #1
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    Is this book any good to me?

    I have just about got the basics down with c++ and thought i would start to dabble with windows programming . I eventually want to program games.

    When i bought MSVC++ it included a book by Ivor Horton called
    Introduction to MSVC++ 6.0 and i am not sure wheather or not if it is relevant . I have been advised to do the Win API thing as opposed to MFC .

    The chapter headings all seem to have MFC or ATL in the title
    Is ATL related to Win API or is this book basicly trying to sway me towards MFC?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    I had that book with VC++ too.....though I must admit I havent really used it....

    WinAPI programming usually refers to directly calling the API functions that windows exposes and documents via MSDN (IE - CreateWindow(),CreateFile(), WriteConsole() etc...). For this type of programming you can use Pascal, C,C++, Assembler etc....

    MFC is a class library that allows you to create use windows, files, threads etc as objects...It uses C++.... You can use C++ features like single inheritance, overloading and virtual functions to give your programming a more object orientated flavour.....the classes still call the API functions though, and you can call these functions directly if you wish too

    ATL is another VC++ library that allows you to create COM objects....again it uses C++, but as the output is COM, you can target any language that supports COM to use your component (VB,VBScript, J++, Delphi)....Although it is a library like MFC, its very different......it basically uses templates to allow you to create what components are needed and unlike MFC uses multiple inheritance (well some people dont use MI, and there are alternatives...but lots of examples I see have done)

    If you want a book guide;

    WinAPI -
    Windows Programming from the ground up - Schildt (Good intro)
    Programming Windows - Petzold (Bible)

    MFC -
    Programming Windows with MFC - Prosise (Petzold for MFC)

    ATL -
    Inside ATL - Shepard King (Havent read that much of this but it seems pretty good)

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    Thanks Fordy,

    Up until now i have relied on tutorials off the internet because of the price of programming books but if these two books will be all i will ever need on the subject i may just part with my cash .

    What do you think (anyone)?

  4. #4
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    Learn to use the API first, then a class library, (there are others than MFC), when and if you want/need to. Class libraries make simple applications much quicker to code, but tend to break down to a certain extent when you "push the envelope", when you get to that point, if you don't understand the API you are truly up the creek.

    The book reco's are the same as I would give.
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

  5. #5
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by The Gweech
    Thanks Fordy,

    Up until now i have relied on tutorials off the internet because of the price of programming books but if these two books will be all i will ever need on the subject i may just part with my cash .

    What do you think (anyone)?
    Yeah..the cost is a nightmare, but if I were you, I would buy the Schildt book first as it's the cheapest of the lot, and then while reading that spend time scoping around auction sites to get deals on other more expensive books...I have done this and added some real gems to my library for next to nothing...

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    Shall i get the book from amazon. Is that the cheapest option to buy new . Also Fordy are you a Faith No More fan ?(with that signature)

  7. #7
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by The Gweech
    Shall i get the book from amazon. Is that the cheapest option to buy new .
    Here

    Tht's out of stock at the moment, but there are second hand copies on that page that start from £10....not bad if your happy buying second hand.....

    Some people moan about Schildt as an author (he does seem to have a book on every damn subject and I think that anyone who is happy to be labled the "Greatest Programming Author in the world" has a few issues)......but I have the 98 version of this book and its really quite good IMHO...also, I think a few other members of this site have this book, and I think they have given it the thumbs up too.


    Originally posted by The Gweech
    Also Fordy are you a Faith No More fan ?(with that signature)
    Yup...I used to love them when they were around...now that's a proper band

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    I've ordered the schildt book now and had a look for a price on
    the petzold one . To my horror someone was wanting £39 for a
    second hand copy. Any idea roughly the cheapest price i could
    get for it on Amazon if i wait a bit?

  9. #9
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by The Gweech
    I've ordered the schildt book now and had a look for a price on
    the petzold one . To my horror someone was wanting £39 for a
    second hand copy. Any idea roughly the cheapest price i could
    get for it on Amazon if i wait a bit?
    Luck of the draw I'm afraid........but on a lighter note...the book you orderes will keep you occupied for some time to come.....

  10. #10
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    Methinks the same people that rubbish Schildt for being popular are the same type of people that will rubbish Gates etc., simply because they are popular/profitable. I have several of Schildts books - no worries.
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

  11. #11
    ¡Amo fútbol!
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    I got Programming Windows 2000 from the ground up for $13 including shipping. Very good deal. See ebay or if it isn't on ebay, half.com

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