Getting started

This is a discussion on Getting started within the Windows Programming forums, part of the Platform Specific Boards category; Hi guys. I've been lookin' at all your windows programming , and I thought it would really help if I ...

  1. #1
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    Getting started

    Hi guys.

    I've been lookin' at all your windows programming , and I thought it would really help if I could program stuff like that. But the problem is it all looks insanely complicated , and I don't know where to start

    Can someone please point me in the right direction , if you know what I mean.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Handy Andy andyhunter's Avatar
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    1. Before you dive into windows programming you should be very comfortable with either C or C++.

    The windows API is simply just a set of functions and data types that enable you to program for windows. There is nothing new in the language introduced, however the API does make extensive use of macros to define (hide) what the real data types are. If you feel you are comfortable enough with either C or C++ then this is a very good free online tutorial. If you have the money to buy it I strongly recommend Programming Windows 5th edition by Charles Petzold.

    2. There are two basic ways to program for windows these days. You can directly use the API and interact with windows functions through a series of function calls. Or you can use wrapper classes such as MFC and interface with windows through class methods. There are arguments for both so in the end it will be up to you to decide.

    PS - I cannot stress enough the importance of having a strong foundation in either C or C++ prior to moving on to programming windows in either C or C++. If you do not you will just wind up frustrating yourself and wasting a lot of time.
    i don't think most standard compilers support programmers with more than 4 red boxes - Misplaced

    It is my sacred duity to stand in the path of the flood of ignorance and blatant stupidity... - quzah

    Such pointless tricks ceased to be interesting or useful when we came down from the trees and started using higher level languages. - Salem

  3. #3
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    I cannot stress enough the importance of having a strong foundation in either C or C++ prior to moving on to programming windows in either C or C++. If you do not you will just wind up frustrating yourself and wasting a lot of time.
    Good say, couldn't agree more.

    When it comes to using the raw API or a class library like MFC, you need to consider what you want to do now, and what you want to do in future.

    If you program in C, then the API will be the natural approach.

    If you program in C++ and are comfortable with classes etc., then a class library like MFC will appear to be the right choice. MFC, (and other libraries), hide the real workings of Windows and the Win32 API, also, the programming model is slightly different.

    The result is...

    Win32 API -> MFC is pretty easy if your a C++ man
    MFC -> Win32 API can be very difficult/confusing

    ... I would always advocate getting at least a basic appreciation of the API before using a class library.
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

  4. #4
    Handy Andy andyhunter's Avatar
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    The result is...

    Win32 API -> MFC is pretty easy if your a C++ man
    MFC -> Win32 API can be very difficult/confusing

    ... I would always advocate getting at least a basic appreciation of the API before using a class library.
    Thankyou, I was just thinking about a good way to say that. I couldn't agree with you more.

    -Andy
    i don't think most standard compilers support programmers with more than 4 red boxes - Misplaced

    It is my sacred duity to stand in the path of the flood of ignorance and blatant stupidity... - quzah

    Such pointless tricks ceased to be interesting or useful when we came down from the trees and started using higher level languages. - Salem

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