Thread: Is there a book that explains the WinAPI slowly and simply?

  1. #1
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    Jun 2013
    Over the rainbow

    Is there a book that explains the WinAPI slowly and simply?

    I've tried learning the WinAPI before, but I never could. Mainly because a lot of the web tutorials I looked at went from 0 to 60 way too fast for my preferred style of learning. I think it would help if I had a book that walked me through some of the applications from start to finish, because it helps me remember it if I actually understood what I did. Is there any book ( or web tutorial ) that would do this?
    "Some people think they can outsmart me, maybe. Maybe. I've yet to meet one that can outsmart bullet" - Meet the Heavy, Team Fortress 2

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    Jun 2005
    This reminds me of the old joke about a letter from your Mama, which starts "Dear Son, I'm writing this letter slow because I know you can't read fast."

    Books don't explain anything slowly. It is you who needs to take the time to understand what the book says.

    As to whether any book describes things simply enough, that's a subjective question. My notion of "simple" is almost certainly different from yours, and each of us probably has a different notion from anyone else you could name.

    It's fairly old now, but one book that some find useful is Julian Templeman's "Beginning Windows NT Programming", first published in 1998, by Wrox Press.
    Right 98% of the time, and don't care about the other 3%.

    If I seem grumpy or unhelpful in reply to you, or tell you you need to demonstrate more effort before you can expect help, it is likely you deserve it. Suck it up, Buttercup, and read this, this, and this before posting again.

  3. #3
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    I've heard good things about this book: Programming Windows, 5th Edition, by Charles Petzold

    I can't give it too much of a recommendation, as I fell off after three chapters to pursue other projects, and it's a bit costly and dated. But it's at least worth knowing about.

    In my opinion, learning something as complex as WinAPI would be much better to learn through a book, which thoroughly explains ideas and are packed with examples, as opposed to web tutorials, which tend to be terse and lacking in details.

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    While primarily focused on PowerBASIC, Josť Roca's site has a vast selection of information, much with C/C++ code.

    Jose Roca Software


  5. #5
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    Mar 2011
    I have Programming Windows, 5th Edition, by Charles Petzold.
    I would recommend it. It is a bit costly, but you might find a better price
    if the disc that was included with the original purchase, is missing.
    You can still download the entire disc at

    I found windows programming to be a big hurdle. I kept putting it off
    until I finally needed the capabilities of a win32 system. I got my 1st
    window up on the screen by using the Forger's tutorial. But I didn't
    really understand it until I looked everything up in the API reference
    at Not the easiest way to learn.

    A book like Petzold's is a much better way to learn.

    The API reference is indespensible though as a reference. The biggest
    problem is learning your way around in it. But it gets a lot easier once
    you learn how it's all organized.

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