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basic guide+WHere can I get pdf of win API referance?

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Hi Im just preparing myself for when this "Programming role playing games in direct x arrives", Anyway Im wanting to get the basics out the way so Im ready for some serious reading and work when the book finally comes. I am looking at Basic directx Guide and the format of directx seems to be making alot more sense since Ive come back from working on a console OS. i.e
int MessageBox(HWND hWnd,
               LPCTSTR lptext,
               LPCTSTR lpcaption,
               UINT utype);
The above basic code made me realise It would be extremely beneficial for me to get a hold of a good windows API referance formatted similiar to the above and explaining what each function does. I found the online msdn but was wandering if theres a pdf version of the API? Finally , Its been a long time since I used the site, whats the format for code tags? "
" doesnt seem to work. Sorry about the dumb question , I did come across some info on the latter part of my post when I first started using the forums again but cant find it now.
Thanks :)
[Edited by - firefly28 on February 14, 2008 3:19:45 PM]

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Do you have a visual basic/c#/c++ ide?
Have you downloaded a directx sdk?
Are you going to program in c or c++?

First: if you've never programmed in the windows environment, there may be a lot more to do that getting "the basics" out of the way. Windows programming is entirely different than console programming as it is event-driven instead of being under program flow-control.

In any case, a Visual Studio environment would be invaluable. It will have a tremendous help system (with lots of API info) and good examples.

I would suggest you try some of the windows tutorials before you jump into directx. If you're just beginning in windows programming, you may want to try out MFC (Microsoft Foundation Classes).

I'm not familiar with the various format tags (that's a different subject!).

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That book would be rediciously huge. Whenever I want to learn about a Win32 method, I use the resource you already found: the MSDN. However, I NEVER use the MSDN search since it has horrible accuracy and will turn up many false positives. The best search would be to use Google, prepending the method name with 'MSDN'. It always works for me. After a while, you will learn the functionality of each Win32 function by this method.

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Quote:
Original post by dmcimini
That book would be rediciously huge. Whenever I want to learn about a Win32 method, I use the resource you already found: the MSDN. However, I NEVER use the MSDN search since it has horrible accuracy and will turn up many false positives. The best search would be to use Google, prepending the method name with 'MSDN'. It always works for me. After a while, you will learn the functionality of each Win32 function by this method.
Heh, I do exactly the same thing. E.g. "MSDN MessageBox" (no quotes). Some links are more accurate than others though.

To the OP: The book is a little old now (Although I don't know of any more recent ones), so some things might be out of date. I can't remember if it uses DX8 or DX9, but you should really be using DX9 with the latest SDK rather than the one that comes on the CD with the book; there's been a few changes in DX9 APIs, bust almost all with D3DX stuff, and if you compare the notes in the book and comments in the code to the SDK docs it should be fairly obvious where the differences are.

This, unfortunately is why I stopped buying DirectX books; they go out of date way too fast.

Oh, and no despite what the book tells you, Don't use DirectInput. At least not for keyboard and mouse input.

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Ok I will use the MSDN :) really wanted a document but what the heck. Also to answer the previous question and add what I should have had in the thread initially , the plan is to use c++ and DirectX , I have the Microsoft Visual studio IDE. I have worked with C++ before with SDL and I made my program OO (2d pong)

As mentioned in a previous thread I dont plan to set my sites too high, only have 1 2d space background, 2 2d spaceships for player 1 and 2 then have 1 static planet that I can use to test basic collisions. Once I get all that done in an acceptable manner I will try to cement the concepts of MP which is the only element I am 100% clueless about.

I have used the following langauges:

C(Setup a testbed program which was very basic to simulate a user which comes into a mud and then another user enters and can chat, used sockets but was going through a guide to help me do this)[I have used C for various differant things.
C++
Assembly (Begginer but have read and immplemented a fair bit in my console OS)
Java(Have created GUI programs in this and I have immplemented sockets for a mock server program that displays a text message to clients)
PhP
Mysql
Visual Basic(Used this years ago to create small GUI programs)
Pascal (Used many moons ago at college)

I did try DX a few years back and a concept that stumped me was callback functions, however I think I have a better understanding of things overall this time around, Ive just been looking up callback functions prior to my book arriving and my basic understanding of it is that a function gets passed a pointer to another function. (Im sure its alot more complex than this and its something Ive opnly re-visted today but Ive read its good for library writers)

The thing is at this point I know directX is going to be hard either way and I really want to learn it, because I know directX has ugly code Im setting my sites very low initially, in fact before attempting MP Im just going to try a 2player game where to 2d ships can blow each other up on a space background, the ship animations will be made up of 2 or 3 sprites. The book Im getting actually takes you through creating an rpg , even if it is difficult I can gleam some info from it for referance.

I dont know if I will manage it but Im in a position at present where I can work daily on a project and after comming from trying to debug a console OS I can appreciate how much the windows API is doing, whereas in the past I just thought it was unecessarly ugly and overcomplicated code.

Just to comment on the last post, yeah I think I will need to make some changes as a few things are indeed out of date from what Ive read. Im just checking out your direct input link at this momment. Thanks for that , the more info the better :)

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Quote:
Original post by firefly28
Im just checking out your direct input link at this momment. Thanks for that , the more info the better :)
This is a useful link too. The debug runtimes are extremely useful, I really don't know where I'd be without them.

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Awesome steve :) , Those should help immensely thanks!

I cant wait to get this book :) even though its dated it should help somewhat but not having it just now, means Im hauling in heaps of useful DX resources into a folder on my favourites!

Finally thats me just fully checked the direct input link and It does put forward very concise reasons for not using it so I will definatly try and make sure I dont use it in my code.

Responses Appreciated All
Firefly

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The Windows API (whose 32-bit version is usually referred to as Win32) is part of the Windows SDK. A older version of this comes with Visual Studio 2005 Pro, and the latest version comes with all versions of Visual Studio 2008. All of the Windows API documentation can be found in the MSDN library, but the platform SDK comes with documentation that you can browse offline.

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Just checking back - Im installing those debug runtimes right now. A week ago I was doing a guide where in parts of the code the guy uses a function to convert various numbers into degrees and I was getting confused when he used radians in another part of the code but Ive managed to get through all that and I just got a spinning 3d prism built so Im getting there :) Just before moving onto meshes Im messing about with the early lessons code and those debug runtimes would be handy now! Im glad I found this post again :)

(Still waiting on my book though :( , it got sent from the US and there was some botch at customs![Someone could read the address? who knows hehe] Hopefully I will finally get the book soon)

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