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Charles Petzfold - Programming Windows 5th edition

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i have just started reading this book, as it seems to be very well recomended, but i have a few questions 1. The book is quite old now, and the last edition, the one i have, was published in 1998, so im wondering much of the contents of the book still applies to writing windows applications to this date. Im under the assumption that *A LOT* will have changed in 10 years. But was wondering if anyone could clarufy this, and notify me of the majour changes, other than the step up to 64 bit. 2. The book emphasizes that Unicode at the time of writing was still not very widespread, how is this now? does every app under the sun use ? 3. As the book explains, many windows functions have 2 versions, for both char and wchar, to support unicode, will the ascii/char versions be depreciated any time soon? 4. Are there any other books that are similar, but more up to date? 5. Im still at the beginning really, but i came across the fact that you have to check for screen res for text height and width etc to use particular functions correctly, and other such tasks, seems very dated, stuff that youd think would be done in the background ,....is this still done?

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First, stop manually breaking your lines. The forum software will naturally word wrap.

Quote:
Original post by maya18222
1. The book is quite old now, and the last edition, the one i have, was published in 1998, so im wondering much of the contents of the book still applies to writing windows applications to this date. Im under the
assumption that *A LOT* will have changed in 10 years. But was wondering if anyone could clarufy this, and notify me of the majour changes, other than the step up to 64 bit.

Windows hasn't changed that much. As far as programming Win32 and Win64 in C++, just check MSDN for updates to what you read in that book. the core concepts stay the same.

Quote:
2. The book emphasizes that Unicode at the time of writing was still not very widespread, how is this now? does every app under the sun use ?

Unicode is much more widespread now, thanks to the rise in international distribution via the internet. Nevertheless, many applications fail to use it, but you should.

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3. As the book explains, many windows functions have 2 versions, for both char and wchar, to support unicode, will the ascii/char versions be depreciated any time soon?

No.

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4. Are there any other books that are similar, but more up to date?

No.

Quote:
5. Im still at the beginning really, but i came across the fact that you have to check for screen res for text height and width etc to use particular functions correctly, and other such tasks, seems very dated, stuff that youd think would be done in the background ,....is this still done?

Depends on what processes you're referring to, but yes, it's still done.

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It's all pretty much the same. The Windows API hasn't changed much since Windows 95 came out. Some functions have been deprecated and replaced with better ones, but the old ones still work.

Using that old API is very time consuming, and sometimes very frustrating. You waste a lot of time filling out gigantic structs and using them as arguments for yet more structs, and looking up all the constants. It's been replaced with Windows Forms and Windows Presentation Foundation in the last few years. They are much easier to use, and you can get lots of work done much faster.

Both WPF and Winforms come with easy to use editors in VC Express too.

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Quote:
Original post by Daaark
Using that old API is very time consuming, and sometimes very frustrating. You waste a lot of time filling out gigantic structs and using them as arguments for yet more structs, and looking up all the constants. It's been replaced with Windows Forms and Windows Presentation Foundation in the last few years. They are much easier to use, and you can get lots of work done much faster.

Some things you can only do in Win32, though, and some Win32 things have been inexplicably moved to .NET only (Crypto API?!).

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Quote:
The book is quite old now, and the last edition, the one i have, was published in 1998, so im wondering much of the contents of the book still applies to writing windows applications to this date.
Yes, the book is still one of *the* books for Win32 API programming.

Quote:
Im under the assumption that *A LOT* will have changed in 10 years.
The biggest change would be the addition of the .NET framework and the APIs under that. Consider moving over to C# and then learning WPF or Winforms. (And Petzold has books for that too).

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The book emphasizes that Unicode at the time of writing was still not very widespread, how is this now?
Windows 2000+ are internally based in Unicode, so you can see the performance incentive for working in Unicode.

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Are there any other books that are similar, but more up to date?
Consider what I said about .NET, WPF, and Winforms.

You have to realize, the Win32 API doesn’t go through revolutionary changes. So old resources are still completely valid in teaching you how to approach Windows programming. In C anyway.

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All of my Win32 programming knowledge pretty much comes from that book. If you are looking to get into Windows GUI programming then C#/Winforms is going to show you results much faster. As the other poster said there can be a lot of crap you have to setup to get stuff to work. For today unless you just have to have Win32 support I think the time could be better spent elsewhere.

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