Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

DanTheRocker

A lack of Win32 info from Microsoft

Recommended Posts

DanTheRocker    122
Is it just me or is there a lack of information on pure and simple Win32 documentation? I Find things here and there, but it keeps diverting me to MFC, which I don''t want to learn right now(but will). If there a good Win32 Database or documentation site?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
S1CA    1418
msdn.microsoft.com

All the Win32 docs on there, plus articles concerning all apsects of Win32 (and MFC if that''s what you like).

If you have DevStudio you also have it on CD with that.

--
Simon O''''Connor
Creative Asylum Ltd
www.creative-asylum.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oluseyi    2106
quote:
Original post by DanTheRocker
...but it keeps diverting me to MFC, which I don''t want to learn right now(but will).

Naturally, Microsoft want to push its class library, but all the Win32 documentation is still in their. Try using the Contents panel to get a complete listing of all the titles on your CD, or lookup functions by name in the Index. If you look up an operation or generic term, it''ll probably point you to MFC.




I wanna work for Microsoft!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dean Harding    546
The MFC section usually has pointers to the Win32 section that apply to it (at least, that what I''ve found). Also, if you find a section in MFC on what you want, just look up similarly-named functions in Win32. Generally, the names of the MFC functions are taken from the Win32 names.


codeka.com - Just click it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ibanez    122
Dont rely on any microsoft documentation to learn anything, I think they assume you have been programming for a decade in VC++ already. I learnt by using the many tutorial sites out there, and am only now finding the MSDN useful as a reference now that I know the nuts and bolts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oluseyi    2106
quote:
Original post by Ibanez
Dont rely on any microsoft documentation to learn anything, I think they assume you have been programming for a decade in VC++ already.

You think wrong. I think most people just don''t know where to look in MSDN (whether on CD or online); several times I''ve seen posts say "I''ve searched and searched, but MSDN seems to have no info on this!" Then I find it it 3 minutes. Sure, sometimes the documentation is not as clearly organized or as "neutral" as we would like - but it''s free (online).

As for assuming experience with VC++, do you know that hardly anybody reads instruction manuals anymore? How many newbie questions have you seen like "I tried to compile but it says it can''t find main!!!!!! HELP!!!!!" If they''d taken the time to read the docs, they would have learned about the various proect types and what they do by default - you know, that Contents panel with such useless items as "Welcome to the MSDN Library" and "Visual C++ Documentation" (which contains the absolutely worthless "Using Visual C++" section).

Geez.



I wanna work for Microsoft!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gladiator    127
The Manuals are directed to those who already know the lingo and have at least some basic experience in programming, and not for those who are getting the experience right now.

Say, in a manual they explain flat mode and 16bit real mode. If you read in the manual to convert between the two you have to take the segment multiply by 10h and add the offset, someone who has never programmed would be like, what the hell is he talkign about? segment?offset?

Same thing about the programming manuals, you have to have at least SOME experience. That''s why there are beginners books. Once you learn the basics you can try and figure things out on your own by reading the manuals, because you are right, it contains almost EVERYTHING you might need to get everything out of using MSVC for example.

So manuals hardly ever help most newbies who don''t have any experience in the field.

The easiest way to get started is get a book (either from library or buy one on your own), and once you start understanding the basics, you can go on the internet and search for some specific topics.

Sorry for my ramblings :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Colin Jeanne    1114
I actually find the MSDN stuff that comes with MSVC++ 6 useful. Of course there are a lot of references to MFC, but there are also a lot of references to the Win32 API functions. When in doubt, look it up in the MFC documentation because the corresponding Win32 function will probably have the same name.

.... and so (after writing this and then reading the replies before I post this, I agree with Dean Harding

Invader X
Invader''s Realm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lowas    122
MS domcuments on their own products is pretty good I think.
Their documents on C++ and the STL is a joke though.

Edited by - Lowas on November 8, 2001 8:22:17 AM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oluseyi    2106
quote:
Original post by Lowas
Their documents on C++ and the STL is a joke though.

I disagree. MSDN was my primary means of introduction to many C++ concepts. The documents are so robust that they indicate Microsoft-specific usage/features, provide very complete samples and examples and explain everything in clear terms.

Perhaps we speak of different products, or perhaps you don''t know where (and how) to look. I''ve been using MSVC for 5 years now (since the 4.0/1.52 double package), so I guess I''m used to it. Also, when I started with it (and when I started programming a few years earlier) I didn''t have the internet and I didn''t have fora like this where I could squander hours bitching about how much MS products sucked (this is not a personal reference to you; it''s a generic comment). Instead I had to figure out how to use the product, so I read the intro docs. I suggest everyone do so as well.

And I still maintain that we don''t give powersaws and nailguns to apprentice carpenters, so we shouldn''t leave complex software tools in the hands of novices.



I wanna work for Microsoft!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
As I said before, there''s more than enough information in the MSDN but it''s not for the typical beginner. You can learn windows programming by searching about different topics in Win32API so you can''t say there isn''t enough information. In fact, there''s a lot more than you really you need for your everyday applications.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Well... I''d have to say that msdn is absolutely awful at describing the stl. I learned it from msdn, but now that I''ve found the sgi developers documentation for the stl I realize just how much better the msdn documentation could be. On the other hand that is the only real disappointment I''ve ever had with msdn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LordElectro    122
Using MSDN is an art in itself. The documentation (at least for Win32) is there, but when searching for something, you first need a way to name it. This is where the contents is really useful, a part too many people don''t use. I''m not sure about the online docs, but the DVD version has all the Win32 stuff under Platform SDK.

The more you use it and read it, the better you will be at it. Good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kylotan    9999
quote:
Original post by Lowas
MS domcuments on their own products is pretty good I think.
Their documents on C++ and the STL is a joke though.

Hmm.. their STL documentation is pretty poor (with virtually no discussion or explanation) but the C++ stuff is perfectly adequate, in my opinion. I pretty much taught myself all the intermediate details of C++ from the MSDN stuff. It does help to get used to finding your way around it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JD    208
For the STL I downloaded SGI STL docs that have examples and explain little bit more than msdn stl docs. There is a very good section in msdn on how to start including getting messages from the message queue look under contents then:

platform sdk/user interface services/windows user interface/windowing

It will take little bit of time to figure out where things are located in the msdn. Important to know where they''re located are windowing, gdi, dll, common controls, input/mouse topics, etc. I think There''s also an entire book on win32 coding there. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites