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Richter's Windows Programming book

I'm becoming quite experienced with C++ lately but have done little with Win32 programming, so I think this will be the next step for me to take. I have worked a bit with Qt (very nice) and MFC but using these I got convinced I'd have to throw away all big APIs for a few months, get to the bare bones and scratch my name into the metal first, if you know what I mean =)

"Programming Applications for Microsoft Windows" by Jeffrey Richter seems to be very good, but it's MIGHTY expensive here in Germany (60+ €...) so I thought I'd ask the pros around here before I go and buy it: is it worth it? I'm not afraid of hardcore literature (once you've read "Modern C++ Design" + supplementary books everything looks pale...). There's also "Programming Windows, The Definitive Guide to the Win32 API" by Charles Petzold, which looks nice, too. How do they compare?

I'm mainly interested in directly Win32-related material, MFC etc. is not too interesting since I have some literature and I prefer Qt anyway (*not* because of crossplatform issues). COM would be interesting, but that's not on my radar right now, though I recently looked at "Essential COM" by Don Box and it really looked cool.

A very important point would be a very thorough chapter (or more) on multithreading. The main problems I see with understand Win32 is the sheer size of it, finding the *right* APIs and more complex issues like MT. A good book for me would have to be strong in these points.

Any help and tip is much appreciated! Thanks in advance,
Sebastian

Sebastian Wagner
Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Petzold is mostly about UI programming and has one chapter on multitaking and multithreading.
Richter has nine chapters on jobs, processes, threads, and fibers.
Both books are excellent and are largely complementary.
Another excellent book you may wish to consider is Win32 System Programming by Johnson Hart, which has extensive coverage of multithreaded programming and is less expensive (and thinner!)than Richter. 

Too Many Windows Books
Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Reliable Software has an on-line book as well as other Win32 programming tutorials: http://www.relisoft.com

The code in Petzold's book is C.  Relisoft uses C++ without MFC.

Nick Hebb
Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Richtor's Advanced Windows was a bible for me for a long time. The cover is worn and tattered - and very few books from my all-to-large collection look that way. The book gave me such a leg up on Win32. It led me to look for other books on complementary subjects but I found none that came close in terms of thoroughness and clarity. (This was a couple of years ago though.)

I didn't realize he came out with a new one - I must check it out.

It sounds like you have a handle on windowing, etc. and are beyond the material covered in the Petzold book. I would definitely get the Richtor book.

sf_fish
Thursday, October 17, 2002

Thanks everybody for the answers.

Too Many Windows Books: your nick is speaking, I think I'll pass one of these books for now. I guess I'll go for Richter... the Hart book is thinner and looks quite good as well but unfortunately costs nearly the same here in Germany, so the fat ones look more attractive in this (very) particular case =)

Nick: yep, I already know that one, but thanks anyway. It's a good site, but I'm looking for a real book so I can take it with me.

sf_fish: thanks, I think I'll take your advice. "Handle on windowing" - was that intended? =)

Sebastian Wagner
Thursday, October 17, 2002

C++ in action is excellent, and outlines wrapping the API inside an object model.

What's more, you can read it for free:

http://www.cppinaction.com/win32/index.htm

Ged Byrne
Thursday, October 17, 2002

Consider using your very good German library system to good effect.  You can have your library send you any book in Germany's collections, and you get it for (I believe) six weeks.  Then if you need/want to buy, voila.

Tj
Thursday, October 17, 2002

Nick,

Please excuse my duplicaton.  Must read before posting.

Ged Byrne
Thursday, October 17, 2002

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