Windows NT 4 Programming from the Ground Up

COMPUTER BOOK REVIEW  

457 words

Title: Windows NT 4 Programming from the Ground Up; Herbert Schildt;
Osborne McGraw Hill; ISBN: 0-07-882298-X; Paperback, 741 pages, US$34.99,
CAN$49.99

Reviewer: Tim Perkins, "Windows NT Programming from the Ground Up will
increase the readers awareness of the benefits of understanding NT and
add the ability to put these benefits to use."

Win32 Programming, It's a Dirty Job but You Should Know How to Do It   

There are many books on programming for the Microsoft OS platforms
that promise to cover the Win32 API and they do, in less than 3
pages. Most resources move towards C++ techniques rather than
demonstrating how to use windows tools in their raw C format. This
resource does not do this. 
	
Readers interested in learning how to implement windows controls
using Win32 or who wish to make a responsive windows program without
using a wizard to do the actual work will find this book to be of value.    
	
Author Herbert Schildt does not concern himself with MFC programming because:
	a) To fully teach the true workings behind the windows programming
architecture the user can't be learning in an environment which masks that
architecture.
	b) Win32 API programming is supported in all NT programming
environments which makes the information in this book portable.
	c) In some cases, MFC's will not allow enough control over an
application. This book shows how to tailor an application to do
exactly what is necessary.
 	d) The author has already written a book on "MFC Programming from
the Ground Up." 
      	
However, this book is still valuable to the MFC programmer because
to really understand what the MFC's are doing one has to understand their
roots in the Win32 API. A book that starts in the ground is the perfect
resource to get at these roots. 
	
Windows NT 4 Programming from the Ground Up spends an extensive amount of 
time demonstrating the by-hand construction of window classes, window
resources, message processing, and more. The author explains, in detail,
how to program with these tools starting with a WinMain function
(something which many MFC programmers have never seen). 

He provides a generous array of code for consideration and use. One
of the book's nice features is that pictures of the output accompany
the code which enables the reader to see what to expect while
implementing code and discovering new possibilities for displaying
an application. 
	
Schildt delves heavily into the use of controls. Because much of the
code in a Windows NT application will be devoted to the user interface.
Some of the controls discussed are push buttons, list boxes, scroll
bars, radio buttons, check boxes, spin controls, track bars, progress
bars, status bars, tab controls, header controls, and tree views. The
reader will also learn how to bring these elements together to form
property sheets and wizards. 

Users can expect to learn other aspects of NT such as text output,
console applications, printer manipulation, thread-based multitasking,
graphics manipulation, the system registry, DLL creation, NT security,
and OLE.
	
Windows NT Programming from the Ground Up will increase the readers
awareness of the benefits of understanding NT and add the ability to
put these benefits to use.  
 


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