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How to Start Learning Windows XP Programming

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  • User profile image
    retierney

    Hi everyone!

    I am a programmer by trade and I program exclusively on UNIX.  Well, actually I do Level 3 support and some programming.  I am trying to transfer into R&D so that I can do programming fulltime.  My manger is cool with that but we don't see it happening in the forseeable future.  (Years)

    I play with my home computer a lot and I decided that I want to teach myself Windows XP programming.  I want to learn how to do all kinds of things, the basics first then onward and upward.  I want to learn how to create rich, snazzy GUI's.  I currently have Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Professional installed on my computer.

    I'd like to program in C++ but I'm willing and able to learn something else.

    I kindly request from the community the following:

    - What development environment do I want?
    - What language do I want to use?
    - A list of books?
    - General advice?

    Basically, work sucks and I want to program, dang-it.  Given my age, salary and benefits, a new job is not an option, but boy I can dream.

    Thank you very much!

  • User profile image
    cro

    retierney wrote:
     I want to learn how to create rich, snazzy GUI's. 


    I would go with C# and WPF for that.

  • User profile image
    retierney

    Thanks! 

    Turn stupid on.

    What's WPF?

    Turn stupid off.

  • User profile image
    BrunoW

    WPF = Windows Presentation Foundation, this is a technology to make the gui of applications.

    I would advice you start here:
    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/beginner/bb964633.aspx (Visual Basic)
    or
    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/beginner/bb964631.aspx (C#)
    or
    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/beginner/bb964629.aspx (C++)

    or choose yourself here:
    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/beginner/bb308891.aspx

  • User profile image
    retierney

    Wonderful!  Thank you.

    Can anyone suggest some good books on WPF and C#?

  • User profile image
    Lloyd_Humph

    retierney wrote:
    I'd like to program in C++ but I'm willing and able to learn something else.


    I'd recommend against learning C++ *first*.

    VB.NET is simple for beginners. I began to learn this but then discovered I liked the C# syntax better (I find it makes more sense) so this year I'll be switching to that!

    Take a look at VB and C#.

    Also, WPF is certainly the job for "rich, snazzy UIs" Smiley

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  • User profile image
    figuerres

    retierney wrote:
    

    Hi everyone!

    I am a programmer by trade and I program exclusively on UNIX.  Well, actually I do Level 3 support and some programming.  I am trying to transfer into R&D so that I can do programming fulltime.  My manger is cool with that but we don't see it happening in the forseeable future.  (Years)

    I play with my home computer a lot and I decided that I want to teach myself Windows XP programming.  I want to learn how to do all kinds of things, the basics first then onward and upward.  I want to learn how to create rich, snazzy GUI's.  I currently have Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Professional installed on my computer.

    I'd like to program in C++ but I'm willing and able to learn something else.

    I kindly request from the community the following:

    - What development environment do I want?
    - What language do I want to use?
    - A list of books?
    - General advice?

    Basically, work sucks and I want to program, dang-it.  Given my age, salary and benefits, a new job is not an option, but boy I can dream.

    Thank you very much!



    a few words:

    if your current laptop / desktop is running XP and is more than say 1 year old then look at getting any recent laptops that can run Vista.

    if your UNIX background and goals and funds match then perhaps a MacBook Pro ??  you can load bootcamp on the mac side and then load vista on a partition and you can then work with Mac and Vista and do some UNIX stuff.


    also learn C# and I'd also install Mono on the mac side.

    then you can do C# for UNIX with Mono and C# on windows.

    also "why Vista" :


    for one thing Vista wants apps written right, you know how you use SUDO and SU on UNIX?  well vista now enforces the "normal user" mode....

    a ton of XP and before apps on windows were written by coders running 'as root' and when you run them as a "normal user" they freak out... thus many of the anti-vista things you may hear are really the crappy developers fault for expecting apps to run with root access to the folders they should not be in.

    so if you write on Vista and make an xp compatable app you will be looking good for both xp and vista.

    WPF is cool but for the best spread of client pc's use default windows forms.

  • User profile image
    cheong

    Lloyd_Humph wrote:
    

    I'd recommend against learning C++ *first*.


    Second that.

    And if you insist, I'd advise you to read about the difference of Windows and XWindow programming first. Learning concept like Windows message pumping mechanism and how DLLs load/unload can help you get better understanding on what to expect on MFC or whatever framework library you choose. Smiley

    There's old books "Osborne Windows Programming series" which is written for Win3.1/Win95. Most of the concepts there still hold true, and things are simpler at that time. If you can find it at local public library, I'd suggest you to borrow book1 and take a look. (The book is written in "classical C" without any framework like MFC, so that examples don't hide the commonly abstracted-out parts and you can compare the difference against XWin programming more quickly. Not need to buy the one, through)

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  • User profile image
    RexNebular

    I'd go for C# as a language for sure. On the UI side, as someone said earlier Windows Forms is the most wide spread technology and it also has the best tool support so far (especially if you're running vs2005). WPF is a very cool UI technology so you wouldn't be wrong to look at that either, but as I said before, the tool support isn't quite there yet as long as you're not running VS2008. You'd be even better of if you had access to the Expression suite as well. Cider (the WPF tool for VS) for VS2005 is not quite up to par in my opinion. If you decide to go for WPF the number one book to get your hands on is a book by Adam Nathan that I can't seem to remember the name of, but it has WPF in the title.

  • User profile image
    DoomBringer

    Petzold has books on Win32 programming as well as something on C# WinForms, and I think he did a WPF book too.

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