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Visual C++

Practical Visual C++ 6
by Jonathan Bates, et al (Paperback - September 1999)
Amazon price: $23.99 / Average Customer Review: ****+

Reviewer: Reader (see more about me) from Australia
This is a great book for learning how to use the VC++6 software, and in so doing, gain an understanding of how to use the easy stuff (like controls). It doesn't do a lot to teach the syntax of C++, so if you want to know the key to the language, this isn't the book for you. If you want a genuinely first class tutorial on how to use the VC++6 software, this is it. And surprise surprise, what code there is actually works (anyone who's read a few computer books knows how rare that is!). To say that it will teach you intermediate C++ in a few chapters is however an exageration. I've read some other C++ books (and been programming several years in other languages) and as far as the actual C++ language goes, this book is about as basic as it gets. But even so, it's a great tutorial for the software and intro to basic MFC.

5 out of 5 stars A revelation!, July 4, 2000
Reviewer: Andrew Norris (see more about me) from Austin, TX USA

If I see one more hack write their version of Microsoft Documentation Regurgitated I think I'm going to lose my lunch. Fortunately, this isn't one of those. This book differentiates itself by what it leaves out--you won't see nook and cranny of Visual C++ covered, and you won't get 800,000 lines of code free on the CD. Instead, it picks out the key features you really need to know to start getting a handle on Visual C++, and covers them clearly and thoroughly.

This book assumes you know how to write C++, and it assumes you understand object oriented programming, so it doesn't waste your time trying to rehash them. If you don't know these things, get a different book. But if you know the language but are new to MFC and the specifics of Visual C++, you'll find yourself able to put together a program in surprisingly short order.

At first, I was surprised and alarmed by the fact that it contained no CD of sample code like I'm used to seeing. But upon reflection, this makes perfect sense. Many of the nuances of working with Visual C++ and MFC are in working with the Visual Studio GUI and various wizards, and the chapters that concentrate on a topic take you through all the steps needed to create sample programs. The code that *is* used in the samples is inline in the chapter, but by creating it all yourself (rather than just opening a file on a CD), you get a feel for really using the tools.

Frankly, I always thought Visual C++ and MFC were really complicated to program in. If you know C++ pretty well, after you've worked through the chapters of this book that are relevant to whatever you're trying to program, it will be as easy as working in Visual Basic, and you'll still get all the power of a real programming language.

Of course, if you're looking to do low-level systems programming in Windows or tackle other advanced areas, this book isn't going to tell you how to do it. But it will make hooking up the front-end GUI, connecting to a standard ODBC database, and other common tasks quick and painless, so you can spend your time concentrating on the hard parts.

***+ Ivor Horton's Begining Visual C++ 6, Installation & Contents Guide "C++ Book of the Year for 1998".
by Ivor Horton. Paperback (January 1999)
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It comes with the Introductory Edition of Microsoft's Visual C++6 compiler. But actually you can get C++ 6.0 Standard Edition for $49.

2 out of 5 stars Not at all what I was expecting, February 21, 1999
Reviewer: A reader from United States

I must say I was disappointed when I got this and the compiler it included is an Introductory Compiler. Whenever you compile any program it pops up a nice little window that informs you that your license agreement does not allow you to redistribute your programs. This bothers me somewhat because when I develop programs I like to compile and test each new bit of code that I add. The book on the other hand dives right in and if you have no programming background then you will feel like you are drowning in information. However, the author does do an adequate job of explaining what he is trying to teach.

5 out of 5 stars Answer to: Not at all what I was expecting, March 31, 1999
Reviewer: John Franklin ( from UK

I've given the book 5 stars simply because the contents have been '4 & 5' starred by many others already (see ISBN 186100088X)I have to say it that way because I was editorially involved with the book. That said, I'm specifically answering the US reader who rated the book but hated the Compiler...There was very minor 'doctoring' of the Compiler: you have to run programs within the product; it had a 'nag screen' come up when you compile and, for Windows programmers, a statically linked MFC( Microsoft Foundation Classes)which gave normal, but fatter code than the full priced product.Other than those caveats you're getting a $100, Visual C++ product, for close to zilch. This thing will compile workaday C++ code; giving you console apps or Windows apps. It has all the normal development Wizards and debugging assistance and has a big fat on-line help library to refer too. I'm not a "Microsoftie" but I think that's a very generous (unlimited) access to a pro developer's tool.

Still,I appreciate your desire for more freedom of usage - maybe the powers that be are listening.

Beginning Visual C++ 6 by Ivor Horton (Paperback - August 1998)
Amazon price: $39.99 / Average Customer Review: ***+

3 out of 5 stars Good Intro to C++, but..., October 26, 1999
Reviewer: Matt Bridges ( from Scottsdale, AZ

As a Windows Programming MCT, I constantly read "Beginner" books to recommend to my students to supplement or provide backgrounders to the Microsoft Official Curriculum.

The book does a pretty good job until you get to Windows programming. Actually I think it's one of the better books to learn the fundamentals of C++ programming.

However, the treatment of structures leaves a little to be desired, with common structures that appear throughout the entire Windows API being glossed over in Chapter 7.

Contrary to several other reviews, the intro to MFC is not that bad, and provides a good background to move on to other texts more devoted to the subject.

ATL should be removed from the text completely. This subject requires a more detailed explanation of COM which is simply not appropriate for a beginers text. My recomendation would be to expand the section on structures in a Windows context.

Also, version 6 of Visual Studio introduced OLE-DB as a solution for Universal Data Access, yet there is no mention of it here. Instead the author has applied a cut and paste from the version 5 of the book to give us ODBC. It would've been more appropriate to mention something about OLE-DB templates, and focus on ADO.

Overall however, this is a book I would recommend for beginners, to continue with Programming Windows with MFC, 2nd Ed by Jeff Proise.

Advanced Visual C++5
Steven Holzner, Steve Holzner / Paperback / Published 1997
***+ Programming Visual C++ ~ Usually ships in 2-3 days
David J. Kruglinski, et al / Paperback / Published 1998
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5 out of 5 stars Advanced Tutorial on VC++ Environment (with AppWizard + MFC), January 18, 2000
Reviewer: A reader from Vancouver, Canada

I Just picked up the book from a half price bookstore. It's one of the best buys I made in recent months. The writing style is concise and their explanations extremely clear. A "must buy" for anyone who wants to dive into Win32 programming using MFC. However this is not a book for everyone. It is ideal for intermediate programmers.

I'm an experienced C/C++ programmer who wants a quick way of learning VC++ and the Visual Studio 6.0 Development Environment. And this is THE BOOK! I would also recommend the book for seasoned XWindows/Motif programmers who need to learn the popular MFC Windows application framework for porting their applications. It covers in breadth (but not in great details) many topics related to the Win32 environment: Document-View Architecture, ActiveX, COM, ATL, ODBC, Winsock, etc. In essence, it gives a nice capability overview of the VC++ 6.0 development tools.

Like some negative reviews posted earlier, I have to warn that the ideal readers should have some prior knowledge about Win32 API or at least some prior exposure to event-driven programming style (Smalltalk experience, also a plus.) A nice companion book for Win32 programming is: "Windows 98 Programming from the Ground Up" by Herbert Schildt. It gives C programmers better understanding of the Win32 API underlying MFC.

This is NOT an introductory text, NOR an in-depth reference. It is a comprehensive tutorial that is extremely well written and enjoyable for seasoned programmers who are new to the Win32 environment. I can't wait to start learning DirectX SDK after reading this book. :-)

5 out of 5 stars Excellent book for those with ANSI C/C++ experience, August 13, 2000
Reviewer: qiu from Kansas

You don't need *years* of real-world experience in C/C++ to understand this book. But you do need very good understanding of ANSI C/C++ and some experience in how to use Windows apps. Otherwise, you can hardly undertand most of the book.

This book covers a lot of topics. It means on each topic, except for the core of MFC/COM/ALT/ISAPI, this book serves only as an introduction. Example: to do real-world OLE DB C++ programming, you need much more than this book has covered.

My overall point is: This is an excellent introductory VC++ book either for any C/C++ programmer to migrate to Windows programming, or for a Windows C/C++ programmer to migrate to a field he's unfamiliar with (e.g., one who used to build desktop apps but now wants to write ISAPI stuff).

For those programmers: You can hardly find an introductory VC++ book better than this one.

Fast Track Visual C++(r) 6.0 Programming
by Steven Holzner. Paperback (September 11, 1998)

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Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 Deluxe Learning Edition (Microsoft Professional Editions) (Paperback - April 1999)
Amazon price: $111.99 / Average Customer Review: *****

Beginning Visual C++ Components
by Matt Telles. Paperback (November 1996)

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Debugging Visual C++ Windows
by Keith Bugg. Paperback (October 1998)

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Debugging Windows Programs: Strategies, Tools, and Techniques for Visual C++ Programmers (The DevelopMentor Series)
by Mike Woodring, Everett N. McKay. Paperback (August 18, 2000)

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Hands On Visual C++ 6 for Web Development
by Don Doherty, et al. Paperback (October 1998)

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Mastering Visual C++ 6
by Michael J. Young. Mass Market Paperback

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Mastering Windows 2000 Programming With Visual C++ (Mastering)
by Ben Ezzell. Paperback (March 2000)

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McSd Visual C++ 6 Desktop Exam Cram (Exam Cram)
by James M. Lacey, Jim M. Mischel. Paperback (January 29, 2000)

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McSd Visual C++ 6 Distributed : Exam Cram : Exam 70-015
by James M. Lacey. Paperback (December 21, 1999)

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MFC Programming With Visual C++ 6 Unleashed (Unleashed)
by David White, et al. Paperback (June 17, 1999)

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Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 Deluxe Learning Edition (Microsoft Professional Editions)
Paperback (April 1999)

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Windows API

Programming Windows, The Definitive Guide to the Win32 API
by Charles Petzold
Amazon price: $47.99
Hardcover - 1479 pages 5th Bk&Cd Rom edition (December 1998)
Microsoft Press; ISBN: 157231995X ; Dimensions (in inches): 2.83 x 9.58 x 7.68 Sales Rank: 1,066
Popular in: Kokomo, IN (#8) , Jordan (#11) . See more
Avg. Customer Review: ****+
Number of Reviews: 32

Reviewer: leaderl (see more about me) from Arcadia, CA USA
This is an awesome book. It covers a lot of what used to be API programming. It gives a little more understanding to how to program Windows. In fact, I had to read this book first before I was able to understand MFC. In addition, it made me want to download the Platform SDK to try out more stuff, even though it wasn't covered in the book.

Anyway, a couple words of warnings. First, all of the coding in this book is in C, which doesn't give much for Object Oriented Programming. Second, there are a lot of code compared to MFC. So, don't expect to do some small things in a couple of lines. Lastly, you must at least have an interest into learning this because I can see that a person not interested in this can get bored really fast.

Overall, it's a good book.

Advanced Windows (3rd Ed)
by Jeffrey Richter
Amazon price: $39.99
Paperback - 950 pages 3rd Bk&cdr edition (February 1997)
Microsoft Press; ISBN: 1572315482 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.86 x 9.14 x 7.42 Sales Rank: 7,074
Popular in: Israel (#6)
Avg. Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Number of Reviews: 43

5 out of 5 stars Two essential books: Petzold's and this book., September 23, 1999
Reviewer: Mike Gleason (see more about me) from Omaha, Nebraska, USA

For UNIX, you buy W. Richard Stevens' Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment and UNIX Network Programming -- for Win32 you buy Programming Windows by Charles Petzold and this book. Petzold gets you started, Richter lets you pursue the good stuff.

Although this is easily a 5 star book, it is not without room for improvement. For the 4th edition, Mr. Richter, I'd like to see Anonymous and Named Pipes covered, as well as Mailslots, and some introductory coverage of Winsock (Winsock could be covered in a separate book.)

It's a bit surprising that those topics aren't covered, since just about every advanced topic I was looking for was covered in excellent detail.

To be in the same class as Stevens' books, I'd like to see some performance considerations included. For example, how much more expensive is a Mutex over Critical Sections and Events? Ralph Davis' book, Win32 Network Programming, covers this a little better, and includes quite a bit of discussion on advanced Win32 topics besides the networking APIs.

And lastly, a hard-bound edition would be nice.

5 out of 5 stars Great book on the Win32 API., March 24, 1999
Reviewer: A reader from San Francisco, California

Before reading this book I had a good grasp of C++ but didn't know much of the Win32 API except some of the function names I was really interested in.

After sitting down for 2 - 3 weeks with the MSDN Library, Visual C++ and Advanced Windows I now have a firm grasp of most concepts.

This book does not go into GUI development at all. I would recommend Programming Windows Fifth Edition for this. Since most of the code I write is for the backend (DLLs, Databases) my prefered GUI is always a web application so this was very desirable for me.

If you want MFC you should probably get the Microsoft Mastering series title.

If you want GUI get Programming Windows Fifth Edition.

If you want hard core, Win32... GET THIS BOOK!

**** Visual C++ 6 Programming Blue Book
by Bill McCarty, Stephen D. Gilbert
Amazon Price: $31.99

Paperback - 653 pages Bk&Cd Rom edition (October 1998)
The Coriolis Group; ISBN: 1576103242 ; Dimensions (in inches): 2.03 x 9.24 x 7.41 Sales Rank: 10,578

Avg. Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Number of Reviews: 21
Table of contents


Programming Windows With MFC
by Jeff Prosise
Hardcover - 1376 pages 2nd edition (May 13, 1999)
Microsoft Press; ISBN: 1572316950 ; Dimensions (in inches): 2.50 x 9.65 x 7.69 Sales Rank: 2,771
Avg. Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
Number of Reviews: 33

5 out of 5 stars good book, but not necessarily for newbies, September 22, 1999
Reviewer: A reader from Toronto, Canada

If I were a practising MFC programmer at the junior or intermediate level, I'd definitely want to have this book as a reference. It is one of the most complete MFC books around, and I like the author's approach of starting off with MFC basics and wrapper classes before moving onto application framework stuff and wizards. This is one of the few books that tells you what's behind some of those macros like DECLARE_DYNCREATE and tells you where to look for it in the source code of MFC itself.

However, if you are new to Visual C++ or have never heard of MFC, this is not the book I would recommend. I would suggest picking up Ivor Horton's Beginning Visual C++ 6 instead. Real beginners need a book that tells them how to use the IDE, debug programs, and use the wizards. So what if after reading it, all that wizard generated code becomes a blur to you. That's what Prosise and other more advanced books are for.

I'm an experienced C++ developer and I had read two MFC books (Beginning Visual C++ 6, MFC Programming by Alan Feuer) and Petzold 5th ed before reading Prosise and I still found it a little difficult reading, mostly because it starts off kind of slow (as someone else mentioned too). The chapter I found most difficult was the one on OLE clipboard/drag & drop.

I really recommend reading Petzold 5th ed before reading this or any other intermediate/advanced MFC book. Petzold is more of a beginner's book for Win32 SDK-style GUI programming.

3 out of 5 stars Comprehensive but Overrated, May 26, 2000
Reviewer: A reader from USA

This book covers MFC in great detail. That can be a plus or a minus, depending on how you look at it. If you're a beginner, I would not recommend this book. Interestingly enough, in the book's introduction, the author writes: "[This book] was written with two kinds of people in mind: (1) Windows API programmers who want to learn MFC; (2) Programmers who have never before programmed Windows." I strongly disagree with (2). If you want to spend hours and hours reading this book at a snail's space, and then going back and continually reviewing what you read, then I guess it's possible for you as a beginner to learn MFC from this book. For the majority of beginners, however, starting out with this book would not be the best way to learn MFC. (Of course, the author's job is to sell copies of his book, so why wouldn't he claim that it's for beginners too?)

The best part about this book is its comprehensiveness. So, if you're looking for a good reference, this book definitely gets a thumbs-up. But if you want clear discussions of fundamental MFC concepts, this book falls short. When you read this book, in many ways you can't see the forest for all the trees. That is, Prosise does a rather poor job of separating key, high-level concepts from more advanced, low-level details. The result is a book that is very dense and not so readable.

Even when he isn't getting bogged down in details, Prosise doesn't always present topics effectively. At some places his discussions are pretty good, but at others they aren't so clear. Frankly, although Prosise is a brilliant programmer, I don't think he's that gifted as a teacher. He no doubt understands the material himself, but he isn't nearly as skilled at presenting it to someone with little exposure to it.

If you're an intermediate MFC programmer--or, even better, an advanced one--this book can be a valuable resource. But if you're trying to navigate the waters of MFC/COM for the first time, try another book--and come back to this one after you've already learned the ropes.

5 out of 5 stars For the Windows programmer, it's *the* MFC book., October 19, 1999
Reviewer: Ferghil O'Rourke ( from Dublin, Ireland

Just what I was looking for. Explains the MFC concepts from the ground up in an authoritative and approachable way. The examples are perfectly pitched and bring you step-for-step through the architecture of an MFC application. What I particularly liked was how, as I was going through the examples, the book seemed to anticipate my problems and questions. You get the impression that Prosise is a Windows programmer who had to go through the process you're now going through - and he's tripped all the wires.

It's not a book for programmers unfamiliar with C++, and some knowledge of how Win32 GUI programs are constructed is an advantage. However, if you're a current Windows programmer who needs to pick up MFC - it's *THE* book.

(One small gripe - I would have liked more on how MFC is used with the various UDA technologies. The CRowset class for example.)

CORE Visual C++ 6
by Lars Klander. Paperback (November 19, 1999)

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4 out of 5 stars OK Mfc book, May 16, 2000
Reviewer: A reader from Cudahy, Wisconsin

I was looking for a book on Visual C++ 6. I have plenty on MFC. This book covers MFC ok (Prosise' "Programming Windows with MFC" is still the best, imho). The first chapter is MS overview (advertising) of Visual Studio. The second states the obvious about the debugger. Chapter 19 covers scripting for the IDE. All the rest is MFC. The index (10 pages as compared to 27 in Prosise) includes very few classes or member functions limiting its usefulness as a reference. The author does have some useful information on Win98 and MFC scattered about, though. I suggest this book as a survey to those new to windows programming with mfc. There is little said about Visual C++ itself.

Intermediate MFC
by Vic Broquard, Victor E. Broquard. Paperback (January 1998)

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Introduction to MFC Programming with Visual C++
by Richard M. Jones. Paperback (December 22, 1999)

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