Win32 Programming, by Brent E. Rector and John M. Newcomer is a massive, 1,500-page guide to Win32 C programming, something of a lost art these days. Although even the authors admit they use C++ and MFC in their own work, this text, as a one volume document of the powerful Win32 API programming, is truly comprehensive and can replace any number of texts on a programmer's bookshelf. Win32 Programming examines the basics of programming in Windows: from a minimal skeleton program to aspects of the Win32 API, from graphics, menus, user interface components (including the Windows 95 common controls) to more advanced topics like memory management, multithreaded programming, and synchronization objects. (These last topics are useful in that system programmers--or those who write device drivers--may need access to the C API directly.) In addition to presenting reference material (including all the API calls themselves), the authors explain the ideas of how to program in a clearly written style. Though some of the material feels dated (from 16-bit Windows 3.x programming), by and large, the authors do a good job of updating this to Windows 95 and Windows NT. Sections and tips that apply only to one API or operating system are clearly marked. The CD-ROM also includes over 140,000 lines of source code to experiment with, truly a historical treasure trove for the Win32 C programmer. Developers who need to use C calls, or prefer to have printed documentation instead of online help in their compiler, should consider making space on the bookshelf for this enormous title.
This book covers all the material necessary to understand and write 32-bit Windows application targeted for both Windows 95 and Window NT 3.51. Unlike other books on the topic, it is a strictly 32-bit book, covering both operating system aspects and user interface topics, including input and output.