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'[EE] Getting started with Windows programming'
2005\11\07@120402 by Mike Hord

picon face
So, a few months ago (1 year at least, more like), someone posted
a link to a Microsoft promotion that yielded a free copy of VB Studio
.net.   I did my piece for it, got the software, and now I don't know
what to do with it.

I'm wondering if someone can point me in a good direction to start
learning how to write some code and make some apps.  I'd like to
figure out how to interface with the Winamp 2 API (apparently,
Winamp 2 API-compatible plugins take the form of a .dll).

I'm basically at the "hello, world" programming stage now.  I
understand how functions work, and basic programming
structure, but basically, once I leave the simple command-line
world, I'm lost.

Books, websites?  Anything?

Mike H.

2005\11\07@215123 by John Ferrell

face picon face
There is a good chance you know more than I about the subject, but I will
share my efforts anyway.
msdn.microsoft.com/vbasic/atthemovies/download/
is a page that has some good tutorial stuff. If you are an accomplished VB
programmer, you may find it too basic.

If you search through the VB Studio.net help in the program it will provide
you with more leads & links.

There are Microsoft Newsgroups as well.

I would like to know more about Active X applications but finding the time
sure is hard. To me, the line between VB and VB.net is still pretty blurry.

Too many toys, too little time...

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2005\11\07@232400 by kravnus wolf

picon face
the best resource to learn WINAPI 32 is from
the author

charles petzold
He wrote the book on programming WinAPI32.
Programming Windows, Fifth Edition

John

> {Original Message removed}

2005\11\08@052002 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Mike Hord wrote:

> I'm wondering if someone can point me in a good direction to start
> learning how to write some code and make some apps.  I'd like to figure
> out how to interface with the Winamp 2 API (apparently, Winamp 2
> API-compatible plugins take the form of a .dll).

Sorry, no pointers to good tutorials. But I'm sure there are many out
there, and just go for it. It's not difficult, in principle, and you can't
break easily things :) Don't get too fixated on Winamp right now; just
follow a tutorial that shows the simple things, how to make buttons and
text fields and combo boxes work, and how to integrate with other APIs on
the computer. Then you take that and start messing with Winamp.


kravnus wolf wrote:

> the best resource to learn WINAPI 32 is from the author charles petzold.
> He wrote the book on programming WinAPI32. Programming Windows, Fifth
> Edition

That's a good book, /the/ book, if you want to dig deep into the Win32 API.
But it's not a quick way to do cool things with VB.NET; it's too many
layers below it. (Did you misread "Winamp 2 API" for "Win32 API"?)

Gerhard

2005\11\08@114756 by Don Taylor

flavicon
face

>> So, a few months ago (1 year at least, more like), someone posted a
>> link to a Microsoft promotion that yielded a free copy of VB Studio
>> .net.  I did my piece for it, got the software, and now I don't know
>> what to do with it.

If anyone is interested, Microsoft just changed the rules a bit,

http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=126606&SiteID=1

will let you download free copies of Visual Studio Express versions of
Visual Web Developer
Visual Basic
Visual C#
Visual C++
Visual J#
SQL Server
free anytime during the next year.  The Express versions have a different
set of limitations but some claim that for getting started they can be
perfectly useful.

>> I'm wondering if someone can point me in a good direction to start
>> learning how to write some code and make some apps.  I'd like to
>> figure out how to interface with the Winamp 2 API (apparently,
>> Winamp 2 API-compatible plugins take the form of a .dll).
>>
>> I'm basically at the "hello, world" programming stage now.  I
>> understand how functions work, and basic programming
>> structure, but basically, once I leave the simple command-line
>> world, I'm lost.

To get a little further than the hello world, but perhaps not quite
up to attacking the api directly, you can sometimes find used copies
of the manuals/tutorials included in "Deluxe Learning Edition VB.net."
Those were meant to teach a beginner how to start using this.

I wanted to craft up some little utilities to handle some of the
annoying manual aspects of Windows.  But every time I wanted to get
access to some part of the behavior of windows the I found the
documentation either didn't exist or I didn't know how to find it.

2005\11\08@121900 by William Chops Westfield
face picon face
On Nov 8, 2005, at 2:15 AM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> Don't get too fixated on Winamp right now; just
> follow a tutorial that shows the simple things, how to make buttons and
> text fields and combo boxes work, and how to integrate with other APIs
> on
> the computer. Then you take that and start messing with Winamp.

I dunno. I always find it very difficult to get into a new language
or programming environment without a particular application in mind.
Tutorials and introductory texts are just too "disconnected" from
the realities of putting together something that's actually useful.
I'd say you should keep your winamp app closely to mind while you
look at tutorials; for each feature covered in the tutorial, you can
think "how will this help me do my winamp thing", and (if you're like
me) you'll get a lot more out of it than reading it "context-less"

BillW

2005\11\08@150908 by Peter

picon face

On Mon, 7 Nov 2005, Mike Hord wrote:

> So, a few months ago (1 year at least, more like), someone posted
> a link to a Microsoft promotion that yielded a free copy of VB Studio
> .net.   I did my piece for it, got the software, and now I don't know
> what to do with it.
>
> I'm wondering if someone can point me in a good direction to start
> learning how to write some code and make some apps.  I'd like to
> figure out how to interface with the Winamp 2 API (apparently,
> Winamp 2 API-compatible plugins take the form of a .dll).
>
> I'm basically at the "hello, world" programming stage now.  I
> understand how functions work, and basic programming
> structure, but basically, once I leave the simple command-line
> world, I'm lost.
>
> Books, websites?  Anything?

1. Find an intro/book/tutorial about object oriented programming and
peruse it (it should be a language-neutral one, as often featured in a
CS course). All GUI systems are objects even if the underlying language
is not object oriented. The best way to understand a GUI is to look at
it as an object-set with a message passing interface towards and from
your application.

2. Study state machines and concurrent state machines, as in resource
contention and races. Again CS course material. The GUI objects are
often not locked against each other and compete for access to resources
(like your variables). If you do not consider this then bad things will
happen rather soon.

3. Obtain a good text on user interface design standards. This will help
you to write applications that have the 'look and feel' users expect.

4. Ignore any book that says it will teach you anything in under a
month.

5. Work as many examples from the web as you can to get the 'feel'.
There are hundreds of VB programs which can be downloaded with source.

hope this helps,

Peter

PS: Beware that what you get on the web is worth what you paid for it
in most cases (many .org and .edu hosted resources are excepted from
this rule).

2005\11\08@162534 by Peter

picon face

I was looking for the relevant standard and I found a lot more than
that: A great site that links to most usability/ui standards available:

http://www.otal.umd.edu/guse/standards.html

Peter

2005\11\08@164423 by Peter

picon face

Well worth reading (about user interfaces):

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/uibook/fog0000000249.html

Peter

2005\11\08@202422 by kravnus wolf

picon face
Hmm. I misread......


John

{Quote hidden}

> --

2005\11\09@052246 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William ChopsWestfield wrote:

>> Don't get too fixated on Winamp right now; just follow a tutorial that
>> shows the simple things, how to make buttons and text fields and combo
>> boxes work, and how to integrate with other APIs on the computer. Then
>> you take that and start messing with Winamp.
>
> I dunno. I always find it very difficult to get into a new language or
> programming environment without a particular application in mind.

Yes, I agree. But that seems to work only well when some basic structural
concepts are already somewhat familiar. Depends on the degree of
pre-knowledge and the quality of the tutorial, I suppose.

Gerhard

2005\11\09@052802 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Don Taylor wrote:

> I wanted to craft up some little utilities to handle some of the annoying
> manual aspects of Windows.  But every time I wanted to get access to
> some part of the behavior of windows the I found the documentation
> either didn't exist or I didn't know how to find it.

You can find lots about system administration scripts in JScript and
VBScript on Microsoft's site, including many examples. Look for Windows
Scripting Host (WSH).

Gerhard

2005\11\10@223343 by Mike Singer

picon face
Mike Hord  wrote:
> So, a few months ago (1 year at least, more like), someone posted
> a link to a Microsoft promotion that yielded a free copy of VB Studio
> .net.   I did my piece for it, got the software, and now I don't know
> what to do with it.
> I'm wondering if someone can point me in a good direction to start
> learning how to write some code and make some apps.  I'd like to
> figure out how to interface with the Winamp 2 API (apparently,
> Winamp 2 API-compatible plugins take the form of a .dll).
> I'm basically at the "hello, world" programming stage now.  I
> understand how functions work, and basic programming
> structure, but basically, once I leave the simple command-line
> world, I'm lost.
> Books, websites?  Anything?

Mike,
When giving a whirl to some tool from some vendor, one would probably
be better off starting to explorer what the vendor offers along with
the tool.  101 VB.NET examples would be a good choice to start with, I
think. And MSDN is a great doc resource to understand the examples.

Regards,
msinger

2005\11\11@173758 by Mike Hord

picon face
Thanks, everyone, for your help.

It turns out that the free "Visual Studio Express"
programs are
A.  much simpler than the copy of VisualStudio 2003 I was
using and
B.  filled with very useful examples of how to do stuff, from
the PoV of someone who knows the mechanics of C++
(like me) but not how to get it to play nice with Windows
and other programs (like me).

Warning:  If you do decide to download one of these IDEs
to work with, make sure you grab the Platform SDK, too.
Without it, usefulness is somewhat limited.

Mike H.

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