I think I can , I think I can !!

I think I can , I think I can !!

Post by David Binet » Thu, 19 Mar 1998 04:00:00




Quote:>Hello,

>I have taken the big step in admiting maybe it's not such a bad idea
>learning win32 api... The thing is, that there is so much there..
>What the hell is an MFC,OWL etc etc. Is MFC and OWL just
>using the Win32 api. Can I just get by with using Win32
>My background is low-level os developemtn using 32bit asm,
>done sound programming,low-level vidcapture,serial,internet etc.

>Im sick to death of trying to keep up and make new drivers for
>all the new hardware thats coming out. I do believe writing it all
>yourself is the fastest and most secure way of doing it still. But
>I need to make some money. How long will it take me to
>be a good windows programmer...

Good that you asked.
You already have your own reasons for wanting to learn win
I had mine too.  so far it hasn't been worth it.  
And since everybody is entitled to my opinion i'll offer it:

It takes a LONG time because the docs are not fine.
The API is huge and convoluted and there is no elegant
structure or simplicity behind it.  The side effects of
the function calls are everywhere and not well documented,
or often it requires a suprising number of operations
to perform what you might think are relatively simple tasks.

the API changes *slightly* <grrrr> with every release of windows
functions obsoleted, unavailable, modified
ie from win32s (to win95, to win98 to 'CE' to NT) and within
releases in any product W95.OSR1 W95.OSR2 etc.

if you do it for a hobby OK,
I wouldn't base my future or livelyhood on it unless i was
really certain and dedicated and willing to spend the time
and $$$ to take many courses and purchase third party docs.

Remember you DONT get source for win, you only get some docus
and by the time you master it the new version of WIN is out
not so long afterwards.. new tools.. new courses.

the migration to NT is being encouraged
so who knows how long win98 will last.
and NT is going to NT5 now.

you can basically forget most of what you already know
the API precludes most of the hardware access in favour
of a  more abstracted and often much more complex interface
to provide some generality.

When it all gets too ugly they wrap a bunch of classes around it.
*it was MFC (The foundation classes) too bad for those
who learned MFC, WFC (Windows Foundation Classes) are replacing it.
WFC not to be confused with the private hobbyists version that
some dedicated fans developed and originated the name.
(I may be in error about WFC, but that is my understanding)

Take something nice, workable and standard, like sockets
and then turn it into something large, complex and proprietary like DCOM.
or ATL and you can forget about reusing your new knowledge on any other
platform.

Proprietary OS vendors will always be 'borrowing' and modifiying technology
developed in other OS platforms, that is their history.  And some
microsoftisms will creap into the more widely acceptable programming
community because there are intelligent and capable people in both camps.

The Core of the NT OS is really pretty decent if one could live
without all the add on 'technology'(sic) that is heaped onto it.

Before you decide that you are going to do it seriously, perhaps you
should really consider if you want to devote an enormous amount of your
life to promoting and being involved in microsoft.

It isn't like they are going to support YOU, rather ask their business
partners if they find the relationship comfortable.

Apparently Microsoft is not in the business to promote standards even
though they benefit from it,  consider Java for example.
they sell product.
that would include the development tools you would need.  And they WILL
change and become outdated relatively quickly to support their new
methodology and controls and user interfaces and product lines that they
need to reinvent regularily to keep their profits fluid.

If you don't plan on keeping up to date you might find your products
looking 'dated' within a year or two.  Even if the functionlity isnt't
markedly improved with the next release of their OS, the appearance
certainly will be, and your old app will be a leftover from last year.

If you write anything serious, you risk it being obsoleted by a similar
product being included 'free' in the next version of the 'OS'.

Your potential customers will often be that group of people who
are turned on be the glitz and flash of nifty icons, sliding scroll bars
window animations etc so you should be prepared to offer all of it in
your product, or somebody else, who cares for it at the expense of speed,
size, efficiency or elegance will provide it to 'your' customers.

It would seem that the platform will never be stable as long as their
is more money in being proprietary and changeable.

I'm sure you CAN do it
and you may even be very good at it.
if that is what you really want.

WIN32 is more lowlevel than the application frameworks
and the docus are more geared to the higher level things like MFC
but the WIN32 basis is definately cleaner, smaller, faster
and ultimately more in the genre that an assembly language programmer
would find tolerable rather than C++ AND the add on classes.

You will find the Windows audience and programming arena
EXTREMELY competitive and somewhat tight-fisted compared to
development environments of ther OS'es,  perhaps because of the
enormous investment in time and the steep learning curves involved.
That is not to say that free sourcecode is not available, there are
some respectable collections extant, the numbers are underwhelming though.

Microsoft has made enourmous contributions to computing AWARENESS
in this century even if it hasn't used its elevated status to advance
the state of the art for all technologists.  Their initial entry into the
marketplace was boosted by reasonable prices and was market driven.
Seemingly a reasonable underlying platform exists and then based on
marketing perceptions a rather hasty and ad-hoc layer of enhancements
are piled ontop of it without regard to the cost in processing time
or hardware demands.  of course the Processor manufacturers love it.
And selected others benefit also if they are 'in bed' and 'in line'
because it seems that some people/companys just get better insights
and participation if they will 'just go along' without question.

you might consider a future with Linux
I think the comradery and environment is much more human,
less manipulative, and more appreciative.
source and support is more readily found.
The cost of involvement is certainly tolerable.
and your contributions will spread across the world rather than
sitting unused, unheralded and unwanted on your personal PC

But keep programming and make your contributions
and dedicate your time and a big portion of your life to
the company of people who will appreciate it.

I wish you the best of luck.

--
http://www.veryComputer.com/

 
 
 

I think I can , I think I can !!

Post by Hyman Ros » Thu, 19 Mar 1998 04:00:00




>Take something nice, workable and standard, like sockets
>and then turn it into something large, complex and proprietary like DCOM.
>or ATL and you can forget about reusing your new knowledge on any other
>platform.

I have just started, in the past week, learning COM and ATL. I find the
concepts behind COM, and the implementation of ATL, to be quite elegant.
The designers have done a good job bringing the full force of modern C++
to bear on the job of writing components. Furthermore, the full source
code to ATL comes with the development system. Nothing about it is hidden
or proprietary. Microsoft is doing its best to make the promise of object
technology and components yield tangible benefits. Changing APIs is part
of this, because they allow themselves to improve and change without being
completely hobbled by backwards compatibility.

 
 
 

I think I can , I think I can !!

Post by Dark » Fri, 20 Mar 1998 04:00:00


Microsoft+Not being hobbled by backwards compatibility:
there's an oxymoron that applies to windows 95...

 
 
 

I think I can , I think I can !!

Post by Christopher Smit » Fri, 20 Mar 1998 04:00:00



Quote:>Microsoft+Not being hobbled by backwards compatibility:
>there's an oxymoron that applies to windows 95...

So use NT if 95's backwards compatibility bothers you that much.
 
 
 

I think I can , I think I can !!

Post by Dark » Fri, 20 Mar 1998 04:00:00





> >Microsoft+Not being hobbled by backwards compatibility:
> >there's an oxymoron that applies to windows 95...

> So use NT if 95's backwards compatibility bothers you that much.

Why bother when there's Linux =)
I was simply commenting on the fact about Microsoft+'not being hobbled
by backwards compatibility' being so close to eachother, especially when
the 'Most advertised' product they sell is 'hobbled by backwards
compatibility'.
 
 
 

I think I can , I think I can !!

Post by Mark Jackso » Sat, 21 Mar 1998 04:00:00




:>Microsoft+Not being hobbled by backwards compatibility:
:>there's an oxymoron that applies to windows 95...

: So use NT if 95's backwards compatibility bothers you that much.

Use Linux if having to change OS's every year or so (and paying for
it) is beginning to bother you that much...

 
 
 

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