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Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to the Win32 API
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Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to the Win32 API
$47.99 [Print]


Book Cover
The classic guide to Win32 API programming from VB6


I decided to write that book after seeing Visual Basic 1.0. Here at last was a language that allowed ordinary human beings to write Windows programs-a task that had been a complex and frustrating art until then. Visual Basic encapsulated the power of Windows in an easy-to-use language. At the same time, it still allowed programmers to access the power of Windows using API and DLL calls.

But I found that many Visual Basic programmers could not take full advantage of the power of Windows. The problem was that all of the documentation on Windows was written for C and C++ programmers-there was nothing available to help Visual Basic programmers take advantage of the power that was now available to them. At that time in my life, I was ready to leave the job that I held (well, more than ready, actually-but that's another story), and had decided to create a company to develop add-on products for Visual Basic. But I didn't want to do ordinary add-on products-I wanted to create products that would let Visual Basic programmers take advantage of all of the capabilities of Windows-to blow away the limitations of the language itself and to educate programmers about the possibilities that exist. So, in addition to founding Desaware to handle software products, I approached Cindy Hudson, who at the time was the publisher at Ziff-Davis Press, and proposed that I write a book about the Windows API purely from the perspective of the Visual Basic programmer. The result was the original Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to the Windows API.

To say that I was surprised by the response is an understatement. The amount of encouragement and support that I have received from readers still astonishes me.

In mid-1995, when it became clear that a 32-bit version of Visual Basic was under development, I faced a dilemma and a challenge. Desaware's customers expected (correctly) that we upgrade our controls to the new OLE control model as quickly as possible. To lead in that task and simultaneously run a company would be a full-time job. To write a 32-bit API book would be another full-time job. The logical answer, to tell the truth, would be not to do the book-even if it is a bestseller, it is unlikely to ever pay back the investment in time and money. A 32-bit API book would, by necessity, be a nearly complete rewrite of the original.

But sometimes logic isn't everything. The problem of providing a Visual Basic specific reference for Win32 still existed, and a lot of people were looking to me to follow through. If I hadn't received all of those kind messages from readers on the first book, it would have been easy to walk away from the task, but that was not the case. So I said goodbye to weekends, vacations, holidays, and sleep for the last eight months, and the results are now available. 

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