Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Visual C++ 6: The Complete Reference

This book opens with a tour of how to use the sixth version of Microsoft's compiler. The author surveys the compiler's features and tools (including a reference to every available menu option) and discusses the basics of installing it and getting it up and running.

Next the authors introduce the basics of the C and C++ programming languages. They present dozens of short, effective sample programs (for the command line) for many basic programming topics, such as using variables, classes, file, and console input/output (I/O). Wherever possible, the authors compare C and C++. Several chapters (such as the one on using macros and conditional compilation) provide invaluable material on "gotchas" that await would-be C++ programmers.

After laying down introductory material on using C with Windows, the authors move toward Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC). They show basic programming techniques, including how to use newly enhanced tools, such as AppWizard and ClassWizard, in Visual C++ 6. Following are some simple MFC samples and some useful material on building custom ActiveX controls and even Active Template Library (ATL) controls (which are easier to build with Visual C++ 6).

With its patient--and effective--presentation of C++ language fundamentals, Visual C++ 6: The Complete Reference is one of the best titles for programmers who are moving from C to C++ and Windows. --Rich Dragan

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