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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Windows NT Advanced Programming
Author:
Raj Rajagopal&Subodh P Monica
ISBN:
0 07 882 357 9
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill
Pages:
870pp+CD
Price:
£34-99
Reviewer:
Francis Glassborow
Subject:
MS Windows
Appeared in:
10-2
Many years ago as a student I sub-edited the translation of a Russian book whose English title was'Transient Phenomena in Electromechanical Transmission Systems.'It was about the problems that manifest in large-scale electrical power systems such as the National Grid. As I did my work I wondered how many people in the World would ever read the book. Indeed it is a mystery to me how any publisher could expect to make money publishing the Russian original.

Windows NT Advanced Programmingreminded me of this because the book is very specific to Windows NT. If you need to work on code that will run on Windows 95 this book will not help. So we have narrowed the target readership down to those who are working on specifically Windows NT applications.

Now throw in the advanced qualification. You need to be both a competent C++ programmer and one familiar with the basics of Windows programming. That further narrows the field. Next you must aspire to mastery though you have not yet achieved it.

One problem that I have with Windows programming is the style that Microsoft have perpetrated with the result that it is emulated by programmers who either assume that it must be good code or who do not have time to swim against the current by writing superior code.

I know that those who regularly write Windows code will leap to its defence but there really is little need for the opaque nature of most of it. The result is that it is very difficult for even skilled programmers to inject modern coding techniques into their code.

Let me give one example from this book. When I see the value returned by a use of new captured by a raw pointer I expect to be able to find the corresponding use of delete. When the use of new is in main() for a console program I think I am entitled to see a delete. Sure, Windows NT will collect the resources back at the end of the program but that is not the point. I conclude that you have to be a superb programmer to so abuse your code successfully. In the long run it might be much quicker to do it properly. Perhaps the poor productivity of software producers is because they never have the time to work properly.

If you are already an acolyte in the priesthood of Windows programming and aspire to promotion then this book could help.