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I'm learning OpenGL with C and that makes me include the windows.h file in my project. I'd like to look at some more specific windows functions and I wonder if you can cite some good sources for learning the basics of Win32 and Win64 programming in C (or C++).

I use MS Visual C++ and I prefer to stick with C even though much of the Windows API seems to be C++. I'd like my program to be portable and using some platform-indepedent graphics library like OpenGL I could make my program portable with some slight changes for window management. Could you direct me with some pointers to books or www links where I can find more info? I've already studied the OpenGL red book and the C programming language, what I'm looking for is the platform-dependent stuff and how to handle that since I run both Linux and Windows where I find the development environment Visual Studio is pretty good but the debugger gdb is not available on windows so it's a trade off which environment i'll choose in the end - Linux with gcc or Windows with MSVC.

Here is the program that draws a graphics primitive with some use of windows.h This program is also runnable on Linux without changing the code that actually draws the graphics primitive:

#include <windows.h>
#include <gl/gl.h>

LRESULT CALLBACK WindowProc(HWND, UINT, WPARAM, LPARAM);
void EnableOpenGL(HWND hwnd, HDC*, HGLRC*);
void DisableOpenGL(HWND, HDC, HGLRC);


int WINAPI WinMain(HINSTANCE hInstance,
                   HINSTANCE hPrevInstance,
                   LPSTR lpCmdLine,
                   int nCmdShow)
{
    WNDCLASSEX wcex;
    HWND hwnd;
    HDC hDC;
    HGLRC hRC;
    MSG msg;
    BOOL bQuit = FALSE;
    float theta = 0.0f;

    /* register window class */
    wcex.cbSize = sizeof(WNDCLASSEX);
    wcex.style = CS_OWNDC;
    wcex.lpfnWndProc = WindowProc;
    wcex.cbClsExtra = 0;
    wcex.cbWndExtra = 0;
    wcex.hInstance = hInstance;
    wcex.hIcon = LoadIcon(NULL, IDI_APPLICATION);
    wcex.hCursor = LoadCursor(NULL, IDC_ARROW);
    wcex.hbrBackground = (HBRUSH)GetStockObject(BLACK_BRUSH);
    wcex.lpszMenuName = NULL;
    wcex.lpszClassName = "GLSample";
    wcex.hIconSm = LoadIcon(NULL, IDI_APPLICATION);;


    if (!RegisterClassEx(&wcex))
        return 0;

    /* create main window */
    hwnd = CreateWindowEx(0,
                          "GLSample",
                          "OpenGL Sample",
                          WS_OVERLAPPEDWINDOW,
                          CW_USEDEFAULT,
                          CW_USEDEFAULT,
                          256,
                          256,
                          NULL,
                          NULL,
                          hInstance,
                          NULL);

    ShowWindow(hwnd, nCmdShow);

    /* enable OpenGL for the window */
    EnableOpenGL(hwnd, &hDC, &hRC);

    /* program main loop */
    while (!bQuit)
    {
        /* check for messages */
        if (PeekMessage(&msg, NULL, 0, 0, PM_REMOVE))
        {
            /* handle or dispatch messages */
            if (msg.message == WM_QUIT)
            {
                bQuit = TRUE;
            }
            else
            {
                TranslateMessage(&msg);
                DispatchMessage(&msg);
            }
        }
        else
        {
            /* OpenGL animation code goes here */

            glClearColor(0.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f);
            glClear(GL_COLOR_BUFFER_BIT);

            glPushMatrix();
            glRotatef(theta, 0.0f, 0.0f, 1.0f);

            glBegin(GL_TRIANGLES);

                glColor3f(1.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f);   glVertex2f(0.0f,   1.0f);
                glColor3f(0.0f, 1.0f, 0.0f);   glVertex2f(0.87f,  -0.5f);
                glColor3f(0.0f, 0.0f, 1.0f);   glVertex2f(-0.87f, -0.5f);

            glEnd();

            glPopMatrix();

            SwapBuffers(hDC);

            theta += 1.0f;
            Sleep (1);
        }
    }

    /* shutdown OpenGL */
    DisableOpenGL(hwnd, hDC, hRC);

    /* destroy the window explicitly */
    DestroyWindow(hwnd);

    return msg.wParam;
}

LRESULT CALLBACK WindowProc(HWND hwnd, UINT uMsg, WPARAM wParam, LPARAM lParam)
{
    switch (uMsg)
    {
        case WM_CLOSE:
            PostQuitMessage(0);
        break;

        case WM_DESTROY:
            return 0;

        case WM_KEYDOWN:
        {
            switch (wParam)
            {
                case VK_ESCAPE:
                    PostQuitMessage(0);
                break;
            }
        }
        break;

        default:
            return DefWindowProc(hwnd, uMsg, wParam, lParam);
    }

    return 0;
}

void EnableOpenGL(HWND hwnd, HDC* hDC, HGLRC* hRC)
{
    PIXELFORMATDESCRIPTOR pfd;

    int iFormat;

    /* get the device context (DC) */
    *hDC = GetDC(hwnd);

    /* set the pixel format for the DC */
    ZeroMemory(&pfd, sizeof(pfd));

    pfd.nSize = sizeof(pfd);
    pfd.nVersion = 1;
    pfd.dwFlags = PFD_DRAW_TO_WINDOW |
                  PFD_SUPPORT_OPENGL | PFD_DOUBLEBUFFER;
    pfd.iPixelType = PFD_TYPE_RGBA;
    pfd.cColorBits = 24;
    pfd.cDepthBits = 16;
    pfd.iLayerType = PFD_MAIN_PLANE;

    iFormat = ChoosePixelFormat(*hDC, &pfd);

    SetPixelFormat(*hDC, iFormat, &pfd);

    /* create and enable the render context (RC) */
    *hRC = wglCreateContext(*hDC);

    wglMakeCurrent(*hDC, *hRC);
}

void DisableOpenGL (HWND hwnd, HDC hDC, HGLRC hRC)
{
    wglMakeCurrent(NULL, NULL);
    wglDeleteContext(hRC);
    ReleaseDC(hwnd, hDC);
}
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Actually, most of the Windows API is C. –  Joe Jun 4 '12 at 20:33
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closed as off-topic by MichaelT, gnat, GlenH7, Bart van Ingen Schenau, Dynamic Jan 28 at 21:24

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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The book to buy for learning the basics of the WinApi would be Charles Petzold's Programming Windows http://www.amazon.com/Programming-Windows%C2%AE-Edition-Microsoft-Series/dp/157231995X

He is supposed to have the 6th edition sometime this year. I believe the new edition will cover C# as well as C/C++.

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1  
Be careful though, the sixth edition is (exclusively) about WinRT and C# and does not cover Win32 (except WiNRT) and C at all. –  Andrew J. Brehm Jul 20 '12 at 7:50
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