Windows programming environments
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Windows Programming Environments. Jim Fawcett CSE775 – Distributed Objects Spring 2007. Windows Programming Environments. Win32 API:

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Windows Programming Environments

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Windows programming environments

Windows Programming Environments

Jim Fawcett

CSE775 – Distributed Objects

Spring 2007


Windows programming environments1

Windows Programming Environments

  • Win32 API:

    • virtually all of the programming functionality directly or indirectly used in any Windows program, e.g., I/O, windows, controls, threads, sockets and other IPC, memory management, device management

  • C++ Std Libraries:

    • Console I/O, file abstraction, math, STL containers …, memory allocation, …

  • Visual Studio Libraries and Facilities:

    • Dialog designers, thread abstraction, COM related wrappers – smartpointers, BSTRs, …

  • COM Libraries and Run-Time:

    • Support for component models, e.g., definition of interfaces, management of lifetime, image packaging in DLLS and EXEs, persistence, structured storage, RPC …

  • ATL Libs:

    • Wrappers around COM that simplify its programming model, wrappers for COM types and smart pointers

  • WTL:

    • Wrappers around Win32 windows and controls that provide a light-weight GUI framework

  • MFC:

    • Classes, macros, and data structures that support the development of GUI applications in a heavy weight framework

  • .Net Managed Environment:

    • New execution model, wrapping of most of the Win32 API, library facilities that cover most of the C/C++ library functionality in a manner consistent with its managed environment, WinForms - a medium weight GUI framework


Strengths of each environment

Strengths of Each Environment

  • Win32

    • Natively provides windows, controls, memory management, process management, threads, directory and file management, access to Registry.

  • C++

    • Widely supported and powerful object model, very well designed abstractions for console I/O, file management, containers, math.

  • Visual Studio Libraries

    • Smoothly integrates into all the Windows programming environments. Supports a COM-based programming model.

  • COM

    • Early and effective support for Component Engineering, allowing modifications to parts of large complex systems without rebuilding the entire system.

  • ATL

    • Efficiently and effectively hides a lot of COM’s complexity and weak encapsulation.

  • WTL

    • Very light weight and flexible wrapping of Windows many GUI facilities. Integrates well with ATL programming model.

  • MFC

    • Rapid development of complex user interfaces, provided that you want to use its models.

  • .Net Managed Environment

    • Elegant and well encapsulated wrapping of most of the Win32 API. Provides a very easy to use GUI framework, supports managed code.


What environments lack

What Environments Lack

  • Win32

    • No objects directly usable by applications

    • Byte and address oriented, no high-level types

  • C++

    • No threads, sockets, directory management, windows

  • Visual Studio Libraries

    • Just support for other programming environments

  • COM

    • Weak object model - no inheritance of implementation, very limited types, weak encapsulation

    • Weak networking, no windows

  • ATL

    • Weak windowing, no networking other than COM’s limited facilities.

  • WTL

    • Focuses exclusively on providing support for GUIs, not supported by Microsoft

  • MFC

    • Focuses mostly on providing support for GUIs with a ridgid architectural model

  • .Net Managed Environment

    • Requires run-time and libraries not found by default on Windows systems (that will change with Vista), uses a shallow reference object model, not ideal for some applications, e.g., scientific programming and memory intensive applications like medical imaging.


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