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The Windows API: Learn It - Live It

, 22 May 2010
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Don't drink the kool-aid. You still need to know how to use the Windows API in .Net apps.
I've noticed something since I started writing DotNet code. It seems that people aren't being taught or are simply ignorant of the Windows API, and don't know to think that far outside the box when they need to do something that more experienced programmers (people that started programming before 2001) are more ready/able to fall back to.
 
One of my favorite sites is pInvoke.net[^]. It contains invaluable information regarding the use of the Windows API via the System.Runtime.InteropServices namespace, and it contains not only the correct method prototypes, but examples for using most of the API calls.
 
Using the Windows API is an essential part of the development process regardless of what Microsoft tries to tell you.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

John Simmons / outlaw programmer
Software Developer (Senior)
United States United States
I've been paid as a programmer since 1982 with experience in Pascal, and C++ (both self-taught), and began writing Windows programs in 1991 using Visual C++ and MFC. In the 2nd half of 2007, I started writing C# Windows Forms and ASP.Net applications, and have since done WPF, Silverlight, WCF, web services, and Windows services.
 
My weakest point is that my moments of clarity are too brief to hold a meaningful conversation that requires more than 30 seconds to complete. Thankfully, grunts of agreement are all that is required to conduct most discussions without committing to any particular belief system.

Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionAn example perhaps Pinmemberlvcamvn27-Aug-12 7:49 
AnswerRe: An example perhaps PinmvpJohn Simmons / outlaw programmer27-Aug-12 23:13 
GeneralRe: An example perhaps Pinmemberlvcamvn28-Aug-12 9:35 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 MVC Pinmembereg_Anubhava22-Sep-11 18:56 
GeneralWhy bother to understand anything - you can always post your... PinmemberReiss22-Sep-11 4:35 
GeneralReason for my vote of 1 not really a tip PinmemberSledgeHammer0122-May-10 8:06 
QuestionAny nice reference of vb.net-formatted declarations for API functions/structures? Pinmembersupercat918-Jan-10 7:54 
AnswerRe: Any nice reference of vb.net-formatted declarations for API functions/structures? PinmemberJohn Simmons / outlaw programmer18-Jan-10 10:16 
Well, structures and parameters are listed in one of the header files athat comes with the latest windows sdk. For methods, you could use the DEPENDS utility (free utility) on all of the system DLLs. However, I've found the stuff on pInvoke.net to be fairly complete. They've never not had the API I was looking for. Some of the stuff is thin on content regarding examples, but the prototypes are pretty much all there.
 
.45 ACP - because shooting twice is just silly
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AnswerRe: Any nice reference of vb.net-formatted declarations for API functions/structures? PinmvpDaveyM6920-Jan-10 9:10 
AnswerRe: Any nice reference of vb.net-formatted declarations for API functions/structures? Pinmemberpranav9512-Jun-10 19:29 

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