For the majority of C++ programmers, the pace and style of David Chapman's Teach Yourself Visual C++ 6 in 21 Days will make a good deal of sense. The author covers all the essentials of basic Windows and Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) development, and then addresses several new features in Visual C++ 6, all while moving quickly enough for the busy, working programmer.
Chapman's first section introduces the basic Visual C++ 6 tools, like the AppWizard and ClassWizard, and discusses the essentials of building dialog-based applications using basic Windows controls such as static text, edit, button, and list box controls. Further chapters cover mouse and keyboard basics, timers, menus, and fonts. In short, the first week provides a traditional introduction to Windows and MFC programming without the frills.
The second set of tutorials delves into Graphical Device Interface (GDI) graphics programming, always a challenging topic for new MFC programmers. Then the author moves to using ActiveX controls inside your applications (a real strength of Visual C++, enhanced in the new release). The basics of toolbars, saving and restoring files to MFC applications, and an introduction to Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) programming round out this set of chapters.
The last set of exercises will give the MFC developer some new expertise. First, the author looks at the potential of ActiveX Data Objects (ADOs) for database development and how to build reusable libraries in both static and dynamic targets. Advanced material introduces the basics of networking and the TCP/IP protocol and discusses MFC support for working with the Web.
For readers with a little more time, handy appendices discuss additional topics such as printing, the MFC container and helper classes, and the basics of exception handling and debugging. Clearly, the constraints of the 21-day format have not prevented this author from successfully covering many essential topics in today's MFC programming with a good level of detail. --Richard Dragan
With Sams Teach Yourself Visual C++ 6, Professional Reference Edition, you will learn the essential principles for designing and developing Visual C++ applications. Using day-by-day tutorials, you will learn the best way to write more successful, professional-looking programs. Learn about programming topics including Windows development, timers, databases, multitasking, sound, animation, Internet, and more. Also includes: A reference to the most useful Microsoft Foundation Classes organized alphabetically, but including topic jump tables; A reference of all the properties and their default values for all of the standard and common controls; A reference to the C++ programming language; A reference to key IDE features of Visual C++