Moving on to Windows Programming

Before reading this week’s entry. Let me warn you that this will be a slightly technical entry to my journal.

This week marks the start of our technical training in MS Visual C++ using Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC). Even back in college, I’ve already heard about MFC but I never really got to use it in my projects. Even for our thesis, we used MS Visual C++ but we never used MFC mostly because nobody in our group knows how to use it.

We had to settle with using good old C using the Visual C++ Integrated Development Environment (IDE) with some codes using Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) for the User Interface (UI). Using the SDK was extremely difficult because we really had to start from scratch. We had to learn it the hard way… by ourselves. It’s a good thing Bill Gates has equipped Visual C++ with all the tools that we need especially Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN), a library of all the functions and features of the programming language.

Our training on MFC started with the usual “Hello, World!” program. It was quite simple especially with the help of MFC Application Wizard. Then and there, I know that I am going to like this MFC thingie. It actually made me wonder why we didn’t explore using MFC for our thesis. It could have been so much easier. Then again, our thesis is over so I don’t have to worry about *that* anymore.

As days pass by, newer and better features of MFC were introduced and boy, I tell you… it just keeps getting better. This is really Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) in action. Back in our thesis, we had such a hard time managing bitmaps but with the introduction of the CBitmap class, whew! It is so much easier. The best thing about it is that if we are not satisfied with the features of an MFC class, we can easily derive a new class from it and make it better. Better yet, the Internet is full of these class extensions, which are readily downloadable and usable. I’m really going to love this MFC thingy.

OOP is no doubt a big step towards realizing a computer representation of the real world. We, humans have prospered so much primarily because we are very much capable of inheritance. Newer generations derive from the “classes” created by older generations and make them better. The Philips advertisement couldn’t have said it better… “It just keeps getting better. Getting better all the time.”

With OOP, programming in Windows just keeps getting better.

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