Charles Petzold on writing books, reading books, and exercising the internal UTM

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Programming Windows 6th Edition Preview Ebook Coming!

May 10, 2012
Roscoe, N.Y.

If all goes according to plan, in one week, on May 17, 2012, you will be able to purchase a preview ebook of Programming Windows, 6th edition, for just $10. For that one-time payment of $10, you will also get the second preview ebook a couple months from now, and the final ebook later this fall.

But this terrific offer will only be available for two weeks. After May 31st, the price goes up to $20, and if you insist on waiting even longer, the price keeps going up. Complete details are here on the Microsoft Press blog.

Sorry I can't give you a link to buy the book right now, but stay tuned.

This first preview ebook is based on the Consumer Preview release of Windows 8. The book is over 250 pages in length with 7 chapters that cover the basics of writing Metro style applications for Windows 8 using the Windows Runtime with C# and XAML We suspect that the final book will be about 3 times the length of this first preview.

Here are the chapters so far:

Chapter 1, Markup and Code, shows how to display simple text and bitmaps using XAML or code, and how to play movies and sound.

Chapter 2, XAML Syntax, goes more deeply into XAML property elements, gradient brushes, formatted text, XAML resources, styles, and data binding.

Chapter 3, Basic Event Handling, explores routed event handling, dealing with size and orientation changes, and using the Timer and CompositionTarget.Rendering for display updates and animation.

Chapter 4, Presentation with Panels, covers Border, StackPanel, ScrollViewer, Canvas, UserControl, and libraries, and features a program that displays the Windows Runtime class hierarchy starting at DependencyObject, and a complete illustrated ebook of Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Tom Kitten.

Chapter 5, Control Interaction, gets into the Grid, buttons, Slider, TextBox, and defining dependency properties. Sample programs include a color-scrolling app and a keypad app.

Chapter 6, WinRT and MVVM, demonstrates the WinRT features useful for implementing a model-view-viewmodel architecture, specifically the INotifyPropertyChanged interface, data binding, and the ICommand interface.

Chapter 7, Building an Application, features a Metro style version of XamlCruncher, an application that lets you interactively edit XAML files, see what they create, and save them to files. Along the way, this chapter explores the application bar, popup dialogs, retaining user settings in isolated storage, and doing file I/O with asynchronous operations.

The 7 chapters contain a total of 79 complete Metro style applications. All the source code will be downloadable when the book becomes available, and will also include all 79 projects converted into C++/CX.

We figure that when you spend $10 for a book, you should get your money's worth (and then some).


can't wait :)

— mohamed samir, Thu, 10 May 2012 16:43:58 -0400

Would this offer be available worldwide outside US?

— dotnetboy, Thu, 10 May 2012 20:11:40 -0400

The ebook is going to be sold through the O'Reilly site, so I'm assuming it doesn't matter where you are. — Charles

cool, i like you :)

Seok Hong, Thu, 10 May 2012 20:42:09 -0400

I live in Japan, and I've purchased dozens of ebooks from O'Reilly. Absolutely no problems whatsoever.

Ben, Fri, 11 May 2012 04:49:30 -0400

Hi Charles,

You might want to update your FAQ page, which currently states "There are no plans at this time for a 6th edition of Programming Windows."

And to be a stickler for accuracy, your page has a short bio of you at the bottom that states that your latest book is Code.

— Larry Smith, Fri, 11 May 2012 10:14:00 -0400

Way too busy writing the book to take care of stuff like this!

Thanks! The web site really needs a major overhaul, but I'm scheduling a bunch of changes for when the book goes live. — Charles

To quote the great Bart Scott, "Can't wait!"

— Brandon, Fri, 11 May 2012 11:34:27 -0400

Really excited to have a look Charles!

James Alexander, Mon, 14 May 2012 22:14:35 -0400

hello Mr. Petzold

im from middle east and i was able to purchase few of your books through but i cant find the book there and i get an eroor when i click the link in the msdn blog. i really dont know if you have information about availability of the book to international ppl like myself. i know it might not be your responsibility to take care about such details so if its not then pls forgive me.

thank you

— Usama eid, Tue, 15 May 2012 13:34:52 -0400

The preview ebook will only be downloadable from the O'Reilly site beginning May 17. I'll have further information then. — Charles

To learn how to write a book reader, we need to read your book. But in order to read your book, we need to write a book reader. The recursion was supposed to end here:

TODO: An EPUB Viewer for Windows 8

— Catch 22, Wed, 16 May 2012 03:42:13 -0400

To "Catch 22" (and Charles, if you haven't heard these before)

Two of my all-time favorite quotes:

1)Dictionary definition: Recursion, noun -- see Recursion

2)To understand recursion, first of all you have to understand recursion.

— Larry Smith, Wed, 16 May 2012 14:25:02 -0400

Charles, I am excited to hear about the new edition! I'll definitely be buying it.

What's your recommendation to those of us who still want to learn Win32 API even in 2012? I'd like to buy your 5th edition, but it's long out of print and most of the copies I find online have some damage or are very expensive.

Do you have good copies of your fifth edition? I'll happily pay a reasonable amount for it. Or, do you have a recommendation for a book that remains in print?

Philip White, Wed, 16 May 2012 17:04:06 -0400

The 5th edition of "Programming Windows" is still in print. It can be ordered from the O'Reilly site:

But I haven't done Win32 programming for about 10 years, so I'm probably not a good person to ask about books on the subject. — Charles

I am thrilled for this book. I can't wait! I have enjoyed several programming books that you have written! They are all very clear and concise and teach the material very well! Thank you for working on this great book for Windows 8! In the final book, do you plan to cover Javascript/HTML as well by any chance? I think that it would be a great way to make this book complete for sure! Thanks again! I will be buying this book tomorrow if it goes on sale as planned!

Darren Tebo, Wed, 16 May 2012 19:36:29 -0400

I think a focused book is better than a book that tries to be (as you say) "complete." There's no such thing as a "complete" book. A book can't be infinitely long because it has to be written in a finite period of time. If a book attempts to be all things to all people, it becomes too diffuse and consequently sacrifices depth for breadth.

This book will focus on writing Metro style apps using C# and XAML. We are going to try to convert the sample code into C++/CX, but you'll need to consult other books for going the HTML and JavaScript route. — Charles

Just bought the book, so I confirm that there is no problem to buy from Europe. ;)

It looks good. thank you for writing this.

-- s.

— SlavoF, Thu, 17 May 2012 04:13:02 -0400

Looks like this is the URL for the new book:

— Ken, Thu, 17 May 2012 09:33:50 -0400

Hi Charles,

Reading it now (I've been waiting for it with all the patience of a boiling teakettle).

LOL - I love that picture of you at the corner of 12th and B'way.

— Larry Smith, Thu, 17 May 2012 10:51:54 -0400

Thanks! (Nervously awaiting your errata list!) — Charles

Charles, I checked only Amazon and B&N, not O'Reilly, before concluding that it's out of print. Both Amazon and B&N offer it only electronically.

If I want the printed version, Amazon's catalog page for it lists it as "new" from just one Marketplace seller for a princely sum of $304. Looking through the list of used offers, I reach a price of $79.95 if I want a "like new" book without markings, bends, and with a CD.

If the printed version is still available, then I am very surprised that O'Reilly doesn't carry it through bookstores. (Even O'Reilly lists it as "the shipment... may be delayed," which could be a great understatement.)

Philip White, Thu, 17 May 2012 17:34:30 -0400

Sometimes the publisher runs out of copies, and then more must be printed. The inventory is depleted but the book is still in print because there is an intention to print some more.

I know when a book of mine goes out of print because the publisher has a contractual obligation to notify me, and they pay me the reserves on royalties the publisher retains in case bookstores return unsold books. — Charles

"they pay me the reserves on royalties the publisher retains in case bookstores return unsold books"

Well _that_ would never happen with Programming Windows. You probably got your full royalties 10 years ago and then forgot!

But your statement makes me wonder. Suppose O'Reilly makes 50,000 extra copies of your Ebook and doesn't sell them? Do they get to keep your royalties?

— Dieu et mon copyright, Thu, 17 May 2012 19:44:31 -0400

Extra copies of an ebook? Very funny. — Charles

I just bought PW6 and will be reading from the C++ perspective, so thank you for adding the C++ /CX samples for Chapter 1-7.

— AndrewDover, Fri, 18 May 2012 09:37:51 -0400

I can see the book but the ebook price is $50. Is this because I'm in the UK?

— SteveLydiatt, Mon, 21 May 2012 08:58:12 -0400

The computer glitch has been fixed. The price is $10 regardless where you are. — Charles

Thanks for writing this wonderful book! Just got it for the $10 price and I can't put the book down :D giving me something to do while I wait for the Consumer preview to download off of my 300 KB/s internet.

Russell, Thu, 31 May 2012 23:06:31 -0400

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