Bruce McKinney's Hardcore Visual Basic is a revised edition of his guide to advanced programming in VB. Updated for Visual Basic 5.0, this book is best at outlining some of the new language features in Visual Basic 5.0, especially its improved support for type libraries and object-oriented programming. The heart of this book is dedicated to ways of accessing the Win32 API from within Visual Basic, which is presented in expert detail with a library of add-on functions. Sample DLL's, with libraries of VB extensions are included. The author also presents ways in which Visual Basic does and does not conform to an object-oriented programming model. Sample ActiveX controls, which use classes and the new ActiveX capabilities of VB5, are also presented. The last section, with a mix of tips and tricks for extending Visual Basic code, is also rather hit-or-miss. So is the author's humor--sometimes verging on sarcasm--which some readers will sometimes find irritating. (Once an employee of Microsoft, McKinney bravely expresses his dissatisfaction with the direction that his former company has taken with VB5.) Though this book completely ignores VB5's new enterprise features, database and Internet support, which are surely some of its most appealing enhancements, Hardcore Visual Basic does have a lot to say about developing in one of the most popular RAD tools developers have today. It can definitely ease the transition into object-oriented programming for VB developers used to the older programming style.
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