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Windows System Programming, 4th Edition

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Windows System Programming, 4th Edition


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  • The book's Web site (www.jmhartsoftware.com) contains downloadable Examples file with complete code and projects for all the book’s examples a number of exercise solutions, alternative implemeaitons, instructions, and performance evaluation tests.
  •  Website will contain book errata, along with additional examples, reader contributions, additional explanations and much more
  • Website will contain PowerPoint slides for professional training and college courses
  • Includes extensive new coverage of Win64, parallelism, multicore system performance, source code portability, .NET coexistence, security, benchmarking, and much more
  • Updated, streamlined code examples reflect today's most effective Windows programming techniques

  • The perfect practical complement to Mark Russinovich's Windows Internals



  • Copyright 2010
  • Dimensions: 7-3/8" x 9-1/4"
  • Edition: 4th
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-65774-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-65774-9

“If you’re writing a native Win32 program or just want to know what the OS is really doing underneath, you need John’s book. He covers the stuff that real systems programmers absolutely must know. Recommended.”

–Chris Sells, Microsoft Corporation

“This fourth edition does a great job of incorporating new features in the Vista, Windows 2008, and Windows 7 API, but also stays true to teaching the foundational elements of building applications that target the Windows OS.”

–Jason Beres, Product Management, Infragistics

The Definitive Guide to Windows API Programming, Fully Updated for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Vista

Windows System Programming, Fourth Edition, now contains extensive new coverage of 64-bit programming, parallelism, multicore systems, and many other crucial topics. Johnson Hart’s robust code examples have been updated and streamlined throughout. They have been debugged and tested in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, on single and multiprocessor systems, and under Windows 7, Vista, Server 2008, and Windows XP. To clarify program operation, sample programs are now illustrated with dozens of screenshots.

Hart systematically covers Windows externals at the API level, presenting practical coverage of all the services Windows programmers need, and emphasizing how Windows functions actually behave and interact in real-world applications. Hart begins with features used in single-process applications and gradually progresses to more sophisticated functions and multithreaded environments. Topics covered include file systems, memory management, exceptions, processes, threads, synchronization, interprocess communication, Windows services, and security.

New coverage in this edition includes

  • Leveraging parallelism and maximizing performance in multicore systems
  • Promoting source code portability and application interoperability across Windows, Linux, and UNIX
  • Using 64-bit address spaces and ensuring 64-bit/32-bit portability
  • Improving performance and scalability using threads, thread pools, and completion ports
  • Techniques to improve program reliability and performance in all systems
  • Windows performance-enhancing API features available starting with Windows Vista, such as slim reader/writer locks and condition variables

A companion Web site, jmhartsoftware.com, contains all sample code, Visual Studio projects, additional examples, errata, reader comments, and Windows commentary and discussion.


Related Article

Windows Parallelism, Fast File Searching, and Speculative Processing

Author's Site

Please visit the companion site at www.jmhartsoftware.com.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Windows System Programming: Process Management

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 6 and Index)

Table of Contents

Figures xvii

Tables xix

Programs xxi

Program Runs xxv

Preface xxvii

About the Author xxxvii

Chapter 1: Getting Started with Windows 1

Operating System Essentials 1

Windows Evolution 2

Windows Versions 3

The Windows Market Role 5

Windows, Standards, and Open Systems 6

Windows Principles 7

32-bit and 64-bit Source Code Portability 10

The Standard C Library: When to Use It for File Processing 10

What You Need to Use This Book 11

Example: A Simple Sequential File Copy 13

Summary 20

Exercises 22

Chapter 2: Using the Windows File System and Character I/O 25

The Windows File Systems 26

File Naming 27

Opening, Reading, Writing, and Closing Files 28

Interlude: Unicode and Generic Characters 34

Unicode Strategies 37

Example: Error Processing 38

Standard Devices 39

Example: Copying Multiple Files to Standard Output 41

Example: Simple File Encryption 43

File and Directory Management 46

Console I/O 51

Example: Printing and Prompting 53

Example: Printing the Current Directory 55

Summary 56

Exercises 57

Chapter 3: Advanced File and Directory Processing, and the Registry 59

The 64-Bit File System 59

File Pointers 60

Getting the File Size 64

Example: Random Record Updates 65

File Attributes and Directory Processing 70

Example: Listing File Attributes 75

Example: Setting File Times 78

File Processing Strategies 80

File Locking 81

The Registry 86

Registry Management 88

Example: Listing Registry Keys and Contents 92

Summary 96

Exercises 97

Chapter 4: Exception Handling 101

Exceptions and Their Handlers 101

Floating-Point Exceptions 108

Errors and Exceptions 110

Example: Treating Errors as Exceptions 112

Termination Handlers 113

Example: Using Termination Handlers to Improve Program Quality 117

Example: Using a Filter Function 120

Console Control Handlers 124

Example: A Console Control Handler 126

Vectored Exception Handling 128

Summary 129

Exercises 130

Chapter 5: Memory Management, Memory-Mapped Files, and DLLs 131

Windows Memory Management Architecture 132

Heaps 134

Managing Heap Memory 137

Example: Sorting Files with a Binary Search Tree 143

Memory-Mapped Files 149

Example: Sequential File Processing with Mapped Files 156

Example: Sorting a Memory-Mapped File 158

Example: Using Based Pointers 162

Dynamic Link Libraries 167

Example: Explicitly Linking a File Conversion Function 172

The DLL Entry Point 174

DLL Version Management 175

Summary 177

Exercises 178

Chapter 6: Process Management 181

Windows Processes and Threads 181

Process Creation 183

Process Identities 190

Duplicating Handles 191

Exiting and Terminating a Process 192

Waiting for a Process to Terminate 194

Environment Blocks and Strings 195

Example: Parallel Pattern Searching 197

Processes in a Multiprocessor Environment 201

Process Execution Times 202

Example: Process Execution Times 202

Generating Console Control Events 204

Example: Simple Job Management 205

Example: Using Job Objects 215

Summary 219

Exercises 220

Chapter 7: Threads and Scheduling 223

Thread Overview 223

Thread Basics 225

Thread Management 226

Using the C Library in Threads 231

Example: Multithreaded Pattern Searching 232

Performance Impact 235

The Boss/Worker and Other Threading Models 236

Example: Merge-Sort–Exploiting Multiple Processors 237

Introduction to Program Parallelism 244

Thread Local Storage 245

Process and Thread Priority and Scheduling 246

Thread States 249

Pitfalls and Common Mistakes 251

Timed Waits 252

Fibers 253

Summary 256

Exercises 256

Chapter 8: Thread Synchronization 259

The Need for Thread Synchronization 259

Thread Synchronization Objects 268


A CRITICAL_SECTION for Protecting Shared Variables 271

Example: A Simple Producer/Consumer System 273

Mutexes 279

Semaphores 284

Events 287

Example: A Producer/Consumer System 289

More Mutex and CRITICAL_SECTION Guidelines 294

More Interlocked Functions 296

Memory Management Performance Considerations 297

Summary 298

Exercises 298

Chapter 9: Locking, Performance, and NT6 Enhancements 301

Synchronization Performance Impact 302

A Model Program for Performance Experimentation 307

Tuning Multiprocessor Performance with CS Spin Counts 307

NT6 Slim Reader/Writer Locks 309

Thread Pools to Reduce Thread Contention 312

I/O Completion Ports 316

NT6 Thread Pools 316

Summary: Locking Performance 324

Parallelism Revisited 325

Processor Affinity 329

Performance Guidelines and Pitfalls 331

Summary 332

Exercises 333

Chapter 10: Advanced Thread Synchronization 335

The Condition Variable Model and Safety Properties 336

Using SignalObjectAndWait 342

Example: A Threshold Barrier Object 344

A Queue Object 348

Example: Using Queues in a Multistage Pipeline 352

Windows NT6 Condition Variables 362

Asynchronous Procedure Calls 366

Queuing Asynchronous Procedure Calls 367

Alertable Wait States 368

Safe Thread Cancellation 371

Pthreads for Application Portability 372

Thread Stacks and the Number of Threads 372

Hints for Designing, Debugging, and Testing 372

Beyond the Windows API 375

Summary 375

Exercises 376

Chapter 11: Interprocess Communication 379

Anonymous Pipes 380

Example: I/O Redirection Using an Anonymous Pipe 380

Named Pipes 384

Named Pipe Transaction Functions 390

Example: A Client/Server Command Line Processor 393

Comments on the Client/Server Command Line Processor 399

Mailslots 401

Pipe and Mailslot Creation, Connection, and Naming 405

Example: A Server That Clients Can Locate 406

Summary 408

Exercises 408

Chapter 12: Network Programming with Windows Sockets 411

Windows Sockets 412

Socket Server Functions 414

Socket Client Functions 419

Comparing Named Pipes and Sockets 421

Example: A Socket Message Receive Function 422

Example: A Socket-Based Client 423

Example: A Socket-Based Server with New Features 426

In-Process Servers 434

Line-Oriented Messages, DLL Entry Points, and TLS 436

Example: A Thread-Safe DLL for Socket Messages 437

Example: An Alternative Thread-Safe DLL Strategy 442

Datagrams 445

Berkeley Sockets versus Windows Sockets 447

Overlapped I/O with Windows Sockets 447

Windows Sockets Additional Features 448

Summary 448

Exercises 449

Chapter 13: Windows Services 453

Writing Windows Services–Overview 454

The main() Function 454

ServiceMain() Functions 455

The Service Control Handler 460

Event Logging 461

Example: A Service “Wrapper” 461

Managing Windows Services 467

Summary: Service Operation and Management 471

Example: A Service Control Shell 472

Sharing Kernel Objects with a Service 476

Notes on Debugging a Service 477

Summary 478

Exercises 478

Chapter 14: Asynchronous Input/Output and Completion Ports 481

Overview of Windows Asynchronous I/O 482

Overlapped I/O 483

Example: Synchronizing on a File Handle 487

Example: File Conversion with Overlapped I/O and Multiple Buffers 487

Extended I/O with Completion Routines 492

Example: File Conversion with Extended I/O 496

Asynchronous I/O with Threads 500

Waitable Timers 501

Example: Using a Waitable Timer 503

I/O Completion Ports 505

Example: A Server Using I/O Completion Ports 509

Summary 516

Exercises 517

Chapter 15: Securing Windows Objects 519

Security Attributes 519

Security Overview: The Security Descriptor 520

Security Descriptor Control Flags 523

Security Identifiers 523

Managing ACLs 525

Example: UNIX-Style Permission for NTFS Files 527

Example: Initializing Security Attributes 531

Reading and Changing Security Descriptors 535

Example: Reading File Permissions 537

Example: Changing File Permissions 538

Securing Kernel and Communication Objects 539

Example: Securing a Process and Its Threads 541

Overview of Additional Security Features 542

Summary 544

Exercises 544

Appendix A: Using the Sample Programs 547

Examples File Organization 548

Appendix B: Source Code Portability: Windows, UNIX, and Linux 549

Source Code Portability Strategies 550

Windows Services for UNIX 550

Source Code Portability for Windows Functionality 551

Chapters 2 and 3: File and Directory Management 556

Chapter 4: Exception Handling 561

Chapter 5: Memory Management, Memory-Mapped Files, and DLLs 562

Chapter 6: Process Management 563

Chapter 7: Threads and Scheduling 565

Chapters 8—10: Thread Synchronization 567

Chapter 11: Interprocess Communication 569

Chapter 14: Asynchronous I/O 571

Chapter 15: Securing Windows Objects 572

Appendix C: Performance Results 575

Test Configurations 575

Performance Measurements 577

Running the Tests 591

Bibliography 593

Index 597


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