OS/2 Programming: An Introduction - Herbert Schildt

The purpose of this book is to give you a "jump start" into the world of OS/2 programming. OS/2 is a big program, and the ways that you, the programmer, can interact with it are numerous and varied. This book will help you understand quickly the essence of OS/2.

The impact of OS/2 is not to be underestimated. OS/2 has done for microcomputer operating systems what the original IBM PC did for microcomputers: in one bold stroke it has defined a new, more power-ful computing environment. What makes OS/2 so exciting is that it is the first multitasking operating system designed specifically for the personal, single-user computer. Although microcomputers have been able to run multitasking operating systems such as UNIX for several years, the results have never been entirely satisfactory, partly because the porting of a multiuser, multitasking operating system to a single-user, highly interactive environment generally produced the worst of both worlds: slow response time combined with an old, TTY-based interface. OS/2 maintains the highly interactive nature of the personal computing environment while allowing greater through-put by means of multitasking. In the first part of this book you will see how this near-magical combination is achieved.

As you will see in this book, there is little in OS/2 that is difficult to grasp or use and it's not true that it's so complicated that only the programmer or the computer engineer can use it: on the contrary, while it is true that OS/2, ahead of its time, has been designed for these categories of professionals and to get the maximum performance from the machine, it is equally true that its technology and its use are intuitive and easy to understand, even for a novice. The secret is to change point of view, approach and paradigm: everything in OS/2 can be considered an object, with which you can interact as you wish. However, OS/2 is so large that it is sometimes hard to see the larger view. For example, OS/2 contains several hundred different system services! As you begin to learn to program for OS/2, it may seem hard to pull all the pieces together, but as you become more experienced, the logical design of OS/2 will become apparent.

This book can help you achieve that "view from a height".

OS/2 opens the doors to a whole new world for programmers. Fully harnessing OS/2's capabilities will allow you to create highly efficient and powerful programs, the likes of which could never be seen in either a DOS or UNIX-like environment. OS/2 is the platform on which the next generation of applications will be built.

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