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Early Windows Programming

Exceter

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If I wanted to write a program for Windows 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0, are there any development resources which could help me do it beyond disassembling an existing program?
 
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SomeGuy

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Just of hand, there is the Windows 1.0 SDK (and a DDK, although I don't know if that is archived anywhere).

Windows 1 programming is basically the same as Windows 2, so much Windows 2 stuff is applicable to Windows 1. There is a Microsoft Programmers Library CD with 2.x information.

There should actually be lots of Windows 3.0 programming stuff floating around as it was the first really popular version.
 

jafir

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128956CA-4445-4333-BFFF-23E22E0DFB5E.jpeg I’ve got a Microsoft network DDK with dates from 1990, but I think it might be for OS/2 because it says IBM on it in a few places too. I haven’t had a chance to archive it yet.
 

cwathen

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If you want a simple high level language, the first versions of Visual Basic will generate executables that will run on Windows 3.0, but the early versions are quite limited. If Windows 3.1 app support would do then you can go as far forward as VB4 which by that point is a pretty mature and powerful language.

For Windows 1/2 possibly the first version of Asymetrix Toolbook could be used? I don't know and I've never used it but it was first released in 1990 at about the same time as Windows 3.0, it would seem a bit limiting if it only supported what was then a brand new version of Windows that had yet to be up an installed base.
 

SomeGuy

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For Windows 1/2 possibly the first version of Asymetrix Toolbook could be used? I don't know and I've never used it but it was first released in 1990 at about the same time as Windows 3.0, it would seem a bit limiting if it only supported what was then a brand new version of Windows that had yet to be up an installed base.

Toolbook 1.0 is a Windows 3.0 application. I don't know precisely why (aggressive beta program? It was easy to convert? 2.x just sucked that bad?) But the day Windows 3.0 was released, almost all new Windows applications indeed specifically required 3.0.
 

Exceter

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Windows 2.0 interests me more than 3.0 because it works on an IBM 5150. I'd be fine with assembly language provided I have a good debugger.
 

Exceter

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Win 3.0 would work with a PC, as long as it met the requirements

https://microsoft.fandom.com/wiki/Windows_3.0

But agreed, 1.x/2.x would be less demanding.

Now I realize my mistake... I assumed that 3.0 was 286 or higher because 3.1 was 286 or higher. Even so, I think I'd prefer to stick with 2.0 for efficiency(and I already have it installed and working), as you pointed out.
 

T-R-A

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Well, to be honest....any "minimum requirements" coming from M$ are pretty much a joke.

I ran a PC/XT (640K Ram + 2MB LIM) with Win 3.0 and Geoworks 1.x/2.x blew the doors off it for speed and usability. Now that was a real GUI.
​​​
 

Exceter

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I'm pretty happy with Windows 2.03. It seems to work really well on my 5150 with 640k ram. But, at present, the only thing I use it for is Reversi so I started wondering if I could make programs for it.
 

cwathen

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Out of interest - what sort of software were you planning on developing?

Now I realize my mistake... I assumed that 3.0 was 286 or higher because 3.1 was 286 or higher. Even so, I think I'd prefer to stick with 2.0 for efficiency(and I already have it installed and working), as you pointed out.
TBH, unless you just want to see it working there's no point running Windows 3.0 on a 5150. It is several times larger than Windows 2.x, you will have little free memory available, it will run very slowly and the only apps you'll get to run are the supplied ones and those designed for real mode (which usually will run on Windows 2.x anyway). Also if you only have CGA graphics although Windows 3 officially supports this it seems particularly unoptimised for it and the experience is far worse than running Windows 1/2 in CGA mode. EGA is the practical minimum and a lot of software will assume VGA as this very quickly became the norm. Anything that actually could take advantage of Windows 3 can't really do it on a 5150.

Now my 5150 has EGA graphics fitted I have had Windows 3.0 running in 640x350x16 and installed things like CorelDraw 2 on it...yes it loads and it's impressive just to see it running on a 5150 but it's not practical to use on such hardware.
 

krebizfan

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Developing for Windows 1 and 2 requires a dual-headed machine with both a graphics card and a text only MDA card. The MDA card is needed to display debugging information,
 

Exceter

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Developing for Windows 1 and 2 requires a dual-headed machine with both a graphics card and a text only MDA card. The MDA card is needed to display debugging information,

That's good to know. I'll have to get one of my spare 5151's working.
 

BillGee

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You can run Windows 3.0 in real mode by typing "win /r" I do not know if that works on an 8088 CPU.

I used Borland Pascal 7 for some of my Windows 3.x development work. It comes with most of the information provided with the Windows SDK. Turbo Pascal for Windows version 5.5 is now a free download, I believe. I do not know whether it comes with the API help files or the resource editor or debugger. BP 7 seems to be able to generate programs to run in real mode going by some of the compiler options available, but I have not actually done that.
 

Anonymous Coward

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I always found Windows 1/2 to be a glorified DOSSHELL. I guess one of the biggest turnoffs for me was the lack of a 'program manager'.Maybe that would make a good project, if you ever find the SDK.
 
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