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Programming The Be Operating System
by Dan Parks Sydow
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There's not yet a big market for creators of programs that run under the Be operating system, but its special capabilities may prove irresistible to experiment-minded programmers. Programming the Be Operating System will help show you the BeOS ropes, particularly those that have to do with creating graphical user interfaces (GUIs). The book explains the gross characteristics of all BeOS programs before providing some tutelage on the BeIDE development environment. With its "Hello, World" program, this book exhibits all the hallmarks of a text for beginners. Rather than getting too deep into any one aspect of BeOS, the author provides fairly broad coverage, explaining how the operating system handles windowing, graphics, fonts, multithreading, and GUI elements.
This book isn't (and does not include) an API reference, and in fact touches on only a portion of the capabilities BeOS exposes to application builders. Programmers who find this book too basic may get more out of the Be Developer's Guide and (especially) Be Advanced Topics, both written by the Be team itself. Still, this book represents an important addition to the slender library of Be books for programmers. It has advice worth sharing--all but the most experienced Be programmers will learn something from these pages. --David Wall
Topics covered: Be program structure and syntax, using the BeIDE environment, creating a simple program, working with colors and shapes, manipulating text and fonts, and creating GUIs.
Be will prove to be a pleasure for developers who have struggled with APIs on Microsoft Windows, the Macintosh, or the X Window System. It provides consistent and intuitive methods for creating interfaces and handling messages. But you'll still have a hard time if all you have to learn from is official reference documentation like the Be Developer's Guide (also published by O'Reilly & Associates). This book is a traditional guide to application development that starts with the most basic concepts and leaves you with a firm foundation for further research.
The book begins with typical "Hello, world" programs and gradually adds elements of the graphical interface. It carefully describes drawing and message handling. While the focus is on the graphical interface, basic OS features like threads and file handling are also introduced.
Be runs on both PowerPC and Intel platforms, offering the same API on both. The programs in this book will therefore compile and run on any platform. Be's own integrated development environment, BeIDE (originally Metrowerks CodeWarrior), is used to develop all examples.
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