This third chapter will illuminate all those areas of portable (Windows) programming that are mostly independent of specific operating systems details or development tools. Portability of an application (and hence the porting effort) depends not only on the homogeneity of the application programming interfaces offered by the underlying operating systems. It is also a feature that characterizes your source code more or less independently from the actual target system. You can get very complex, yet structured Winl6 programs working under Win32 with surprisingly small effort, while other, often shorter but more “chaotic” ones, run only after extensive modifications — if at all. In our case, the effort to be invested for porting depends mostly on the backward compatibility of the Win32 APIs. Fortunately, Microsoft is responsible for this part, which is the subject of the following chapter. On the other hand, the folks in Redmond can invest incredible effort in creating a compatible API; if some basic portability principles are not taken to heart while writing program code assumed eventually to be ported, the porting endeavor can become a rather difficult exercise for the person(s) actually carrying out the port.
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