DOS Versus Windows programming

Windows program is quite different from its ancient relative, the MS-DOS program. A DOS program follows a relatively strict path from beginning to end. Although this does not necessarily limit the functionality of the program, it does limit the road the user has to take to get to it. A DOS program is like walking down a hallway; to get to the end you have to walk down the hallway, passing any obstacles that you may encounter. A DOS program would only let you open certain doors along your stroll.
Windows, on the other hand, opened up the world of event-driven programming. Events in this context include, for example, clicking a button, resizing a window, or changing an entry in a text box. The code that you write responds to these events. To go back to the hallway analogy: In a Windows program, to get to the end of the hall, you just click on the end of the hall. The hallway can be ignored. If you get to the end and realize that is not where you wanted to be, you can just set off for the new destination without returning to your starting point. The program reacts to your movements and takes the necessary actions to complete your desired tasks (Visual Basic).
Another big advantage in a Windows program is the abstraction of the hardware; which means that Windows takes care of communicating with the hardware for you. You do not need to know the inner workings of every laser printer on the market just to create output. You do not need to study the schematics for graphics cards to write your game. Windows wraps up this functionality by providing generic routines that communicate with the drivers written by hardware manufacturers. This is probably the main reason that Windows has been so successful. The generic routines are referred to as the Windows Application Programming Interface (API).
Visual Basic changed the face of Windows programming by removing the complex burden of writing code for the user interface (UI). By allowing programmers to draw their own UI, it freed them to concentrate on the business problems they were trying to solve. Once the UI is drawn, the programmer can then add the code to react to events.


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