Thursday, July 1, 2004
By: Jason Doucette
I created and maintain an extensive errata list of program bugs, text typos, and errors for Charles Petzold's bible to Windows programming: Programming Windows, 5th Edition. I took the time to explain the problems in as much detail as I felt needed so that the reader would understand why it is a problem, and also why the solution works. I have even explained topics in further detailed that I felt were left too vague, and leaving the reader wanting for more.
The creation of the page was originally the result of about 50 successive e-mails I sent to Charles Petzold as I read the book and found errors. I should note that the vast majority of the errata are minor bugs, and that anyone who is paying proper attention while reading the book will find them, as well. However, if you do not learn in the same method that I do, then you are unlikely to catch such errors. My learning method results from a strong desire to understand what is going on 'under the hood'. To know something 'just works' is not good enough for me - in fact, this type of thinking gives me a headache. There is a world of difference between knowing that something is the way it is and knowing why it is that way. It is the difference of either merely knowing of it, or understanding it. When you truly understand something, you need not worry about your fallible memory regurgitating improper information. It is the reason why I have never had to study for a math test. I took the time to understand the concepts; I did not merely memorize steps to a specific solution. In any case, I am digressing. After Petzold got annoyed with all of my emails, he stated that if I were to catalogue the errors on an errata web page, he would link to it from his own. I agreed. Because Charles Petzold already created an incomplete errata page for his book, and I continually added onto his errata, I christened my errata list:
The majority of the errata credit goes to John Kopplin and me. However, there are quite a few errata from several other kind people who have taken the time to e-mail me additional bugs that they have found. If you find more, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also, please do not regard such an errata list as a detriment to how well the book is written. It is a very detailed, and technical book. As with any programming book, there are bound to be errors. My only regret is that I did not purchase it sooner.
About the Author: I am Jason Doucette of Xona Games, an award-winning indie game studio that I founded with my twin brother. We make intensified arcade-style retro games. Our business, our games, our technology, and we as competitive gamers have won prestigious awards and received worldwide press. Our business has won $190,000 in contests. Our games have ranked from #1 in Canada to #1 in Japan, have become #1 best sellers in multiple countries, have won game contests, and have held 3 of the top 5 rated spots in Japan of all Xbox LIVE indie games. Our game engines have been awarded for technical excellence. And we, the developers, have placed #1 in competitive gaming competitions -- relating to the games we make. Read about our story, our awards, our games, and view our blog.