The program is called WinTest and it doesn't do anything other than to open an empty window with a simple menu and the about dialog box. However, this is not the "Hello Windows!" program, but rather a skeleton on which to build more complex Windows programs.

The file main.cpp starts with a bunch of includes:

#include "precompiled.h"
#include "TopCtrl.h"
#include "OutSink.h"
#include "WinTestRegistry.h"
#include "Resource/resource.h"
#include <Win/WinMain.h>
#include <Win/WinClass.h>
#include <Win/WinMaker.h>
#include <Win/MsgLoop.h>
#include <Handlers.h>

Note that, to speed up compilation, we use precompiled headers, a feature of the Visual Studio environment. Here's a short description of the contents of each include file.

First are the program-specific client includes (we will discuss each of them in turn):

precompiled.h Precompiled header
TopCtrl.h Definition of the top-level Controller that drives the main window
OutSink.h Extern declaration of TheOutput (see below)
WinTestRegistry.h Registry structure specific to WinTest
Resource/resource.h Resource IDs used in WinTest.rc

Then we have the RSWL library include files. Note that the library is divided into subdirectories, so the include statements start with the name of the directory:

Win/WinMain.h Declaration of Win::Main, the program's entry point
Win/WinClass.h Window Class
Win/WinMaker.h Factory for making windows
Win/MsgLoop.h The message loop object

There are two global objects defined in main.cpp
Out::Sink TheOutput;
WinTestRegistry TheRegistry ("WinTest");

The object TheOutput of class Out::Sink (Out is a namespace), is used to display message boxes (for instance the exception messages below). TheRegistry provides access to specific keys in the registry used by WinTest.

The main entry point in this program is called Win::Main (Win is a namespace). It normally has the following structure:

int Win::Main (Win::Instance hInst, char const * cmdParam, 
                                                 int cmdShow)
    catch (Win::Exception e)
        TheOutput.Display (e);
    catch (...)
        Win::ClearError ();
        TheOutput.Display ("Internal error: Unknown exception", 
    return 0;

The class Win::Exception encapsulates exceptions that are thrown by RSWL. The program displays them using the global object, TheOutput, which pops the appropriate message box.

The code inside the try clause prepares the application for running and then starts pumping Windows messages.

    // Create top window class
    Win::Class::TopMaker topWinClass (ID_MAIN, hInst, ID_MAIN);
    topWinClass.Register ();

    // Create Window Controller (needs access to MessagePrepro)
    Win::MessagePrepro msgPrepro;
    TopCtrl ctrl (cmdParam, msgPrepro);

    // Create top window (hidden)
    ResString caption (hInst, ID_CAPTION);
    Win::TopMaker topWin (caption, ID_MAIN, hInst);
    Win::Dow::Handle appWin = topWin.Create (&ctrl);

    // Display top window
    Win::Placement placement (appWin);
    TheRegistry.ReadPlacement (placement);
    placement.CombineShowCmd (cmdShow);
    appWin.SetPlacement (placement);

    // The main message loop
    return msgPrepro.Pump ();
The order of operations is as follows (it is determined by inter-object dependencies):
  • Create an object that describes the Window Class of the main window (the Class is a Windows concept, not to confuse with C++ class. The Class is identified by a resource ID, ID_MAIN, defined in the resource include. It will also use a class icon, identified by the same ID and defined in the resource file. The class Win::Class::TopMaker has all the defaults of a Window Class for a generic top-level window. These defaults may be modified by various methods, but in our case we don't need it. We simply register the Window Class with the system.
  • Create message preprocessor. This is the object that pre-processes all the Window messages as they show up in the message loop. We do it this early, because we want to pass it to the controller.
  • Create the controller object for processing messages that Windows sends to the Window procedure (Window procedure itself is hidden in the library--it simply decodes all messages and calls the appropriate virtual methods of the controller). Our particular controller object requires access to the message preprocessor (it will be explained later).
  • Create a window maker (factory) for the top-level window. The constructor of TopMaker sets all the appropriate defaults; which, again, can be overridden using specific methods, but we don't do it here. The window's caption is stored in the resource file under the ID of ID_CAPTION. We retrieve this string by creating an object of the class ResString. The Create method of window maker returns a window handle. A handle to a window is encapsulated in the class Win::Dow::Handle. The window is created invisible (hidden).
  • Users always expect an application to remember window position and size. We use the object Win::Placement to store those parameters. We read them from the registry (using TheRegistry object). The placement also contains the maximize/minimize flags. These flags can be overridden by the command-line parameter, cmdShow. This requirement is taken into account in the method CombineShowCmd. The method SetPlacement applies the placement to the window and also makes it visible.
  • Call the Pump method of the message preprocessor. This method will keep looping, retrieving Windows messages, preprocessing them (translating accelerators, for instance) and sending them to our controller.

Most of the interesting work is done in the controller.

Next ImageNext: Controller