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Programming for Windows 9x?

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Which language and development/compiler tools (preferably open-source) would be better (easier to learn, consuming less resources) for person, who knows nothing about programming (me)?

I have interest in creating several apps, which will be useful for me in Windows 9x, because apps i want don't exist, or requires newer systems, and i also won't loosing time for transferring files between host and VM so much as i need.

At least smth like HashTab/OpenHashTab, but for Windows 95-ME (with MD5, SHA-1 and maybe some other checksums). Further maybe i make smth else.

Also where i can get useful info (books, discs and so on) about learning language stuff, old winapi, checksums and other useful things?

Edited by archIvarIus3k
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If you are completely new about programming, and if it is for 9x I would advice you look into Delphi (basically what everyone else does NOT use).

There are lots of (old, which in this case means good) books and manuals for the language that you can find used/second hand and - once you become familiar with it - you can still use your acquired knowledge using Lazarus (which is open source but only early version of it are Windows 9x/Me compatible) on newer OSes.

I am not a programmer (at the most I can manage to half-@§§edly put together some scripts) and C and its variants (which are the alternative) are (to me at least) completely incomprehensible, Delphi is usually at least readable.

For simple programs it is probably not worth the effort and I would go for some simpler environments, such as Autoit, up to 3.2.something it was windows 95 compatible.



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You may get a few different replies here, each person may have their own favorite languages and tools.
For me it has been AutoHotkey - derived years ago from AutoIt, mentioned above by @jaclaz. It's an interpreted, macro language, single-threaded so it has a few limitations in terms of speed, but it all depends on your goals. I've built my own tools years ago, and I still use a couple of them today under Linux Mint. So the language is pretty resilient at least for small scopes.

If you decide to try it you should choose only version 1.0, which is the only one that can run on Win9x systems. It comes with its Help file - which is pretty well done but not exhaustive - and also its own compiler if you want to convert the scripts to executables. But on a machine with AHK installed correctly scripts can run as is, so one doesn't have to compile them everytime in order to test or run them. That's a plus when it comes to quick development.

Incidentally I had already built a small tool that can compute hashes; it's geared towards media (video) files but file types are editable, it can basically compute hashes (MD5 and SHA1 only) for any file type. It's calles StorageMediaCatalog and it can be found in the large package linked to in my signature below. Hope the Dropbox repository is still reachable.

Good luck!

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9x? LUA, of course! Absolutely no question. The simplest tool for starting learning from scratch.

"Lua is a powerful and fast programming language that is easy to learn and use and to embed into your application. Lua is designed to be a lightweight embeddable scripting language. It is used for all sorts of applications, from games to web applications and image processing."


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  • 3 weeks later...

Try older versions of wxWidgets - 2.9.5/3.0.5.

Also look here: https://glizda.wordpress.com/2021/05/19/compiling-programs-for-windows-95-and-pentium-in-2021/ (though this is mostly relevant for Win95 support specifically, Win98/SE/ME gives you more options)

For proper Win9x development, sooner or later you won't be able to escape Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0/Visual Studio 2005.

Edited by MrMateczko
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  • 3 months later...
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