• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

Introduction > How This Book Is Organized

How This Book Is Organized

Although this book advances logically from beginning to end, it's written so that you can jump in at any location, get the information you need quickly, and get out. You don't have to read it from start to finish, nor do you need to work through complex tutorials. (Even if you're familiar with the material, though, you should at least skim through the references, because the batch file language and Windows Script Host program have evolved considerably over the years.)

This book is broken into three major parts. Here's the skinny on each one:

  • Part I, “Scripting,” covers the Windows Script Host tool, introduces the VBScript programming language, discusses the use of Objects, and describes the process of writing and debugging scripts. It also provides a detailed reference for many of the scripting objects provided with Windows XP.

  • Part II, “The Command-Line Environment,” describes the Windows XP command language used to write batch files. The Batch language has been enhanced considerably since its origin in MS-DOS, and it has become a much more useful way to automate the manipulation of files and directories. Part II also discusses the command-line environment, MS-DOS emulation, and the ways to alter the command environment through Windows XP administrative tools. Finally, there is a guided tour of the 20 or so most important command-line programs provided with Windows XP, covering text file management, networking utilities, GUI shortcuts, and more.

  • Finally, the appendixes give you concise references and indexes to the scripting and command-line tools. Where appropriate, items include page references to the sections of the book where you can find more detailed discussions. There is also an index of sample scripts and batch files that you can use as a starting point for your own projects. You can download these scripts and files from www.helpwinxp.com/hood.

Within these sections, each chapter follows the same common pattern. An introduction explains a particular type of tool or programming scheme, a reference section describes the tool in exhausting detail, and finally a discussion shows how to use the tool to apply to real-world programs. I chose this structure because I want this book to serve both as a tutorial for readers who are new to these “Under the Hood” techniques and as a reference for readers who are familiar with the techniques, but just need a quick refresher.

I also want the material to be somewhat challenging. The early chapters on Windows Script Host and objects take more of a “tutorial” approach, but then the pace picks up. I hope that I leave you with some questions unanswered and a few puzzles unsolved, because in your own pursuit of answers, you'll learn more than you could from reading any book.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint