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Programming Windows®, Fifth Edition by Charles Petzold

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Library Basics

As you've seen, a Windows program is an executable file that generally creates one or more windows and uses a message loop to receive user input. Dynamic-link libraries are generally not directly executable, and they generally do not receive messages. They are separate files containing functions that can be called by programs and other DLLs to perform certain jobs. A dynamic-link library is brought into action only when another module calls one of the functions in the library.

The term "dynamic linking" refers to the process that Windows uses to link a function call in one module to the actual function in the library module. "Static linking" occurs during program development when you link various object (.OBJ) modules, run-time library ...

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