Author: Christian Gross
Publisher: Apress, 2008
Aimed at: Programmers beginning to use VB 2008
Pros: Completely lacking any redeeming features
Cons: A truly awful book
Reviewed by: Mike James
This book is designed to get you started on VB 2008 and convert you into a “Professional” but it simply doesn’t work. The author has no clear idea of what a beginner might want to know and presents ideas using an “as required” approach. He simply isn’t in the same world as the beginner and is discussing depth first searches in the same breath as explaining what an algorithm is. Another very annoying feature of the book is the use of inappropriate and far too literal analogies in a vain attempt to make things seem simple. In a discussion of compliers and interpreters he writes “There are dogs that learn quickly and those that take a while to learn, For example German Shepherds tend to learn quickly and don’t require much repetition of lessons. On the other hand, Bullmastiffs need quite a bit of patience as they tend to be stubborn….” There are also lots of places where the author appeals to opinions expressed on the web, often within a blog, to back up his opinion or position on some technology or other, for example the status of the goto instruction, and this give the general impression that he is insecure in his knowledge of the subject. If the best authority you can muster on a subject with such a long history as the goto instruction is a recently-written blog then your knowledge of programming and software in general has to be shallow. Overall the verdict has to be that this is a book best avoided.
<Reviewed in VSJ>