Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
NOT for most beginning programmers!
on 8 June 1999
First, I have the greatest admiration for Dave Mark; his "Mac Programming Primer" books are THE way to learn the Mac Toolbox. The problem with THIS book is that, like other programming geniuses, Dave has forgotten what it's like to know NOTHING about programming. He moves very rapidly and arbitrarily (e.g, he covers pointers BEFORE scanf !) and doesn't bother to explain many things that are second nature to him, but opaque to most people who have not programmed before.
C is a terrible first programming language to learn anyway; it's far better to learn Basic, Pascal, or one of the visual object languages, and switch to C later. My perspective comes from teaching programming for over a dozen years to liberal arts students with little experience, 90% of whom would be hopelessly lost using this book alone.
It's also true that a small percentage of "computer-science-major-type" people have a natural talent for programming, and for them this book is excellent. If you're that kind of person, definitely get this book. If not, be warned. If you already bought this book and wonder what's wrong with you because most reviews say it's easy but you're stumped, take heart; try some Basic or Pascal first, and go through it again SLOWLY. Most of those reviews are from programming geniuses !-)