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Scientific Database and Programming Examples Using PHP,MySQL,XML,MATLAB,PYTHON,PERL Paperback – 27 Sep 2011


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Amazon.com: 1.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The title is not joking: it's just examples, and they're not very good 19 Aug. 2012
By EM - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The concept behind this book is great. Handling databases for scientific applications is a fascinating field, and showing how to do so with a myraid of standard languages would be a very useful reference. If another book were written on the topic, it would do well to follow the table of contents of "Scientific Databases".

That's where this review ceases to be positive. I had hoped that there would be discussion about advantages, disadvantages, and hints for dealing with the myriad of languages in this book, but no. "Examples" is the operative word in the title.

Unfortunately, the examples are not good. In fact, they are atrocious. This book uses the copy and paste approach to programming. Rather than dynamically iterating through data, or using a for loop, or any sort of iteration, the examples are pages and pages of identical lines: take a look at pages 52 through 85 (with "Look Inside!"), which are literally the same ten lines copy and pasted for over thirty pages, with a number incremented by hand. Another example that makes be cringe is pages 126 through 132 -- a student in any programming class would fail for writing such code. MATLAB, like all the languages in this book, have ways of exactly avoiding the repitive code in this work. (Need a hint? Look up structfun, cellfun, and arrayfun. And for loops.)

I doubt the author has learned about for loops, let alone iterables, objects, or dynamic programming. I also doubt whether the author has significant knowledge of the languages in the book beyond the most rudimentary basics. The concept is good, but the application is not.
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