Top critical review
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IMHO, this text is over-rated.
on 30 August 2002
I own or have read many of the Deitel & Deitel: How to program series (C++, C, E-Business, The Internet, C/C++ Cyber Classroom, & XML). The Deitels are indeed very profficient and prolific with intro programming texts. However, the C++ text is, IMHO (in my humble opinion) highly over-rated. Some of the reasons I will discuss below:
The size is unjustly (but significantly) inflated due to its repetition of all the hints, tips, observations, etc. that are presented within each of the chapters and re-iterated at the end of each chapter.
The sections on pointers were not the best I've seen -- and this is such a critical part of C/C++.
The formatting of the book (and indeed nearly the whole Deitel and Deitel "How To..." Series) is simply bad. All the programming hints, Software Engineering obsevations, portability tips, common programming errors, etc. are colour coded so that the text looks like a wall-paper sample book. It reminds me of some poor web-sites that use every colour and flashing item possible. Worse, these are (randomly?) spread throughout each chapter in the middle of the text so that it interrupts every groove you get into. (reading texts is not a quick process with the best of texts...so I don't appreciate being interrupted every 60 seconds.)
The result is that the text takes much longer to get through, since you are constantly being interrupted. Most other texts would use separate sections, or text boxes or something. Putting all these superfluous comments interspersed makes the reading hard-going.
Another thing that is starting to bother me about this and other D&D books is the repetition. As I've said, I've bought lots of their texts, and I feel I've paid several times over for similar content. (For example the C text contains a couple of chapters on C++, many of the books have similar introductory chapters...)
My biggest gripe perhaps is the introduction of object-oriented S/W development. Sorry guys but the Elevator example (which is addressed ad infinitum) is poor. It is discontinuous. There is little flow. I would have preferred something that was more clear with respect to the S/W development process for O-O...sadly missing.
Finally, I found many of the programming examples disappointing. Although they may have demonstrated individual concepts well, I did not get the sense of how it all fits together. I would have preferred the examples to be cumulative. By this I mean that the readers should be developing systems from the examples...not just simple programs. This would give a much better view as to how everything fits together from methodologies through to functionality to syntax. (it also would have been nice if there was an additional section on the MFC (Microsoft foundation classes).