Top critical review
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Good but could be clearer
on 11 January 2007
Generally seems to be a good & thorough book, though my main issue with it is its occasional use of concepts without adequate explanation. E.g. though the book professes to be suited to people new to object oriented programming, it uses concepts like 'method' without (or at least well before) explaining them, and keywords sometimes crop up in program examples chapters before they are explained. This is confusing.
I also have a sense the book sometimes makes a big deal of subtle & advanced aspects of the language that people don't need to worry about too much (or at least which could be covered later).
Additionally, the indexing is patchy. If you have read about something in the book and then try to find it again later via the index, as often as not you will fail, either because obvious index terms are omitted or because the index doesn't mention the most relevant pages. As it's a long book this can make for time-consuming hunting through chapters. To take a few examples, a fair part of the book deals with graphics, yet the index doesn't include the word 'draw' (if nothing else, the draw() method). Similarly if you want to know how to detect mouse clicks it is surprising not to find an index entry for 'click', even if it were just to cross-refer you to say 'mouse'. Similarly the book describes both the scroll wheel and scroll panes, but there is no index entry for 'scroll'. There is a section on file versioning, but no index entry for 'version' or 'versioning', nor even is it referenced under 'file'. Etc. etc.
All told a pretty good book, but these weaknesses are not insubstantial.