REVIEW - Essential Visual Basic 4.0 Fast - How to Develop Applications in Visual Basic


Essential Visual Basic 4.0 Fast

How to Develop Applications in Visual Basic


John Cowell



Springer (1996)




Sean Reynolds


December 1998



This book is targeted at the novice computer user who wishes to get a grounding in programming with Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0. Previous programming experience is not a prerequisite to using this course. However, the book is equally suited to the `old school' in the midst of translating their skills from command-line based 3GLs to the world of visual programming in Windows 95.

The content is organised into 21 chapters covering the main elements that you might expect to find in a book such as this. These elements include: an introduction to Windows programming and the `event-driven' paradigm; instruction on how to use the VB 4 IDE; project management and how to actually build VB applications (designing forms, setting form and control properties and writing event-handling code). In this respect the book is well balanced and the learning experience is logical.

The printed page is well designed with about the right combination of text, illustrative screen-shots and examples. This makes the content readable and most sections easily digestible. However, several sections are rather piecemeal and could certainly benefit from better worked examples to help consolidate on understanding. This is perhaps a recurring theme through much of the book: whilst the author offers a useful introduction to VB features and concepts, their application is not always adequately dealt with in proportion. The final chapter appears to offer saving grace, being deceptively titled - `Examples'. Unfortunately, there is a total absence of examples, `Exercises' would be a more accurate description as this is all that it has to offer.

This book offers a concise and useful introduction to the functionality of VB 4. However, this is not always balanced with an equal treatment of VB programming techniques and examples. Most newbies will soon find themselves visiting their local bookstore for a more expansive reference to help learn how to actually write effective VB applications.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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