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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
OSF DCE Application Development Reference vol 2
Author:
OSF
ISBN:
0 13 241464 3
Publisher:
Prentice Hall
Pages:
800+pp
Price:
£26-95
Reviewer:
Chris Hills
Subject:
networks; unix
Appeared in:
10-3
This DCE is Distributed Computing Environment (for UNIX). The book is volume two of a two-volume set. It contains threads, distributed time services and security services. Volume one contains routines, RPC and directory services. I would assume that you would want both books and assume that volume one will cost the same as volume 2.

Apart from a two-page introduction the rest of the book describes the function calls rather like a UNIX man page or the Borland Windows API Reference. If you use the DCE library this book will be essential (if you don't have a reference) otherwise it is of little use. It is not a readable book from which to learn DCE. There are occasional half page code examples but not enough to warrant a disc. If I were programming in this area I would want both volumes to hand.

A Book Reviewers footnote to Publishers:

I have been reviewing books for some years now and it pains me that there appear to be fewer good books but a lot more mediocre (and down right appalling) books. What a waste of trees. The fact that modern methods have made book production cheaper and easier (and almost everyone has a word processor to write a book with) should not be a reason for producing more rubbish, but for producing better books at a lower cost.

Although I get my books for free I ask myself if I would buy them at the cover price. The odds have gone from 2 in 3 (10 years ago) to 1 in 6 now.

Perhaps publishers could offer computing books on CD? The costs, for production and distribution, would be lower and fewer trees would be wasted. This has happened with many international standards already.

So PLEASE can we have few books of higher quality (with a choice of media)? - Chris Hills