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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:
Learning to Program with Visual Basic 6
Author:
Patrick McKeown
ISBN:
0 471 35035 4
Publisher:
Wiley
Pages:
???pp
Price:
£?
Reviewer:
Sean Reynolds
Subject:
basic
Appeared in:
12-2
As the title suggests, this book aims to teach the novice how to program in VB6. After an introduction to programming and the VB language, the book walks you through the key introductory topics; creating projects, procedural programming, variables, arrays and assignment, conditional code, repetition, graphics, databases and ends with a primer on OOP. The VB6 Working Model Edition is included on the accompanying CD-ROM to get you started.

The author gives a good and complete explanation of the introductory VB features making good use of illustrative material; schematic diagrams, screenshots, tables and code snippets. The book is well structured and the author clearly states the objectives at each stage and offers review exercises and a summary at the end of each chapter. The book not only introduces the VB language, but a good explanation of generic programming logic and practice.

However, the written text is far too bloated for my liking. I really wish that Patrick would just cut to the chase. The book follows the scenario of a small business called 'Vintage Videos'. I can see where the author is coming from here; I agree that it is a good idea to set the application development within in some kind of 'real- world' project management context, but the narrative used here is appalling and in my opinion has no place in a programming text. For example, p230: 'The next morning Joe was sitting by the pool reading the newspaper while Zooey was swimming some laps. Angela came out carrying a tray of cold drinks.' and so it goes on (and on and on.. even Granny puts in an appearance towards the end?) until you finally realise that the guys need to develop a multi-form application to calculate the tax. Excuse me!

In summary, a good introduction to VB6 if you do not mind wading through the substantial (and cheesy) narrative.