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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:
Borland C++ Builder 3 for Dummies
Author:
Jason Vokes
ISBN:
0 7645 0396 0
Publisher:
IDG
Pages:
360pp+CD
Price:
£28-99
Reviewer:
Chris Hills
Subject:
borland; beginner's c++
Appeared in:
12-4
I have not been impressed with the For Dummies series so far. However all the Dummies books I had seen were on subjects I knew about. I had not used C++ Builder before I picked up the Dummies guide. Now I understand why people like these books. The main thrust of C++ Builder and this book is rapid development of graphical and database applications. The book progresses in what feels a logical way building up various items for all the usual things you need to do on screen.

The text is not a continuous project but later chapters do rely on techniques learnt in previous chapters, so if you are a complete beginner you will not be able to use the chapters in a self contained way. However I do not think that this is too much of a drawback. One thing that is good is that the source is on the CD and not repeated in the book. This does encourage interactive use of the book with C++ Builder. Hands-on is always the best approach.

Whilst mentioning that there are not pages of source there are not undue numbers of screen shots padding the text either. In fact the book is largely text. C++ Builder is RAD and the book does not really teach C++ to any level. Basic C++, loops and switch statements are not dealt with until chapter 15, some 250 pages in. You will probably need another good book on C++ to write the guts of the application if it is doing something other than the usual windows operations. There are quite a few step by step instructions for doing things but you will have to look at how it really works deep down at another time. Having said that this book will get you going and build your confidence to the point where you will be able to look for the answers without being overwhelmed.

My concern about this book (and others like it) is that it is specific not only to C++ Builder but a version 3. However I managed to use this book with C++ Builder 4 and for guidance on Delphi 2!

The accompanying CD contains some sample projects, more usefully a library of components and a freeware InterBase. This should give you a flying start. If you feel that you need a helping hand introducing you to C++ Builder this is the book. Highly recommended.