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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:
Debugging Visual C++ Windows
Author:
Keith Bugg
ISBN:
0 87930 545 2
Publisher:
CMP Books
Pages:
206pp+disk
Price:
£31-99
Reviewer:
Francis Glassborow
Subject:
MS Windows; microsoft
Appeared in:
11-4
This book has a very specific readership, experienced users of Microsoft Visual C++ who want to reduce the bug count in their software. Learning how to debug programs should be part of the process of learning to program, however many books aimed at novices largely ignore this aspect of programming.

I have no doubt that the motives of the author are entirely admirable however he seems to limit himself to the tools that MS deliver with Visual C++. In chapter 6 the author gives a brief overview of a small sample of other debugging tools.

Do you sense a certain lack of enthusiasm for this book? Well you would be right. I think it lacks anything like the degree of thoroughness that this subject deserves. Perhaps this is best summarised by Chapter 9. This is titled 'Common Windows Errors'. The author would have you believe that these are the following seven: Bitmapped Buttons (failure to provide for all four states (surely you cannot fail to discover that problem pretty soon after you start testing your application?), Radio Button Member Variables (a problem with the Class Wizard), Linking with Libraries (do experienced developers really forget to include a necessary library?), Co-ordinate Systems (screen versus client co- ordinates), Window Handles and Device Contexts, Strings and Arrays (well of course they are problems when you still - have to - use arrays of char) and Trapping WM_HELP.

I found this book very disappointing as it promises so much more than it delivers. Novices require much more guidance on debugging and experts will already know more than you will find here.