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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:
C++ Programming with CORBA
Author:
Andreas Vogel
ISBN:
0 471 28306 1
Publisher:
Wiley
Pages:
336pp
Price:
£25-95
Reviewer:
Steve Cornish
Subject:
CORBA and COM
Appeared in:
11-6
This was the first CORBA book on the market aimed primarily at developers using C++ as the implementation language and is essentially a revision of the Vogel's 'Java Programming with CORBA'.

The book launches the reader into a series of unnecessary and overlong background material, which makes up the majority of the book. This information includes; a summary of CORBA, a summary of C++ (including, the strangest 'Hello World' example I've ever seen), a lengthy and dull overview of CORBA, the IDL to C++ mapping and mappings for the ORB runtime system. You can argue that most of this information is useful, but the delivery here is terrible. The overview of CORBA contains subheading after subheading of definitions with little regard to context. Assuming you had bought the book to learn how to write CORBA applicationsin C++ (a fair assumption given the title), you'd be screaming 'but where does it fit in!' As an example, early on you are introduced to server activation policies. This is long before you have any notion object adapters.

In the IDL to C++ mapping section, the C++ mappings are occasionally wrong; bad formatting, missing lines and illegal characters suggest no one checked this before it went to the printers. The chapter on the ORB runtime system provides another set of dull mappings with no clue as to the role the objects and operations play.

It's not until page 209 that this books shows any value - here the reader is introduced to object location services, which in my opinion is the first thing a semi-knowledgeable reader would benefit from reading in the entire book. This section is written very well and contains the first examples of a non-trivial nature for using the naming and trading services.

The chapter on building applications makes a late appearance against the odds, but only lasts for 26 pages. Maybe I'm naive, but I expect a book with 'C++ Programming' in the title to contain more than 10% on C++ programming. All the other material is for reference and as such belongs in a reference book, or appendices.

I wanted to like this book, because it joined two subjects I'm interested in, without being condescend-ing by offering the reader with alien fantasies. I would recommend anyone interested in this book to splash out the money for Michi Henning and Steve Vinoski's Advanced CORBA Programming with C++. If you're looking for an introduction to CORBA, try Robert Orfali's books (aliens and all). NOT RECOMMENDED.