Beginning Programming for Dummies 4th edn
palcibiades-first at yahoo.co.uk
Sat Dec 9 05:01:54 EST 2006
Well, based on the mentions here I popped over to Amazon and had a copy
Don't hold your breath for this to do any good for Revolution. Or
Programming. Or even Computing. What we have is a series of topics, with
the most sketchy illustrations imaginable, for each of the following
platforms: Liberty Basic, RealBasic, C++, and Revolution. To give you a
flavor, we get to p 175, which is about 'storing stuff in arrays' and by the
end of p 193 we have covered static and dynamic arrays in C, multidimensional
arrays, and 2D arrays in all of those platforms. Half or more of these pages
are occupied by the simplest sorts of scripts - so simple that the
differences between them are minimal. If any end user (or maybe anyone else)
can read these pages and have the slightest idea how to write any useful
program involving an array, they need not read Beginning Programming, because
they will have an unusual ability to telepathically obtain howtos from the
ether. If only!
What would be a better approach?
Get Dan Shafer's book revised for a third edition, some introductory parts
slimmed down, a few more details on some of the topics, a few more detailed
howtos, and put the CD with the express edition with it. Particularly expand
the parts about storing, retrieving and deleting data. There's too much
about the user interface, and too little about how to write stuff that deals
with the data which is why the end user is writing the program in the first
But, small criticisms aside, 'Software at the speed of thought' is really
excellent for a first introduction for a sophisticated end user. It is
everything that the Dummies book is not - it just needs to go a little
further. And have the express edition packaged along with it.
Get some detailed material on how to work with arrays, lists, and tables into
the Revolution pdf.
While at it, also get some account of how, given that I have sqlite installed
already on my Etch machine, I get Revolution to talk to it.... After all,
there are a host of free Linux apps starting with Kexi and Knoda and Rekall
that do that. It seems to be the simplest way to get yourself an external
data storage without having to fire up a database server.
Oh dear, Revolution could have done so much better! Well, others may differ,
but that was my reaction. I wouldn't even give this thing to the local
charity shop, it could put someone off computing for life!
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