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Again the same old story you with all the other "beginner" type books.
The authors assume TOO MUCH!!
Boolean Logic?? Bitwise operators? You guys just dive in. How about a short paragraph with definitions? Luckily I have a solid VB background but this book has to be a nightmare for true beginners.
The Chapter on Flow Control has to one of THE worse explained chapters I've read in any "beginner C#" book. I realise programming is hard and you need to be switched on to be able to program, but you're making it harder than need be. Also, you're introducing too many operators too fast. Even for an experienced developer it gets tricky. This is a BEGINNER book guys!
I'm only on chapter 5 now and the advanced stuff is already popping up. Again, luckily the code makes sense to me since the explanations don't.
You guys should truly ease people in. Make them play around with code. Make them write silly little applications to get them used to the code and syntax. Once they have that sorted, incorporating more advanced features into their programs should be easier.
I'm sorry to hear that you're having problems with this book. However, when you write a book like this there are a number of factors to consider, and the level of writing may not suit everyone. As far as boolean logic is concerned, this is something that it is essential to understand in the context of decision making statements - and much more. The information may come thick and fast, but the book does explain how to use these operators from first principles. I also think that it would be couterproductive to add more examples in the early stages of this chapter, as then I would get complaints from people who would say that things move along too slowly. Many readers will understand the principles of Boolean logic straight away, and may even skip that section entirely to look at the syntax of if stamements and so on. There are plenty more examples when you get to that stage, which serve as examples of Boolean logic as much as examples of if statements, so if you work through evrything you will get a good understanding of how it all works.
The Bitwise operators are perhaps a little more controvercial, as many readers will not use them very often if at all. However, when I wrote this chapter I decided that if I didn't mention them then it would be a bit of a hole in the discussion of the C# language. There was no better place to put this discussion, so that's where it went. One of the motivating factors for this is that I intended the introductory chapters of the book to be useful as a reference later in your development as a programmer. While the bitwise operator section may be a little confusing at first, you may come across situations where you need to use them later. If that happens, you may well remember where you fiest learnt about them, open up the book, and re-read the material again - which does provide a very basic explanation of the operators and their function.
To answer your general comment about "advanced stuff popping up", my reasoning was similar there. While I made every effort to ensure that no term or technique is used without first being at least defined and usually discussed, I apologise if any of this fell through the net.
I hope you persist with the book. Learning to program can be a frustrating experience, but it's worth it for those "eureka moments" when things click into place. I hope this book triggers more of those for you as you work through it.
Karli, I agree 100% with your comments, although there are times when I too have struggled to understand some concepts.
My solution to my dilema was two-fold. First, I read the sections that I was struggling to understand away from my PC, so I didn't get the urge to break the flow by tinkering.
Secondly, I also have "Professional C#" by the same authors. There is some overlap in the subjects covered, and I found that starting on the Professional Book and reading the early chapters helped me get to grips with subjects like collections, generics, delegates, etc.
First, my level of programming is novice. I am mostly familiar with VB6. I am in the process of refreshing my knowledge level there and learning C#.net and VB.net.
With that said, I am in chapter 4. So far I am enjoying your book but I am a bit confused on the bitwise operators. For example, I just completed Ch04Ex01. I need a better understanding of the &, &&, |, and also !.
hi i have a computer science degree and programmed in c, back in the day, but this book.... for beginners .... i maybe a thick person... but i think the chapters on oop.... etc. are a night mare.... the example code at the end of demonstrating the points...... emmmmmmmm right.. all that reading and definitions and one piece of code ..... way or no way.....
Then the next chapter definitions continue and more definitions in the code, how to define a class how to define a interface, how to define inheritance.......... all great techniques... but with some many different types of classes from base to sealed, to abstract and all those in between ... you are left with a few lines of code and some reasons while you may get a compilers error if you try and inherit from one type of class rather than the other..... and a yet another chapter to do on defining members.. its all very drawn out .... i think it would be better for a simple definiton and then some code ..... by the time you have read and re read all these complex rules including non default constructors etc.... you are lost and can hardly understand them until you use them.. from my experience with coding its a doing thing... not explanation ,explanation and explanation and some doing ..
I would just like to leave my comments about the book. I have beginners knowledge in VB and Java and have just started C#. I believe that everyone has their own learning styles and therefore not all books will be appropriate for everyone.
As I am a beginner I felt that the book did describe things not so clearly quite early on in the book. Whilst reading the book I did not fully understand all the jargon and descriptions. The example code and Try it outs where quite useful but did not expand my learning as quickly as the pace of the book. I felt that the Try it outs told me what to do so that at the end of the exercise I knew my code worked and it was correct but I did not fully understand why. I worked through Part 1 of the book and as I do not learn well from just reading I felt I had to stop. As I have had experience with windows forms in VB I decided to create the Card Game application with a user interface. Whilst changing the code of this appropriately I noticed that I have not learnt very much as I was just copying code from the book. This is due to my own learning style that is why I found the book difficult to read.
from my experience with coding its a doing thing... not explanation ,explanation and explanation and some doing ..
mmmm, I disagree; I think without proper theory "doing" is a moot point if you don't know the hows or whys.
In so far as books are concerened i think you have, roughly, 2 types of Beginners book: the types that hold your hands and the types that don't. I would say that this book is more the latter than the former and which type of book you like depends on your learning style. Personally I prefer the type of book that doesn't hold your hand, a 30,000 foot view of what boolean opeartors are is ok as long, at some point, you show me how they are used.
In any event I think this is all relative to how you learn and what you are comfortable with.
I have to disagree to some extent with most of the posters. I think the book is fairly well done. I've worked through some of the real hold your had books like the Microsoft step by step books. But I never feel like I really know much after I'm done with those.
I do understand the frustration of some with the sections on OOP concepts and techniques. My best advice is to read that chapter along with the wiki on Object Oriented Programming which is really well written. This was not my first time with OOP concepts (actually my 4th I think), so it was mostly review. However, I don't think I'd say one of those 4 books I've read was so crystal clear that I understood it after just one book. I remember being extremely confused after the first book. But by the 4th book I feel like I'm getting a fairly decent understanding of the whys and whats of OOP concepts and implementation. But for any book to do a great job and give enough examples for OOP techniques and concepts it would be a 1000 page book in and of itself. And even then you'd probably be better off reading multiple authors explanations, because you'll get enough parts that click that they'll start to make sense. And with that said even now some concepts in OOP are very abstract and until you see real world examples of something like polymorphism it does not really make sense.
Anyway thats just my 2 cents.
My only real gripe so far is the Mandelbrot example. But that's just me. It just seemed a bit excessive for covering looping. But thats just me. Maybe I'm just mad I did not take the time to figure out the math which did not seem super obvious after a quick look. :)
I strongly disagree with Jaguar's ideas. Yes, it could be dummied down, but there is a limit. There are yellow and black books out there for that sort of thing. I buy WROX books because i expect to learn something, and to do that I usually am required to think, maybe even check another reference or two, use the help files, etc. I've had the misfortune of working with "programmers" who disliked the 'work' part of programming, and it was not fun.
Karli -- excellent work!! Excellent balance!!! Stop over some time and I'll buy you a beer, maybe two!!!!!
If you are not part of the solution, there is good money to be made by prolonging the problem.