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Old October 21st, 2004, 12:08 PM
HateSmithandSussman HateSmithandSussman is offline
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 The title "Beginning Access 2000 VBA" would be more accurately called "Began Access 2000 VBA" or perhaps the more succinct and accurate "Doorstop". When producing a book that one intends to sell honestly with the word "Beginner's" in the title, one should then proceed to write a book aimed at beginners.

This is not a book that is really of any use to the beginner although I've no doubt that the authors did their sincere best to write one. This is a book written by people who know their topic well, but do not know who their audience is and what they will be thinking like or reading for. That's what editors are for. Wrox should hire some, because the people who passed themselves off as editors, whatever their other qualities, also didn't know how to write a beginner's guide.

Let's look at the book itself...


First off, the cliché title of Chapter one "A Long Journey" tells us that we should not expect much of these authors regarding creativity or cleverness. On the other hand, that’s okay, we don't need them to be, we just need them to be clear... Hmmm

Page 1 of Chapter 1 the authors state:

"We also want to reinforce the point that the book is designed to help you learn how to use VBA, and for that reason we're not interested in anything that would complicate matters."

Then as if they had just told you that the gun is only a toy, they shoot you in the kneecap. Four sentences later the author writes:

"We found the decision of which data access method to use caused the big problem, because Access 2000 comes with a new method (ADO), although the old method (DAO) is still available for use. Should we switch to this new method, or stick with the old one." [Beginning Access 2000 VBA, pg. 7, (First Page of Chapter 1)

Thank you gentlemen for not complicating matters. Never mind that the average "beginner" reader hasn't a clue as to what you're going on about.

Here's another gem of clarity for the novice:

"When using DAO, there is an Errors collection, which contains Error objects. Each Error object contains a single piece of information about an error."

Ummmm...

Wrox, please stop playing at publishing things that have the word "Beginner's" on the cover. Indeed, given the number of coding errors you seem to have complaints about, consider getting out of the book business altogether. Numbers and accuracy of data are matters of some import in technical manuals, which is what you seem to be attempting to produce, If you were cranking out flawed technical manuals for, say, farm equipment or toasters, the class action lawsuits for death and dismemberment would have closed your company and jailed your owners.

I don't remember ever returning a book. I keep almost every book I buy because I generally think that even the worst of them has some merit. As I have all the doorstops I need, I'll take this one back to Border's today.


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