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Download Advanced Visual Basic Techniques epub

Download Advanced Visual Basic Techniques epub
ISBN: 0585242127
ISBN13: 978-0585242125
Category: Technology
Subcategory: Programming Languages
ePUB size: 1612 kb
FB2 size: 1610 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 312
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An advanced programming book has a difficult goal. It must show programmers, who are already working with a language, techniques that they presumably don't know or of which they don't realize the capabilities. They tend to be weak in a number of ways. They emphasize "tips and tricks" and avoid the harder details. They use code snippets and fragments that need user-supplied code to work. When they present fully coded procedures, they are frequently a set of disjointed routines, which the user is left to weave together.
Advanced Visual Basic Techniques by Rod Stephens avoids these areas of weakness. It does this by presenting fully developed systems that demonstrate advanced use of Visual Basic. Better still, it does not avoid the difficulties and details that make the techniques described work. A careful reading through this book covers the areas needed for full mastery of Visual Basic.
Chapter one starts with a simple look at field validation and moves directly into dynamic management of controls, including placement after form resizing; creation of controls at run-time; displaying controls in scrollable viewports; printing and print preview; and saving and reading data in files, including all pertinent menus and a "recently used file" menu item. The beauty of this is that these techniques are used in a fully developed application, which shows them in operation.

On the Visual Basic newsgroups we see questions on such topics as printer setup, building help files, and use of the Printer Object. The short, specific answers found there are only a start at help. This book is the complete help needed. Rod Stephens covers these topics in chapter two. Again, by showing these topics in use and in detail a reader has all the information needed to use these techniques in his own work.

The first two chapters would be a useful book on their own, although it's true that some additional details are continued into chapter three. But there is more! Topics like handling bit-mapped vari!ables, creating rotated fonts, menu handling, and step-by-step procedures for creating Add-Ins make this a complete course for intermediate programmers.
The second half of the book tackles subjects that need the kind of in-depth coverage this book gives them. The third section covers database design, queries, and use and splitting a database on a network. A fourth section covers client/server topics. The chapter on Asynchronous Servers, while short, clearly shows concepts that I have found to be major stumbling blocks in class. A final pair of sections gives a brief introduction to ActiveX controls and their use on the Web, including retrieving data from the client-side to the server. Here too, fully operational applications are provided to demonstrate the techniques.

Clearly, there is so much here that some aspects must be left out in a book this size, but they are only marginally Visual Basic (such as setup and use of ODBC). Still, the topics that are covered are hard to find elsewhere, expressed as clearly and accurately as they are here. Mr. Stephens presents each topic in a straightforward, clear style.

This book will require the intended audience to work through it. It will be well worth the effort.
Nothing "advanced" here. Samples sometimes approach the intermediate stage, but stop short. The samples (most of which refuse to run) are, however, perfect examples of how NOT to design user input screens and how NOT to write VB code. In one so-called "real-world" example, the author assumes that salespeople and office clerks communicate with corporate databases by composing and submitting their own SQL statements. This example is so poorly designed that anyone (especially a non-techy) could blow up this program by just looking at it. The Query sample is easily outdone by VB's own Visdata utility. In another example, a VB Timer is used to create a redundant ActiveX control, when the Timer itself would have sufficed. In yet another, multiple copies of the same drop-down boxes are used (in a real-world database, this would soon blow out all available stack areas). In another, the author uses the Change Event to track user input instead of the more relevant Key Press and other events. In another, he displays a nearly full-screen HTML pseudo-help screen to deliver one, eight-word sentence -- ignoring the fact that this would be the perfect place to teach beginners how to use Popup menus! In fact, Help screens are much easier to design that this, but the author ignores the tools that VB itself provides for the work. In another sample, he uses "advanced" scrolling techniques to move 50 individual VB controls one at a time, instead of moving their container once, then blithely mentions later that moving the container is really how to do it, then proceeds to repeat the mistake in later examples. VB's own (free) Help and user manuals are far more sophisticated and accurate. Because there are so many useless examples and contrived (and often incorrect and sadly ineffcient or inadequate) programming solutions, I would not recommend this book to beginners, much less to "advanced" programmers. Readers who grant 5 stars to this tome have either never bothered to look into VB's own guides, or have never programmed before, or both. Some rather basic Windows API calls are used inappropriately, data labels are used when Grids would be suitable (and more advanced), and the author incorrectly assumes that database users know exactly what they're looking for and how to find it. Many VB beginners know better than to design interfaces or write code like this; advanced users would be too embarrassed to use most of these designs; and urging beginners to use VB as presented here would set them off on the wrong track.
I bought this book with high expectations. The author certainly covers some very interesting topics. There is a wealth of code provided that demonstrates how to implement various advanced features. However, the associated text is almost worthless. The vast majority of the written commentary is just that, it is essentially a big comment block for the included code examples. Instead of explaining why the code works as it does and how to implement such features, it is a basic narrative of what the code is doing. I got more out of reading the code and looking things up in a manual than I did actually reading the book. This was not what I was looking for when I bought this book.
I bought this book because Windows Magazine (November 1997, pg 104) recommended it!