I had to start studying for the exams and so, I started off with VB (it’s just a part of Visual Programming-one of my electives. MFC being the other part.) because MFC is a lot tougher. People who have done MFC or VC++ will, I am sure agree with me. The prescribed book is the one I have mentioned on top. I started reading up on VB in my vacations just as a hobby because I wanted to take my programming to the next level. (By the next level I mean Visual Programming and not superior.)I am comfortable with C and C++, though not a pro. In my opinion C and C++ rock, but if you were to write a code for Visual Programming using either (without help like existing class libraries), then you better set aside the next week or so. It can be done though.
I started with VB 2005 in my vacations with a Wrox (Wiley) book – “Beginning VB 2005” by Thearon Willis and Bryan Newsome. I instantly fell in love with the easy language and hands on programming style presented. I never got around to the more advanced topics and now I feel I learnt very little really. The Dummies book- “Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition for Dummies” by Richard Mansfield was equally good and like all dummies book was easy to understand. But the content presented was more or less like the previous book. And since I had started off with that, I never got around to reading much from this book either.
So when I had learnt VB 2005 in the vacations why bother reading VB 6 at all? That’s stupid Anna University Syllabus for you. They prescribe out-dated stuff. Nevertheless I had to learn the basics, so I said to myself No harm doing VB 6. My college Library didn’t have a book, so I decided to buy the book finally. (It set back my funds by Rs. 600 approx. Another Rs. 750 for MFC book 😦 ) When I went shopping, the shopkeeper told me the book is not available and “Mastering VB 2005” by the same author was available. He asked me for an advance when I said I want the book anyway.
Coming to the book, its fat!! 1300 paged approx. I started with the book and instantly disliked it for some reason. It’s hard to point out why. It’s not like the content was bad or badly presented. I think it was just too much stuffed into one book and the fact that I couldn’t lie down and read it. Its heavy I tell you. But then when I started this morning under compulsion, I somehow found the book extraordinarily nice. Somehow everything fell in place. Amazing eh? Again I can attribute it to a lot of reasons. When you are studying something with a purpose, the depth helps. And the book again has hands on projects like all programming books. But I think I learnt to do a lot more with VB from this book than I did from the other two books. That’s where the depth comes in. Let’s hope my transition to VB 2005 will be smooth, if at all I again learn it.
Final verdict: Good book. Nice detailed content. Whole range of topics. Downside: The size (could have been made in 2 parts or something.), the weight.