- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Packt Publishing Limited (October 25, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1783283416
- ISBN-13: 978-1783283415
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 340 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
C++ Application Development with Code::Blocks Paperback – 25 October 2013
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About the Author
Biplab Kumar Modak is a passionate, open-source software developer. He started learning programming at school in the year 1996 with a BBC Micro computer system. The sheer limitation of computing resources in a BBC Micro computer system forced him to think out-of-the-box and sharpened his programming skills. He participated in several software development competitions at school level and won several awards before joining college. By then he started learning and developing in C and C++ language. He used his C/C++ development skills for his academic and extracurricular projects. He started contributing to the Code::Blocks project in the year 2006 and since then has remained as one of the developers of Code::Blocks. He has also contributed to a few other open source projects. Overall he has about 17 years of freelance software development experience and out of which 14 years in C/C++ development experience. He is basically an Civil and Structural Engineer by profession. His job involves analyzing and designing tall buildings and other structures. He was one of the key engineers behind recent upgrade of Terminal 1, Singapore Changi Airport, and several public and private housing projects. He spends his free time in learning new technologies and in developing Code::Blocks and other such projects.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I consider myself an intermediate programmer although new to Code::Blocks. I'm not a professional programmer but more of a hobbyist. I've used IDE's in the past and was looking for a decent introduction to Code::Blocks to get me up and running. There are no other books out on using Code::Blocks so I jumped on this one, perhaps a bit impulsively.
On its cover, this book promises that it will help you "develop advanced applications with Code::Blocks quickly and efficiently with this concise, hands-on guide." In the preface, it states that the target audience is C/C++ developers and that prior knowledge of C/C++ compiler is required. One would assume from this that the target audience is reasonably intelligent and experienced. Anyone in that category would likely feel insulted and ripped off by this book.
The short and brief connotation of "concise" is certainly fulfilled. Including the appendix, it's only 109 pages. About two thirds of it is filled with mostly useless screen shots of the program's dialog boxes that only a moron or a high school student would find useful. The clincher for me was the screen shot of a blank Notepad window that takes up a quarter of page 61.
The author attempts a tutorial style throughout the book. There are numerous pages of C++ code that he uses as examples. Although he claims to not be trying to teach C/C++, he felt the need to explain in significant depth what various lines of code were trying to accomplish. What's left of the book, the text in fairly large font, could probably fill out a fairly long magazine article that highlights some of the things you can do with Code::Blocks.
The author is clearly not a native English speaker. That's ok as long as you have an editor that can back you up. The editor(s) clearly failed here. There are numerous grammatically incorrect sentences, although you can usually figure out what he is trying to say.
Chapter 1 is about getting and installing the program. Go to [...] and download the program. Run the installation program and follow all the instructions accepting all the default values suggested. I think you would know to accept the license agreement and to click on the install button on the screen. Hover over the toolbar icons to find out what they do. There, I've just saved you 16 pages of useless reading.
Chapter 2 starts off with the obligatory "Hello World" console program. If you're an experienced programmer, you can likely figure out what button to press to compile and run. He next develops a project with a couple of files in it, again as a console program. Again, if you're an experienced programmer, you can likely figure this out on your own too. He spends a few pages here on an introductory example of how to use the debugger. Next is an example of how to include an external library (conio2) in a project. The only part of this chapter I didn't already know was the page and a half discussion of workspaces.
Chapter 3 is how to use the debugger in more depth. Pretty standard stuff again. If you've used any debugger before and know how to set breakpoints, there's nothing new here.
Chapter 4 gives a couple examples of how to write a Win32GUI project and later a wxWidgets project with the wxSmith plugin. These are merely example programs. There is little or no talk about how to install wxWidgets and configure it to run in Code::Blocks. If you've worked in a RAD environment before, what he talks about is all pretty standard stuff.
Chapter 5 is a tutorial on how to develop an image viewer. After my experience with the first four chapters, I decided to save myself from reading it.
The appendix talks about a few other features of Code::Blocks: a short paragraph that you can use the Squirrel language to script changes to the program; a few pages on using Doxyblocks to document your code; a page on saving and reusing code snippets; a page saying you can configure other external tools to work with Code::Blocks.
Although I consider myself to be a Code::Blocks novice, this book did not teach me anything that I hadn't learned by playing with it and Googling things I didn't know. If you expect any depth at all, or are hoping to learn how to set up the various compiler and linker options, you'll be sorely disappointed.
If you want to really learn how to configure and use Code::Blocks, download the user manual from [...] or read the articles on the wiki at [...] If you want to learn about wxWidgets, go to [...] The rest you can get by Googling. Don't waste your time and money on this book.
For now, I am leaving the rating as 3 stars. (That might change later as I get more qualified to judge a book such as this.)
Since yesterday's review, I have finished the Goetz introduction to Code::Blocks, mentioned below. I recommend that pdf file to anyone who is new to C:B. It got me going to where I feel comfortable working with basic C programs -- i.e., compiling them and running them (and doing a little debugging :>). There are only the most minor discrepancies between what is presented there and what you will see in actually running C::B. I think some of that are due to (a) continuing minor updates on the C::B web site not yet reflected in the update of the pdf online; and (b)
I am suspicious that a slight variation in button pushes can skip over some of the common dialogs shown in screenshots, depending on the context.
As to this book being reviewed on Amazon, I have finished up to a third of chapter 2 (not much, I admit), going through compiling and running a simple C++ program with a single file. But I don't know C++, and am in the process of trying to learn C first. I followed the logic of the first program OK (and it ran OK). But on the next program, involving multiple files, I quickly got passed by. I just don't know enough C++ at this point. I set it up and it ran OK, but I didn't get much out of that. And that is on me. Though there were explanations of what was happening, they were very concise.
In my short read into this book, it has definitely gone past what is in the Goetz pdf, and there are about another 70 pages to go. (The pdf did cover some on debugging with C::B, and I haven't gotten into that with this Packt book, yet.)
I believe the appropriate reader of this book is someone who has somewhat of an understanding of C++, including putting together several source files involving multiple classes. If you think this book will actually teach you the C++ language, I think you are misinterpreting the title. It is intended to teach you how to do what you already know of C++, but in a Code::Blocks environment.
ORIGINAL REVIEW (Jan 1, 2017):
Despite the earlier (and only) review which rated it one star, I am going to give this book a try. From the "Look inside" feature, it looked like it might be helpful, at least to me. I bought it as an e-book directly from the publisher's site, where it was fairly cheap (at least for now).
I am giving this book a neutral (3-star) rating for now, and will update after I have finished it.
I tried the documentation on the code::blocks dev site, but it was not helpful to me. I like to know what all the menu options and toolbars are for (and there are A LOT of these) and why I might want to select them, but that documentation seemed to be geared to someone who has a lot of experience with C/C++ compilers and project management, not me.
Before I read this, I will finish reading Code::Blocks Student Manual (a free pdf) by goetz, et al., from CUNY; and come back and update to tell what this has that that doesn't. That pdf looks like it is kept very up-to-date as new builds of Code:Blocks are released. A partial reading has been so-far helpful to me. It does a good job of describing installation and some initial configuration.