Top positive review
35 people found this helpful
A Soup to Nuts Intro
on April 16, 2007
I'd like to give this book 4.5 stars, but that doesn't seem to be an option. I think quite highly of Lua and use it a lot. So I like to keep a collection of references that I can loan out to my colleagues and my students in a nut-so-subtle attempt to get them hooked. This book fulfills that role quite nicely.
I think this is an excellent book for several reasons: 1) I can loan it out both to intro students (who have not had much experience in compiling/installing software, coding anything other than toy programs, etc.) and I can loan it to colleagues who can skip all the fundamental material and yet still learn something interesting about Lua, and programming in general; 2) although it's close to 650 pages, it's 650ish pages of useful material, it doesn't achieve its bulk by being filled with gazillions of pages of on-line API documentation, and other fluff like many other intro books; 3) it has exercises (with answers in the back) for each chapter.
There are only two complaints I have with the book and neither are major. In Chapter 18 (Carrying Lua with you) there is no mention of the Lua port for PocketPC and a handful of other platforms. Although I don't use Windows much, there is a nice port of Lua that I use on an HP iPAQ. The other complaint is perhaps a little curmudgeonly: I don't like the authors' usage of the term "side-effect". While technically correct, it doesn't really align well with how most people, particularly in an intro setting, use the term.
That said, I think this is an excellent intro to Lua, contains good examples of programming in general, and I'm quite pleased to have a copy on my book collection.