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Beginning Lua with World of Warcraft Add-ons 2009th Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-1430223719
ISBN-10: 1430223715
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Beginning Lua with World of Warcraft Add-ons + World of Warcraft Programming: A Guide and Reference for Creating WoW Addons + Programming in Lua
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Emmerich is one of the programmers behind Deadly Boss Mods, one of the most famous World of Warcraft add-ons ever, with over 8 million users worldwide. He started programming in 1998, and started programming in Lua when World of Warcraft was released in 2004. Since then he has also created a variety of other projects in Lua, including porting vintage games to Lua. He currently studies computer science at the Technische Universit t M nchen in Germany. As Tandanu, level 80 Priest and Chief Coder for the guild on Aegwynn, Paul enjoys winning raid encounters and adding to his HK count.
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Product Details

  • Series: Beginning
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2009 edition (July 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430223715
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430223719
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #921,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Adam McCormick on October 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
First a disclaimer, I'm a Professional Software Engineer with a Masters degree and many languages in my toolkit so my qualms with this book are a little nitpicky and I'm looking at it from a "get you up to speed fast" perspective. Your mileage may vary.

This book is a really good introduction, not only to Lua but to programming in general. So far, the information has been spot-on and the author makes a very thoughtful effort at presenting a broad, balanced, and easy to follow take on building Lua/XML addons for WoW. I found it an enjoyable read and am now actively using it

Now with all that said, there are a few deficiencies:
- There are a lot of copy-and-paste mistakes in the API documentation (identical descriptions for very different methods/types)
- There are editing mistakes and typos littered throughout the book
- If you don't like poker or are new to WoW a lot of the examples and project sections are hard to follow. (The book used Texas Hold-em as a recurring and pervasive example of how to use most of the WoW constructs. Many of the other examples depend on the reader being a relatively experienced WoW player and rely on Jargon and advanced situations to explain the usages of some tools).
- I found the treatment of the display capabilities of the API somewhat lacking. I would have loved an example of rendering 3D models in a frame.
- One extremely useful addition would have been a description of each part of the native interface including class descriptions beyond the advice to read the native UI source code. (Several specific objects are referenced, but not in one place or in any complete way)
- Almost all of the tools suggested in the early chapters are Windows-specific (and as I have a Mac, they weren't as useful).
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Seairth Jacobs on November 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm not quite sure where to start on a review like this, so I'll just skip to the end: if you are seriously thinking of writing WoW add-ons, then make sure you read this book! Now that I've got that out of the way, let me go back and explain why.

There are three primary reasons why I would recommend this book to someone. First, the author of this book created Deadly Boss Mods, one of the most popular (and indispensable) add-ons available, which means that the knowledge he shares comes from experience. That experience comes in handy for navigating around those "gotchas" that have crept into the API over time. Second, the technical information he provides is both thorough and presented in an way that helps you understand the "why" and "how" of add-on development. For instance, the author waits until the end of the book to explain macros. This might seem a bit backwards until you read the rest of the book and realize just how much you need to know to make the most of the macro system. Third, this book is an excellent introduction to Lua, the scripting language used in WoW add-ons. The book provides a thorough understanding of Lua, meaning that the information you learn for writing WoW add-ons will be just as useful when you decide to write Lua-based add-ons for other applications (or when you just want to use Lua on its own).

Now, there were a few things about the book that I initially didn't like. First, the book is written in an informal, somewhat conversational style. As a result, I thought this was going to be a "For Dummies" type of book. After a few chapters, it becomes clear that this book is definitely not for dummies and the relaxed style ends up making the information very accessible.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By RandomReviewer on September 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
Finding any type of LUA information for World of Warcraft is difficult to say the least. This author has several examples with line by line explanations for the code through the book. I have found it to be invaluable to have as a quick reference for various tasks.

On the same note, I was stuck on a problem with my own mod, trying to model it around some code that is exampled in the book, and after struggling with it for a while I finally broke down and e-mailed the author a question, and not only did he respond lightning fast to my question, but he even included several code snipits he wrote on the fly to show me ways to solve my problem.

I continually refer back to this book whenever I have questions about how to accomplish something in WoW LUA Mods.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G. Garcia on December 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before buying this book I would have liked to know the following:

-WoW addon libraries have very little documentation and code samples.
-WoW addon coding doesn't have a dedicated development environment.
-Lua is a very detailed and powerful programming language not just for addons.
-The book has some syntax errors in the sample code.
-The book is too wordy when explaining things, pictures would be appreciated.

Blizzard only publishes the addon library. They do not support or document it. You won't find a reference with code examples, usages, or anything else useful.

When coding your addons, the book says you should use the Lua compiler. That's great if your coding a dedicated Lua program but when your using WoW addon libraries the compiler will say it doesn't understand some of your code. The other option is to use some Lua addons that work in game and allow you to run and test your code. These are your best bet.

Lua is not just a WoW addon programming language. You can actually make a pretty good career using this stuff. But if your new to Lua or programming for that matter, your twice as deep in the hole. Lua is the language used for addons but it also has its conventions, syntax, and schema. My advice is to learn the intricacies of Lua before trying to program addons. You don't need this book to do that. Lua is free and open source language.

In the early chapters, I found the code examples would not return the intended results. When I went to the website for the book, I found the code examples had errors.

The book says Beginning Lua with WoW addons. At first it sounds like the book will teach you Lua using WoW as a guide.
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