Customer Reviews: Learn to Program Visual Basic Objects
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on September 11, 2000
I give this book a good rating for what it is. This book is basicaly an INTRO book in how to code with objects in VB and an introductory to some OOP concepts.
This books strong points are the following:
1. It is very easy to follow 2. It is CHEAP 3. The examples are concise and make for easy understanding 4. The author PUMMELS the concepts in your head until YOU GET IT (which by the way he does excellently) 5. There are virtually no errors in this book (most of them are spelling errors in the prose) and that is RARE in a computer book.
So for this reason it is quite good. Now what's bad
1. Filled with lots of scenic padding (you know what I mean if you've read it!) 2. Examples are very small 3. Could contain LOTS more (such as COM ) 4. This project is WAY to small. I only WISH in the years of my experience with VB projects that an application would be this small and simple... No way...
However the reasons it lacks through the above, is because this was not what the author was achieving for, and not the audience he was reaching out to.
The book says it is for the Begginer to Intermediate level. I would say this book is STRICTLY beginerish in fact it is even intro. Intermediate and advanced programmers (ecspecialy those who have worked in VB) will find this book too laid back, and over simplified (You'll be sitting there saying 'OK I get it now, show me something more involved [this is what I was saying]'). It's as if the other students in the class are holding you back because of their skill level.
I bought this book because I have worked with VB for some time but never forced myself to learn its classes. This has to do mostly for 2 reasons. One, I have been able to achieve everything I need without it. Two, Vb is NOT a true object oriented language. I learned all about OOP in school programming with C++ and some Powerbuilder. Thus if I was going to do OOP I would not use VB. Also this book had very good reviews. I have noticed that most of the people who gave favourable reviews about the book with high praise, were virtualy in love with the author and worked from all his other books. This book though did what it needed to do for me, but it took way too much time to do it cause of all the padding. But it is good cause Smiley hammers the concepts until you get IT! Like one reviewer said, "If you don't get OOP [in a VB context] from this book there is no hope for you". No doubt!
A lot of the stuff for me, was just un-locking all that old stuff I had burried in the back of my skull from years ago at school, and recognizing the VB syntax for its classes.
But the stuff is GOOD and the book is VERY usefull. It's just a little too theory based to. What Smiley hints about the real world [regarding application development] is all good BUT when you hit the cement for awhile you really start seeing what it takes to make an app get in [politics etc..] and all the other B.S. that throws everything you learned in school OUT THE WINDOW!!
This book is perfect for someone who is either learning to program (meaning they have had NO formal training in it) and is using VB but hasn't learned classes yet.
This book is NOT for people who no nothing about programming. You will probably have a hard time with it. Also if you are VB experienced and know some OOP this book is missing MEAT!! and it is NOT for you either. You will get good stuff from it, but you will want more..
So that's my final thoughts to summarize this one. EXCELLENT if you are new to VB and want to learn it's OOP, LACKING if you are an advanced VB programmer (or advanced programmer in general). The rating reflects the book for what it is: 4 out of 5.
Also if your really interested in doing OOP, learn a true OO language like C++ or Java.
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on February 6, 2000
Professor John Smiley has done it again! His new book "Learn to Program Objects With Visual Basic" is another five star publication for those, beginner - intermediate and even advanced, Visual Basic Programmers wanting to learn about Object Oriented Programming (OOP). Both, my wife and I thoroughly enjoy learning about VB Programming via John's unique style of writing and his sence of humor. He takes what is normally very technical & dry content and, by simulating an actual college class environment, maintains your interest through dialog between the Teacher and Students in the class. He has a way of explaining not only the theory (why's), but also the practical application "how's" of VB by assisting his "Class" develop and update a "Real World" application. I have purchased, read, and learned from all of John's books on Visual Basic Programming and am looking forward to learning more from his future writings. This book is a must for any one wishing to learn about Object Oriented Programming. What more can I say except experience a true 5 Star author by purchasing one or all of his books, And enjoy watching his students as they learn to program from a Master.
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on June 23, 2000
NOTE: Beginner's book!, even though this is the "second" related book by this author.
This book gives the reader a great introduction to object oriented programming in Visual Basic. It will help you to realize that if you've programmed the basics in Visual Basic (perhaps with John Smiley's first book), objects really aren't that much harder than what you've been doing. It's just a different approach.
All programming books should concentrate on having the reader do examples. The author makes sure of that. He works on taking a normal, working Visual Basic project and redoing it as object-oriented. The CD includes the files from the old project and you re-program it object-oriented as you step through the lessons. There are chapters on Collection objects, manipulating Excel and Word by using VB OOP, and creating ActiveX components.
The book is almost 700 pages because the author uses a "classroom" dialog. He was attempting to do two things: put it in a classroom-simulated situation and keep it an enjoyable read (unheard of with programming books) with comments from the class. I like the idea, but the comments get tiresome, adding extra fluff not needed in the book.
I had to get this book because of the rave reviews and because I wanted to advance my knowledge of Visual Basic. The book really takes off in the later chapters, just maintain the same patience you'd have if you were sitting in a classroom and had to listen to other people speak up.
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on January 19, 2000
This is the 4th John Smiley book in my Visual Basic library. Just like the previous 3, this book is a big time winner. Professor Smiley is back in class, energized by the challenge of "de-mystifying objects".
In his usual step by step manner, Professor Smiley guides his students through the process of modifying the "China Project" developed in his first book. (The completed "China Project" from his 1st book is on the CD that comes with this book.) We are shown how using "objects" makes our code more readable, and how it streamlines the process of modifying a project. Every new topic is thoroughly explained and demonstrated in a practice project prior to making any changes in the China Project. Taking the time to practice first, is a powerful confidence builder for modifying the China Project directly.
Many programming book authors are technical wizards who take their accumulated knowledge for granted. These technical wizards are completely out of touch with the experience of being a beginner programmer, and their disdain for beginning level programmers comes across as arrogance in their writing style. John Smiley is that rare technical wizard who has avoided the "arrogance trap" that many authors proudly espouse. John Smiley has a tremendous rapport with beginning level programmers. Most obvious to this reader, he not only has the patience for teaching beginners, he also truly enjoys teaching his craft. This book is a must read for a programmer at ANY level who wants to broaden their understanding of "objects".
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on February 13, 2000
John Smiley presents a complete learning environment that builds a solid programming foundation. Each book individually and collectively engages and immerses the novice programmer into the richness of the Visual Basic development environment without overwhelming you in its complexity. From Learn to Program with Visual Basic, through Databases and Objects I found learning VB programming fun, and instructive at the same time. John's use of examples to support the development of a "real world" programming task proved important in understanding VB programming, the Integrated Development Environment and it various features or tools. Using the same program, you helped create, through three books dealing with different aspects of VB programming helped solidify the programming experience, and enhance learning. More than anything else, John comes out of those pages as your guide and mentor allowing you to pick up those intangibles that come from a skilled programmer, and educator. He leaves you, and encourages further study, having given you the fundamentals to go on and tackle more advanced VB topics, because you now know how to program with VB. I kid you not. I jumped into learning VB using the MS Visual Basic Programmer's guide, and various MSDN materials. It was like going up hill in snow and ice, I wasn't getting anywhere fast! After going through John's three books, MS VB programmers guide, and other materials just fell into place, because I now had the VB skills and knowledge to appreciate and understand the presented material.
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on July 21, 2001
Professor Smiley does it again! I had read his previous book "Learn To Program With Visual Basic" and found his writing style very unique. It was great to find out he wrote one on VB Objects. I'm halfway through the book and he's made VB Objects easy to understand.
For those of you who may not have read his other books before, you're reading the book as if you're in a University class setting taking his VB Objects class. Yes, there's alot of dialogue between him and his students (remember, it's a classroom setting) which can get boring at first. What may seem boring is really his way of pounding those concepts into you. He uses his China Shop program from his first book to guide his students into making it object-oriented. The examples really help explain the concepts.
I've gotten to the Chapter on Class Modules. This is the only book I've found that explained this concept to me in a way that made sense without so much mumbojumbo. I've been programming for years, wanted to really learn Visual Basic but got tired of the same old reference book style. Other books assume you always have some knowledge level of the subject itself. This one only assumes you've had introductory VB experience NOT Objects. You will find out that if you've used VB before, you've had experience with Objects :-) .
I'm using this book in VB Object class at an online learning site(Actually, I was already getting this book after I finished Prof Smiley's first book) and it's working great. If you want a simple way to understand objects, get this book. If you're the type that needs to be 'led by the hand' on Objects, this book is for you.
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on August 23, 2001
Like other books of Learn to Program Visual Basic series, Learn to Program Visual Basic Objects is about teaching readers how to program with VB in a classroom set of environment. The university course is ten weeks long, and the class meets once a week on every Saturday morning. Instead of showing readers pure technical information, Professor John Smiley records the whole class conversation on paper. Readers who follow along the content will feel like sitting in the classroom watching the class. Here is a short description of each chapter:
Chapter One The Return of the China Shop Continuing from the original China Shop program, Joe Bullina, the owner of Bullina China Shop, requests some new modifications after he and his staff happily using the program to increase the store revenue. By considering frequent modifications and limited budget, Professor Smiley recommends Mr. Bullina to have the program object-oriented in his up-coming VB Objects course. The author explains the general concept of object-oriented programming to his wife Linda Simley, which is worth reading, and will prepare novice readers for the following chapters.
Chapter Two Visual Basic Objects in Action Starting with the controls the class is already familiar to, Professor Smiley explains the characteristics of control objects and the relationship with their class templates. Based on the new knowledge, the collection objects are introduced. The author uses variable-array and object-collection comparison to bring readers one-step toward to the object-oriented land.
Chapter Three Visual Basic System Objects As the chapter title indicates, three system objects are introduced: including the App object, the Clipboard object, and the Screen object. Other four system objects including the Forms collection, the Licenses collection, the Printer object, and Fonts collection are also shortly described.
Chapter Four Objects ¨C the Inside Story The class is introduced to the characteristics of objects again. By adding a custom property and a custom method into a Form, the class starts realizing the power of objects. In the second half of the class period, the Use-Case methodology is shown to the class. Professor Smiley starts a scenario to go through the object-oriented design process. These twelve pages of the design methodology help me tremendously on the system design.
Chapter Five Creating Your Own Objects This chapter is where the real coding starts; the class will create an object and create properties for it. For demonstration purpose, a mini project called Student Grades is brought in. Before applying the new skills into the China Shop project, the class sees how they work in the mini project, which helps students nicely.
Chapter Six Adding Methods and Events As chapter five, the Student Grades program is continued been developed before the China Shop program. Object Methods and Events are well covered in this chapter. What I like here is a complete project shows me how to add objects, not just partial code. And I am reading the most common solution by using objects, not overwhelmed by every detail.
Chapter Seven Collection Objects This is the last chapter on creating classes, and I think it is by far the most thorough coverage on collection classes I¡¯ve ever read. Here readers will learn how to create collection classes for particular objects. After reading this chapter, I was able to organize objects programmatically and conceptually. I think readers will appreciate the concept of object encapsulation more after reading this chapter.
Chapter Eight Excel and Word ¨C by Remote Control! The idea of the ActiveX components is introduced in this chapter. By referencing object libraries, Professor Smiley shows his class how to use the power of Microsoft Word and Excel in their projects. Instead of writing complex code for a report writer, programmers can use the functionalities of Word and Excel to achieve the same result. Not too much details on using Word and Excel objects programming; after all, they deserve a book of each own.
Chapter Nine Creating Your Own ActiveX Components Continuing from chapter eight, ActiveX DLL and ActiveX EXE are covered in this chapter. By compiling components, code reuse can be true. The differences between ActiveX DLL and Active EXE are also covered as well as when to use them. ActiveX Documents and ActiveX Controls are not included in this chapter, but the author mentions ActiveX Documents will be fully covered in the new VB Web book.
Chapter Ten Troubleshooting, Testing, and a Ticker-tape Parade This is a short chapter. Several minor details on ActiveX components are mentioned. After that, A celebration takes place in Joe Bullina¡¯s store to end this interesting technical novel.
In this book, Professor Smiley reinforces (or as other readers said: pummels or hammers) the fundamental concept of object-oriented programming with VB 6. In other words, if a person as like me can get it, no one can¡¯t. After reading Learn to Program Visual Basic Objects, readers should have a solid ground on VB objects, which will allow them to go into VB components in no time.
The absence of database makes me rate this well-written book a four-stars. After all, this is continuing episode of Learn to Program Visual Basic Database, or at least I think so. Before I bought this book, I could not wait to see how the author object-orients the database version of the China Shop program. I have to admit there was a big disappointment after I got the book.
However, with the knowledge I¡¯ve learned from this book, I think it is a good weekend project to object-orient my own database version of the China Shop program. Like Professor Smiley always says, ¡°nothing can replace practice.¡±
Overall, I love this book, and I do recommend my friends getting it. By the way, for people who are seeking quick answers, this is not the book for you. Because it is like slow cooked beef soup, it does deserve readers spend time for it, and the reward is worth ten times of the price. The purpose of this book is to take things slowly in order to let the concept sink in deeply. With the author¡¯s unique writing style, frankly, I do not only learn VB objects programming, but also daily conversation of English!
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on March 31, 2000
Dr. Smiley has done it again! His unusual style of presentation has made it easy for me to understand what I thought was a very complicated subject. Having read(and successfully learned VB)from his other books, I waited for this one and it was worth it. He puts seminar style learning to paper. One of the great advantages of his style is that through the students that are learning with you (you go through the book with a group of real world students), you, the reader, get answers to questions that often pop into your mind while studying the material.
His definitions and clarification of the concept of objects is the best I have seen, having read through practically every book I can find on the subject. His process of bringing the learner through the problem, is realistic, not philosophical, and extremely practical.
If you really want to learn about using objects in your programs (believe me you can't live without them)and enjoy it, get this book.
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on October 22, 2002
This book should be the 3rd or 4th book in a series of books from John Smiley. Start with the "Learn to Program Visual Basic 6" and then follow it up with either "Learn to Program Visual Basic 6.0 Examples" or the "Learn to Program Visual Basic Databases and finally this book. After you have read all 4 books, you will have a solid foundation to building more sophisticated applications. These 4 books by John Smiley help me get a solid knowledge base.
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on March 2, 2013
I'll have to admit that this is the first programming book of 600-plus pages that I have ever actually gone completely through. Most of the programming books I have are more akin to reference manuals and are used accordingly rather than systematically from front to back. I enjoyed John Smiley's technique of using a classroom setting and putting the information out there as if the reader is actually a student in the classroom. His coverage of beginning level object programming using Visual Basic 6 is extremely thorough and should have the majority of people using objects with little or no difficulty. I bought this book in the hopes that it would help me to transform a VB6 program I have written from the traditional procedural approach to object-based and it has given me a nudge in that direction, but more is needed. The example program he uses in the text is very simplistic, a far cry from the code I am trying to convert, and as such provides me with less help than I need. Deciding on the objects to use in such a simple program is not the same as trying to identify objects in an application with 17 forms and 13 modules. My reasons for wishing to re-write my program in object based fashion are the same ones John gives in his book: easier troubleshooting and easier code maintenance. Aside from my circumstances, though, I can find little to complain about in his excellent book; except, perhaps, for his insistence on storing data files in 'app.path' rather than using the special folders recommended by Microsoft. Using 'app.path' had no downside back then since Windows used to cover up for not using the suggested folders, but since the introduction of Windows Vista using the proper folders has become more than a suggestion and doing otherwise can break a program. He has a website where he maintains the code from the book's CD for download, a nice touch if you end up with the book but the disc is missing. He begins rather slowly spending some time on collections, then moves on into identifying objects in a business process (in this case a fine china store) and determining which objects are applicable based on what the proprietor wants the software to do, then on to deciding what properties to use for the objects and how to implement them, then on to writing classes to model those objects, then he touches on automating Excel and Word using VB6, then goes into some entry level active-x coding. This really is a very good book for learning the basics of object programming and it goes into a lot of depth to make sure everyone understands the material being presented. I can't imagine anyone working through this book and then not having a better understanding of object programming. This is a book I am glad I bought and if VB6 were still widely available I would gladly recommend it to everyone; sadly, VB6 is much harder to find these days and VB.NET is enough different from VB6 that I must suggest finding a VB.NET object book instead
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