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Programming the Be Operating System: Writing Programs for the Be Operating System Paperback – June 11, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

There's not yet a big market for creators of programs that run under the Be operating system, but its special capabilities may prove irresistible to experiment-minded programmers. Programming the Be Operating System will help show you the BeOS ropes, particularly those that have to do with creating graphical user interfaces (GUIs). The book explains the gross characteristics of all BeOS programs before providing some tutelage on the BeIDE development environment. With its "Hello, World" program, this book exhibits all the hallmarks of a text for beginners. Rather than getting too deep into any one aspect of BeOS, the author provides fairly broad coverage, explaining how the operating system handles windowing, graphics, fonts, multithreading, and GUI elements.

This book isn't (and does not include) an API reference, and in fact touches on only a portion of the capabilities BeOS exposes to application builders. Programmers who find this book too basic may get more out of the Be Developer's Guide and (especially) Be Advanced Topics, both written by the Be team itself. Still, this book represents an important addition to the slender library of Be books for programmers. It has advice worth sharing--all but the most experienced Be programmers will learn something from these pages. --David Wall

Topics covered: Be program structure and syntax, using the BeIDE environment, creating a simple program, working with colors and shapes, manipulating text and fonts, and creating GUIs.

About the Author

Sydow is a graduate of the Milwaukee School of Engineering.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (June 11, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565924673
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565924673
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #879,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
I normally don't bother writing online reviews, but I felt I should after seeing the previous review. I think the two star rating and criticism of the book is somewhat of a disservice to potential readers. I do agree with the reviewer that the book doesn't go in-depth. But I don't think it's supposed to. In the author's comments he uses words like "fundamentals" and "overview". He also says the book is a starting point, and a tutorial, and that programmers well-versed in Be programming should consider the two reference-style BeBooks by O'Reilly. So I don't think this book was really meant to cover things like custom controls (or even all of the existing controls). Anyway, it got me switched over from Windows programming, and that's what I wanted. I didn't really expect a tutorial to be the only book I'd need. (It's a good book, but I gave it four stars instead of five 'cause I don't know if I'd give *any* book a "five"!).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
All in all, I thought this this was a decent book. To be honest, I was expecting more. However, the book is very thorough in its explanations and examples (almost to a fault). The book starts out very basic and the learning curve does not get much steeper as you continue through the book. This book probably should have been called "The BeOS User Interface", rather than "Programming the Be Operating System". If you are looking for a book that covers every one of the API kits in detail w/ programming examples to enhance itself, this is not the book. However, if you are looking for a book that explains the User Interface and its workings, this is the book for you (the coding examples in the book are fairly decent). This book, used in conjunction w/ the Be Book, provides a good learning experience. Sydow lays a decent foundation which you can then, in turn, experiment with and build upon.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Adam Younce (adam@ripcord.net) on September 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
When I heard that this book was coming out, I couldn't wait to get it (in fact I pre-ordered it from Amazon). I have to admit that its a bit of a disappointment now that I've gotten through a good portion of the book.

While what it does cover is explained fairly well, the book is quite weak in many areas. While it gives a fairly good introduction into programming for Be, it doesn't go into detail where it really matters. The book lacks depth when introducing the reader to the ways of the Be API. No attempt is made at explaing how to create custom controls, not to mention that the book doesn't even cover all the controls made available in the Be API. While it does offer a fairly decent explaination of some of the Interface Kit, I'd say shy away from this one and spend your money on the other BeBooks by O'Reilly.

Here's to some better beginner's documentation!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a great introduction for programming the BeOS. It's a great introduction for those who have never programed before, and it's a great transition book for those who have worked with other APIs and want to learn Be's API. True, the book is simplistic and it doesn't go into any great detail of the API classes, but thats what the Be Book is for. I give this book 5 stars for more than adequately doing what it was written to do.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
I'd say this book is pretty much as the author describes it above -- it's great for getting started in programming for the BeOS. I come from a Windows programming background, and this book made the transition to Be programming smooth. It was a fairly quick read, and got me up to speed in writing simple Be apps. Now I'm digging in deeper with more advanced docs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joe Howard (joe@joeweb.com) on July 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
I thought the book was an excellent introduction to programming the BeOS. The book focuses on the essentials, particularly of the interface kit, and provides an efficient means of becoming familiar with the API. The book clearly demonstrates the elegance of the BeOS API.
I was concerned about the references to the CDROM, but I'm sure those will be corrected in the second edition. I just downloaded the code from the "Examples" page on the O'Reilly site. I'd take this book with some minor errors over not having a hard copy intro to BeOS programming any day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is definitely the book to have if you want to start programming on the BeOS. The first chapter alone helped clear notions in the Be API that I didn't quite grasp.
There is talk about the fact that the book was supposed to come with a CD. But the way I understand it, the author only refers the reader to sample source code that's provided on the BeOS CDROM or on the Internet.
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