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Customer Review

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Is this a joke?, July 8, 2008
This review is from: Iterating Infusion: Clearer Views of Objects, Classes, and Systems (Hardcover)
"Some Languages"?
"Some Hardware and Software Manufacturers"?
"Basic URI Syntax"?
For a 200-page high-concept book, this sure wastes a few pages on things that any reader would be well aware of, given the target market of professional software engineers.

Between the bad typesetting, the space-wasting layout, the purposeless diagrams (what does the balance image on page 4 relate to, anyways?), and the unimaginably bad writing (the first moment of physical pain was page xvi, first paragraph, but there were many more to follow), I'm surprised Apress allowed their name to go on it. The author seems bent on replacing as much standard terminology as possible with his own equally arbitrary (not to mention perplexingly similar) bold-or-italicized terms, without offering any real insight into the field.

For some reason there's a table of common programming constructs with a column containing the 'COBOL Equivalent', because in 2005 that's a language everyone can relate to. The term 'function set network' appears every three or four paragraphs, as if it means something.

Two of the five chapters seek to cover, in as superficial (not to mention haphazard) a manner as possible, every information technology of the past 20 years; these are separated by a chapter on software design, which manages to discuss everything but. The bulk of the text is an introduction to the D language, for no particular reason. Bulking up the remainder of the book is a glossary of some sort, which seems to have little to do with any of the content, but which does provide for some amusement (pick any term, e.g. 'package', and chase the internal references until you reach a dead end -- longest path wins!).

The only remotely interesting bit is the chapter on 'interface algebra', which is actually less of an algebra and more of a notation (quite close to chemical formulae, actually). Unfortunately, this turns out to be poorly documented (compounded by meaningless diagrams, e.g. the ones on page 72, 73, 74), poorly demonstrated, and poorly conceived (i.e., the notation creates more communication problems than it solves).

According to the bio on page xiii, the author is a 23-year old with a gold star in independent studies from John Hopkins. After reading it, my guess is that the text was randomly generated to conform to the rules of English syntax and semantics, then slipped into an unsuspecting Apress editor's inbox as a hoax.

All in all, a (less than) 200 page book that could have been 20, and even then not likely worth reading.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 21, 2008 1:55:03 PM PST
Little Monk says:
I concurred with you. I am a practicing software developer and read tons of books each year, this thing is harder to decipher than the Sanskrit and I am sure there is nothing deep behind what's shown on the surface, and what's shown on the surface ain't pretty. Best of all, they had to bind a hard cover to this book to make it look thick!

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 9:23:20 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 20, 2012 9:24:27 PM PST
Mike says:
Yep, the book sure does look like a randomly generated hoax.

Btw, nowdays it's pretty standard for publishers to get paid/fake reviews for some of their new books. These are the early 5 star reviews by reviewers that haven't reviewed anything else. For example, look at this one:

When I see so many fake reviews, I don't even bother with the product.
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