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Developing Linux Applications with GTK+ and GDK

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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 3.1

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Writing GUI Applications
Comment: I first read the preview of this book with the title Linux GUI Applications Development but i found it with the title Developing Linux Applications with GTK+ and GDK.

Anyway.I think that Mr Harlow did a very good job.Migrating from DOS/Windows programming to Linux it was hard to find books for console/XWindow programming.I used to read printed books and the online - electronic manual in the Internet confuse me very much. This book explains the use of GTK+ and GDK toolkit.There are many examples. After a few hours of reading i downloaded and installed the gtk+.1.2.0.tar.gz package very easy.Now i can explore the electronic manual more easily. There are some misprints but it does not bother me. The GTK+ - GDK toolkit remembers me the OOP Windows programming with Borland C++ and with the examples of this book i was able to write a few good looking "XWindows". I have still a lot of reading and experimantation, but i am in a good way. The GTK+ - GDK toolkit requires (I think) a quite good experience of C programming. I hope Mr Harlow continues to watch out the evolution of the GTK+ - GDK toolkit. And in the future i expect to give us a more extensive guide of this package or even a "Bible of GTK+ programming".

Special thanks to Amazon on line bookstore.Through its pages i could find some very good programming books (included this).

Minas Aristeidis Thessaloniki/Greece [email protected]

Customer Rating: 2
Summary: promising, but doesn't live up to its promises
Comment: When I first saw this book, I ordered it immediately. When I flipped through it to see the content, I was very excited. When I finally started reading it, I was extremely disappointed. The book doesn't cover so much of Gtk that I can't use it as a reference. The index is so poor that I can't find what it does cover. There is no explanation of anything, beyond a vague description and then a chunk of source code. I've taken to just reading the source code as a reference instead -- at least that way it's clear what everything does. Functions are mentioned and not all of their parameters are explained! That leaves me wondering what that last NULL meant, and finally digging through the source to find out. Or take the section on creating menus with item factories, where the author describes, in a bulleted list, the eight possible values for the flag parameter, and then proceeds to use a ninth one in the following source code, with no explanation of what it does! The examples in the book aren't exactly useful, because they illustrate one (sometimes non-typical) use. The book as a whole just blows. Add to that a very poor code quality even in the example source (which is about all there is left of the book) and this book is a lot closer to my trash can than my bookshelf.

Customer Rating: 1
Summary: very unprofessional
Comment: There are a number of factors that separate good toolkit programmer manuals from less gifted ones:

* There should be a number of rather large realistic examples - not just dozens of snippets rivaling the "Hello, World's" complexity. In this sense, Harlow's book is fine: there are good examples of real-life programs that could get the programmer going.

* There should be no cheesy stripped down (and ultimately useless) API reference, occupying the last third of a book. This book doesn't make this mistake either.

* API calls described must be presented clearly, with all parameters documented and return values explained. And that's where this book screws it up real bad.

Let me make it clear - it will be almost impossible for you to try any of the smaller examples from the book without having access to the API reference (or another book for that matter). I mean, having an example like:

htable = g_hash_table_new(HashValueKey, HashValueComparator);

how am I supposed to figure out what the type of htable is? And most examples in the book are just like that. This is a serious problem with the book that should've been caught by the editor or by anyone trying to look at the text with a fresh set of eyes.
And it is a pity - this book doesn't violate the two main principles stated above so it could've been the best one on the subject.