REVIEW - Ready-to-Run Visual BasicAlgorithms


Ready-to-Run Visual BasicAlgorithms


Rod Stephens



Wiley (1998)




Roger N Lever


February 1999



Visual Basic has contributed to the explosion in programmers generally. However, VB'ers are less likely to have had exposure to the 'fundamentals' since the VB staple diet consists of GUIs and database access. For instance nearly any early C/C++ book talks about and implements linked lists or stacks but most VB books do not. This book addresses that by discussing typical algorithms around data storage (lists, trees...) and manipulation (searching, sorting and hashing).

The subject material that is covered is explained well and there are plenty of code examples. For those interested in other specialist algorithms such as mathematical (linear equations, matrices...) these are simply not covered. Regarding the code (has both VB3 and VB4 style), the author states that this is 'demonstration' code i.e. it works but is not to production quality standards. For example, input data is not validated and error handlers are not employed. Also, the code is not necessarily optimised, according to the author, as the code is conveying the algorithmic principle not the fastest implementation, which may be more difficult to understand. The code samples I tested did work - if you supplied the right data type during form entry (values were not checked by the input routines).

At half the price, I would recommend the book as a good introductory text that has working code that can be taken, tested, understood and (needs to be) improved. At this price its value is much more questionable.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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