Book Review: Murach's Visual Basic 6

Tuesday Nov 19th 2002 by John Percival
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Murach's Visual Basic 6 John Percival casts a critical eye over the first Visual Basic book from veteran computing publishers Murach books. Does this new title offer enough unique features to earn aplace on the already overcrowded VB beginners bookshelf? Find out in our exclusive review.

"No other VB book prepares you so thoroughly for working as an entry level Visual Basic programmer in industry or for mastering new VB skills on your own", states the introduction in the first book from Murach for Visual Basic developers. All in all, this book has a lot to live up to.

The competition to take control of the Visual Basic beginners market share is hotting up, with new books from the likes of industry heavyweights Macmillan and Wrox press battling it out for a place on the world's programming bookshelves.

So, what makes this new title from Murach Book's, veterans from mainframe development, so different from the others? According to the front cover, this title is "A true beginning book", "a true database programming book" and a "true VB6 book". The question is, can Ed Koop, Anne Prince and Joel Murach cover these three huge topics in 617 pages to satisfy both beginners and more advanced users?

They certainly do their best, however.  It is a tall order to fulfil, and the final result is that the content is spread too thinly. However, despite this, there is a superb chapter on beginning databases. It also has an excellent chapter on distributing your applications, a topic often omitted by 'beginning' books. Another unique feature of the book was a sum-up of the jargon used at the end of each chapter, allowing you to go back and check words that you don't understand.

If you are looking for a basic introduction to the Visual Basic programming language, this is one of the best books on the market. However, this book also tries to be too much, as a result often skimming over important topics.

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