Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile

Advanced

Horrible text book

Announcements Last Post
Announcement SoC Curricula 09/30/2017 01:08PM
Announcement Demarcation or scoping of examinations and assessment 02/13/2017 07:59AM
Announcement School of Computing Short Learning Programmes 11/24/2014 08:37AM
Announcement Unisa contact information 07/28/2011 01:28PM
Horrible text book
June 15, 2008 12:33AM
Hello everybody.

I would just like to voice my opinion by saying that the textbook for this subject is the worst programming textbook I’ve every seen, and I’ve seen a few. It is a difficult read, doesn't promote good programming practice, and is even incorrect/incomplete in some of it's examples (ex. the this-> when using template classes).

It has wasted a lot of my time and energy. Something that working students already have little of. I’m truly disgusted. I cannot believe that there really wasn't a better option. There was clearly just not enough effort put into selecting a textbook for this subject.

I'm usually the last person to complain, but I feel that this is really unacceptable and hope that the person who was in charge of selecting the textbook sees my complaint. So that next year they do not use the same textbook for this subject and waste the valuable time of other students.

Anybody who feels the same about this, please feel free to add your comments. I truly believe that I’m not alone in my views!
avatar Re: Horrible text book
June 16, 2008 08:28AM
I don't think the textbook is THAT bad.. I haven't come across many other programming textbooks, but the other ones I have come across are truly shocking.

I have noticed though that in quite a number of the examples in this textbook some vital things have been left out of the functions that they give. For example, in removing an element from a list they'd forget to decrement the size of the list, or in sorting the list they'd check to assign a first value, but never a last value, so even after sorting a list if you query the last value you now get the wrong value.. Those are the types of gripes I have with the textbook..

But on a whole I don't think it's terrible..
Re: Horrible text book
June 17, 2008 01:46AM
My main problem is that most of the classes don't actually compile. They rave on how this is meant to be a practical subject, and then provide code and a compiler that are incompatible. I'm sure if one is already an expert C++ programmer it only takes a moment to work around the errors, but when one is genuinely trying to learn the language, its impossible.

If nothing else they should be providing either a correctly working class, or a link to a new compiler that does actually work with this guy's coding.

I bought two other books from Amazon, and they aren't a lot better. However I have found notes and presentations from real lecturers at other universities and they are very helpful.
avatar Re: Horrible text book
June 17, 2008 03:14PM
Ja. I must say I don't really use any source code provided in files. I'll rather type it out piece by piece and compile it one function(or part function) at a time. That way I find I get a better grip on what he's trying to teach, and you can try complete the function without looking at his code, and only look at it if you get stuck.. I find things stick better and you learn more doing it that way.

In my opinion, to date the best C++ tuts I've come across is a freely downloadable pdf, 2 part series, called Thinking in C++. Google it, it's worth it.

-Valkeye
Re: Horrible text book
June 22, 2008 04:46PM
I also regard this as one of the worst books that I've used; it's an incredibly tedious read which it shouldn't be since data structures are inherently interesting. There are better books on this subject (for example, the old text book by Weiss). Even the Schaum outline series on data structures using C++ is a better read since the author doesn't put you to sleep. Malik's coding is also unusual; why does he put his source code, and not just the declarations, in his header files? I'm not sure that I would want to maintain any code that he wrote despite his obsessive pre- and post-condition comments.

A fun read is Java Generics and Collections by Philip Wadler but of course that's Java not C++ and it's probably too idiosyncratic for a university course (although the author is actually a Professor of Computer Science at some Scottish university).
avatar Re: Horrible text book
June 23, 2008 01:47PM
I've really enjoyed the textbook. It may be a bit tedious but atleast he gives full examples of how the code fits together, something Cohoon&Davidson(Cos111)
can learn from.

I've had far more frustration from the wording of assignment questions
and how they seem not to follow the textbook.
avatar Re: Horrible text book
June 23, 2008 05:24PM
Toxic_Mouse Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've really enjoyed the textbook. It may be a bit
> tedious but atleast he gives full examples of how
> the code fits together, something
> Cohoon&Davidson(Cos111)
> can learn from.
>
> I've had far more frustration from the wording of
> assignment questions
> and how they seem not to follow the textbook.

Agreed. This book is far superior to Cohoon&Davidson (with its EZWin library) and the theoretical explanations are very good (compared to other data structure books I have seen). The only trouble I have had is actually getting the textbook code/libraries to compile properly.
Re: Horrible text book
July 25, 2008 10:53AM
I dont think its that bad compared to the text for COS111-U that was used in 2005...
Re: Horrible text book
July 25, 2008 10:56AM
Oh ja meant Cohoon&Davidson. It was more then just your average "pain in the ass"
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login