Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Teach Yourself Stuff in 21 Days

I had a new project assigned to me at work that involves me learning ASP.NET. I'm going through one of the SAMS books currently, and thought I would stop, take a break, and make a comment.

First some background. I do Crystal Reporting and SQL development as my employment. I've probably forgotten more about HTML then most people will know (thanks to FrontPage which incidentally is my least favorite program ever written by M$) because I've been involved in the internet since it was black and white (or amber) and didn't usually include pictures. I also do Java, PHP, LUA, VB, Cobol, and I've even done a little Turbo Pascal. I'm sure I forgot a few. Point is that I'm not a programming, nor an internet, idiot.

This brings me to my thoughts. I'm using a SAMS book because I like their structured tutorial format. Instead of authors assuming you know what you need to know and getting into what you want to know the SAMS books start small and work their way up.

However pretty much every SAMS book I have run into have all had one glaring problem. Problems in their code examples. I'm not talking a few here and there, I'm talking about a LOT of problems.

First being that they don't keep the same format throughout the code. Sometimes they will use good tag control, proper locations of say a /font tag. Sometimes they don't and just add the missing closing tags at the end of the page (not that they are needed by then).

Second being "" and no "". Some tags I realize it doesn't matter, but for the love of Pete I wish these authors would stick to one format or the other. Drives me most nuts when they interchange in the same tag. FFS at least be consistent inside the tags.

Finally and the worst being when code examples have code breaking errors. These are things that break the whole program or page. If I'm learning a new language I shouldn't have to be bug hunting. The bugs should already be dead. While I personally and perfectly capable of hunting down a missing > or " someone that is learning from scratch may not be capable of handling it. It's one thing if I am missing the > or ", but when the code example written by the author is, well that's a problem.

I'm done venting. Back to work.

1 comment:

Wayne said...

Perhaps one of the reasons to have all your programmers working off the same sheet of music. I too am annoyed by the differences between examples in those books.