This is a BIG book. I hadn’t checked before ordering and so was taken by surprise when the 1000+ page, two Kilogram package thumped through my letterbox. In terms of weight, this wasn’t going to be a light read! In terms of writing style though, lightness was clearly not going to be a problem. The author has an easy to read style, which doesn’t avoid technical terms, but doesn’t wallow in them for the sake of it either
Having read several of Rod Stephens’ articles and visited his VB-Helper site on many occasions over the years, I expected a well-written, detailed and clear book. And, right on cue, that is what he delivered.
In terms of layout, there is enough white space, although I would have preferred less width per line. The horizontal line spacing is one-and-a-half spacing, though, so this does make for easier reading. As a personal preference, I would have rather seen the book printed in a Sans Serif font but (I put my hands up!) I am being really picky here.
There are plenty of screenshots and graphics (all monochrome, which is the industry standard for cost reasons nowadays). On those occasions where color would have highlighted an effect, the author includes additional clarification. The demarcation of the different types of material – narrative, code snippets, tables, etc – is quite clear, making it easy to follow.
Almost inevitably in a technical book of this size there are the occasional typos that, if not caught, might confuse the newcomer to the topic. A trip to the Wiley web site to see if they appeared on the Errata list led to minor disappointment. Those that I spotted in the first chapter were not listed; in fact the list as it stood could only be described as minimal! However the author keeps track and a fuller list is available on VB-Helper . This list is updated by the author who welcomes feedback from readers of his book.
The book contains four main parts covering a wide range of VB2005 topics, plus a very useful set of Appendices at the back.