PUTTING THEORY INTO PRACTICE
THE immediate impression upon opening Software Projects for the Spectrum is "oh no, not another book about structured programming".
You may feel by now you have grasped everything that there is to know about the subject, but few books ever show how to put that knowledge to good use. Software Projects is, thankfully, different.
Despite the usual introduction where the author, Rudolf Smit, tries to show what an artist he is with words - describing software writing in terms of analogies and similies - the book gets off to a promising start with a blow-by-blow account of the projects to be attempted within the following chapters.
The programs include a birthday and anniversary calender, a word guessing game and three-die roller. A motley crew, and not the most inspiring of topics, but we must not grumble as the book is, after all, for the beginner who has just received a Spectrum.
Each chapter contains a series of sections illustrating the program which is to be built and reproducing the subroutines which make up its main structure. The author is not content to give only lists of programs.
For instance, in the chapter on calenders Smit talks about the construction of dummy statements in the computer which are then replaced with real program code when the programmer knows how the code should be written.
Although Software Projects succeeds in its aim of introducing new users to the practice, rather than the theory, of programming techniques it has to be asked whether the book provides too much help. The author may not give the full listings of projects but the descriptions of the programs leave little to the imagination.
Publisher: Melbourne House