WinRT Revealed

Author: Michael Mayberry
Publisher: Apress
Pages: 73
ISBN: 978-1430245841
Audience: C# programmers
Rating: 3
Reviewer: Ian Elliot

 

WinRT revealed - is quite a promise, particularly for a book with only four chapters.

This is a very short book and it really doesn't do WinRT justice. If you really know nothing about WinRT, then this might serve as an introduction to the basics but to qualify for "Revealed" it really needs to dig a bit deeper.

Chapter 1 explains the basic ideas of WinRT and how it works in terms of the new "friendly" form of COM that is a WinRT component. This is probably the best chapter in that it gives a reasonably accurate overview of WinRT. However it isn't much more than a commentary on what is available on the web.

 

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Chapter 2 explains how to make WinRT components. The example is a component created using C# and used in a JavaScript project. There are lots of long listings and very big screen dumps that reduce the useful information in an already short book. What the chapter does is fine, but to really get the flavor of the way WinRT works you really need to be shown the same component in C++ and C# and used in all three languages.

The next chapter is on building a .NET app to run under WinRT. This is basically just a tutorial on writing a C# app using the designer. It doesn't even go into any details of things that are specific to WinRT, like live tiles, notifications, toast and so on. It basically goes over the construction of a C# app that could just as easily be a desktop app.

The final chapter is a strange collection of topics: dealing with the manifest, location, contracts and so on. Important yes but there is so much more to say.

In such a short book you could expect to find some high density information. Something to get you off the launch pad and towards understanding the whole WinRT idea. This book does do some of that in the first chapter, but then goes off into examples with long listings and very big screen dumps that would be better suited to a longer book that was trying to explain the details of programming under WinRT. There is also a very definite focus on C# with a side order of JavaScript. Very obviously missing from the account is C++ which, apart from its role in the new COM and in defining some data types, is more or less ignored. As a result the book isn't even a balanced view of WinRT and its development options.

If your really can't afford the time to do some research on the web then you might want to read this book, but if you have access to the documentation it doesn't add enough to be recommended.

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The Harwell Dekatron Computer

Author:Kevin Murrell & Delwyn Holroyd
Publisher: The National Museum of Computing, 2013
Pages: 44
ISBN: 978-0956795625
Audience: Computer history enthusiast
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Sue Gee

This booklet makes a good souvenir for visitors to the UK's National Museum of Computing, but will it find a wide [ ... ]



Printing in Plastic: Build Your Own 3D Printer

Author:  James Floyd Kelly & Patrick Hood-Daniel
Publisher: Apress
Pages: 464
ISBN: 978-1430234431
Aimed at: Hardware enthusiasts
Rating: 4
Pros: Clear instructions for its (wood-based) build project
Cons: Lacks discussion of principles and ideas
Reviewed by: Harry Fairhead

3D printers are hot new [ ... ]


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