After blogging about this book over the past two weeks, I feel that it would only make sense to give a final review of my overall feeling regarding the book, Foundation Blend 2: Building Applications in WPF and Silverlight, by Victor Gaudioso.
The book starts the reader off without any assumptions regarding the reader’s past experience. If a person is interested in going through the book, that person will likely already have the qualifications to understand its contents. As long as the person going through the book is able to take direction coupled with the ability to be self motivated, I think that many people will find this book to be an easy read – which is saying a lot for a book which sits among others which are often dry and difficult to get through due to their nature as being technical oriented.
The progression of the book from chapter to chapter is well paced, starting easy with a bang to draw the reader in, and later becoming challenging, but not impossible to accomplish. Just as the reader passes the middle of the book, the difficulty raises ever-so slightly, but not too far where the reader is thrown off.
The very last chapters are well placed as they are essentially review over the entire contents of the book. These chapters concrete the reader’s newly acquired abilities while adding a touch of more difficulty to keeps the reader moving forward because they continue to learn more even to the end.
Finally, once one has gotten through the book, I’m left with the feeling that these 15 chapters are only the tip of the iceberg, that I can either obtain further knowledge through other books, or chart out on my own. The author on several occasions lists his email address for the readers to contact him, and I’ve discovered that unlike other authors, he actually does respond and is interested in what the reader is accomplishing, instead of having an assistant or someone else pat the reader on the head.
The only criticism that I truly have for the contents of the book is on the level of the User Experience. Throughout the book the author steps the readers through the creation of a multitude of custom controls, buttons and the like, but never steps the reader through a complete button as most users are comfortable with seeing, where the button or control interacts when hovering or clicking upon a button. That being said, there are several occasions where the author leads the reader through areas where the reader can locate and discover how to do such a task on their own. The book reads as a very complete well rounded book, save for that one lack, and for that, I find myself feeling that the inconsistency is uncharacteristic when compared to the solidarity which the rest of the writing presents.
Regardless, I much enjoyed reading the book. The author’s personality shined through the book from cover to cover and gave the sense that he was talking to the reader, as opposed to at the reader.
Information regarding this book and its contents can be found at WindowsPresentationFoundation.com.