Borland C++Builder 3 Unleashed
by Charlie Calvert

Borland C++Builder 3 Unleashed
Charlie Calvert
1182 pages (CD-ROM)
Borland C++Builder 3 Unleashed is written by Charlie Calvert together with Chris Bensen, Jeff Cottingham, George Cross, Stuart Fullmer, John Philips, John Thomas and Robert Westand Anduin Withers. It is published by SAMS Publishing in the Borland Press series. All authors work at Borland (for the C++Builder Development Team). A CD-ROM accompanies the book.

What's covered is a whole lot. It starts out with an introduction to C++ Builder that among others explains the delegation model that is the heart of VCL. Then it follows with databases, client/server and multitier databases. The fourth issue is about components and how to create them. Part Five is about the Internet components. Part Six handles ActiveX, DCOM and OLE. Part Seven handles graphics, including DirectDraw and Direct3D. And last but not least it ends with advanced topics that include working with Delphi files, interoperability with OWL and Microsoft DLLs and dynamic and static linking and third party issues.

Not covered
All in all, this is a pretty complete work. The only things not covered are for example CORBA. Besides that, the book is not meant to teach you the C++ language.

What I like
What I like is the depth of the book, that is, the way topics are handled. The authors provide you with enough insight to understand the issues at hand, and then proceed with an example to illustrate the possibilities. The book is sprinkled liberally with tips, advice and little tidbits of knowledge you want to know. As an example I might point out the topic about the RPC server program under Windows 95 and the program that accompanies it. It also warns you about common and not so common pitfalls.

What I don't like
What I don't like are the long code listings in the book, and what I absolutely hate about the book is that some chapters are only accessible from the CD-ROM in Adobe Acrobat PDF-format. I would gladly trade in the code listings in the book for the text of the 'binary' chapters on the disk.

This really is an excellent book for those that want a good explanation on the topics covered and want to know the details of what is going on behind the screens. It takes time to explain and show you. It's not perfect, but it's definitely a must-have.

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