Issue No. 03 - March (2004 vol. 37)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2004.10026
LEARNING C++ AND JAVA TOGETHER
Programming with Objects: A Comparative Presentation of Object-Oriented Programming with C++ and Java, Avinash C. Kak. The author compares and contrasts two of today's most popular programming languages, from basic constructs to their use in application-level programming for domains such as graphics, networks, and databases.
Given that both C++ and Java descend from C, learning these languages together offers several distinct advantages: It saves time and facilitates the mastery of each; learning by contrast and comparison can be more efficient and enjoyable; and writing a program in one language that corresponds to a given program in the other lets students tackle more difficult projects in either language.
The first half of the text covers basic language issues, while the second half details more advanced topics, including GUI programming, multithreading, and network and database programming.
Wiley-Interscience; www.wiley.com; 0-471-26852-6; 1,144 pp.; $79.95.
Empowering Design With Research
Design Research, Brenda Laurel. According to the author, designers can use design research tools to claim and direct the power of their profession. The new research models this book describes can help designers investigate people, form, and process in ways that make their work more rewarding.
This book introduces the many research tools that can inform design and offers ideas about how and when to deploy them effectively. Chapter authors from locations including Stanford University, MIT, Intel, Maxis, Studio Anybody, and Sweden's HUMlab offer observations about how designers can make themselves better at what they do through research, illustrated with real-world examples that include case studies, anecdotes, and images.
MIT Press; mitpress.mit.edu; 0-262-12623-4; 336 pp.; $39.95.
Best Practices for the Formal Software Testing Process: A Menu of Testing Tasks, Rodger D. Drabick. Software developers should not simply throw software over the wall to test engineers when coding is finished. A coordinated program of peer reviews and testing not only supplements a good software development process, it supports it.
This book presents a series of tasks to help organizations develop a formal testing process model, along with the inputs and outputs associated with each task. These tasks include review of program plans; development of the formal test plan; creation of test documentation; acquisition of automated testing tools; test execution; updating test documentation; and tailoring the model for projects of all sizes.
Dorset House Publishing; www.dorsethouse.com; 0-932633-58-7; 312 pp.; $41.95.
From Virtual to Augmented Reality
Virtual Applications: Applications with Virtual Inhabited 3D Worlds, Peter Andersen and Lars Qvortrup, editors. This collection of essays deals with the use of virtual inhabited 3D spaces in different societal domains. The trend now is to move from virtual reality—a reality into which users and objects from the real world should be moved—to augmented reality, in which computers move out into the world of real users, objects, and activities. The book also covers the use of virtual inhabited 3D spaces in both contexts.
The contributors examine VR and augmented reality use by analyzing the structure of application domains that use these technologies: production and manufacturing, communications support, scientific research, and artistic and cultural endeavors.
Springer; www.springer-ny.com; 1-85233-658-7; 272 pp.; $119.00.