Posts Tagged ‘bookreview’

Mastering Dart by Sergey Akopkokhyants – Book Review

2014/12/29

Summary 3 out of 5

Mastering Dart CoverThere are not many Dart books published yet but there is some good information collected in this book. I disagree with some of the content, but chapters are a good length and have decent summaries.

I would recommend it only for experienced developers that are healthily skeptical about things claimed to be “good practice” and “high performance” throughout the book.

To be fair the blurb on the site also warns it requires some experience, but I surmise for different reasons.  The book feels like it is imposing Java and enterprise ideals on Dart. Dart does not need all that baggage – even if the language itself enables it. To an impressionable mind this book could encourage some poor engineering choices.

For example it uses object composition examples based on real life concepts – an inexperienced programmer might take that literally… modeling for real life rather than for how data is best represented and manipulated. There are no warnings about the cost of using reflection, how either type of optional parameter makes life harder for Dart and Javascript VMs, costs of object instantiation or the different types of function calls presented. There are many places throughout the book a novice could be mislead down a very poorly performing path.

There are English language errors throughout. Catched rather than caught, angel rather than angle. There are a few phrases that sound conversational and a little out of place. It sometimes made reading a little jarring.  I believe these issues could be solved with another editorial pass, but this version lacks polish.

The book redeems itself back to three out of five when the reader has confidence to ignore the overtly enterprise style code. The language features and packages presented in later chapters were more useful.

I have an e-copy of the book from Packt and read it entirely on a Kindle Paperwhite.  The main text was typeset quite nicely and with the smallest font on my Kindle Paperwhite the code samples mostly fit on single lines.

Disclosure: I was given a review copy by Packt: bit.ly/1xVstIT

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