The Complete Wireless Internet and Mobile Business Programming Training Course
by Berislav Kucan - Wednesday, 28 May 2003.
Authors: Harvey Deitel, Paul Deitel, Tem Nieto and Kate Steinbuhler
Boxed Set
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
ISBN: 0130623350



Introduction

As technology is progressing rapidly, topics like mobile business and mobile commerce receive a lot of attention. Wireless technologies allow organizations to reach new markets, so a number of companies are seeing the possibilities and potentials of mobile platforms as an important part of the e-commerce sphere. Today we take a look at the PTG training course dealing with mobile business and programming.

About the authors

Harvey Deitel and Paul Deitel are principals of Deitel & Associates, an internationally recognized training and consulting organization specializing in Java, C++, C, Visual Basic, XML, Python, Perl, ASP, object technology, and Internet and World Wide Web programming training. They are the authors of many of Prentice Hall's best-selling books, all of which are the result of the Deitels' coverage of the most up-to-date and innovative topics in a consistent, exciting, and accurate way.

To keep things fair, I should note that a number of college students participated in writing the textbook part of the training course. Most of them are participants of the Deitel & Associates College Internship Program, aimed for college students majoring in Computer Science, Information Technology, Marketing or English.

Inside the book

The Deitel Live-Code Approach helps a lot with teaching programming languages, as each new concept is presented in the context of a complete, working program immediately followed by one or more windows showing the program's input/output dialog. This approach has proved to be a valuable learning tool, as the Deitel's homepage shows a rather long list of similar publications.

Let's start with discussing the training course title - "The Complete Wireless Internet & Mobile Business Programming Training Course". To make the things easier for the WiFi fanatics out there, the textbook isn't focused on wireless connectivity, but rather on similar topics as seen from both business and technical perspectives.

The first part of the book, spreading near 500 pages, is a collection of information on almost all the topics surrounding to every aspect of the wireless world. 500 pages is a lot, but you would be surprised to see how many topics received their exposure in this "opening" wireless part of the book. The main sections of this part include: m-commerce, m-Payments, e-Marketing, web accessibility, international wireless communications and platforms such as Palm OS, Microsoft Windows CE and PocketPC. Located somewhere in the middle, a compact security chapter presents a 25 pages long overview on security protocols and possible problems.

After the "general and business related" episode of the textbook, the authors start talking about the programming languages. The languages covered include the Wireless Markup Language (WML), WMLScript, XHTML and Java 2 with a notable addition of Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless architecture, Microsoft .NET Mobile Internet Toolkit and the development of Java based wireless applications and J2ME. The largest portion of text is given to WML and the reader is guided from the basic WML code writing to the more advanced (to the novice readers) scripting functions. The way, each of these languages is presented, will really satisfy your hunger for learning. The common template authors use for presenting the information looks like this: one thematic portion is covered with a lot of code examples varying from easy to semi-advanced levels. After each chapter, authors give a detailed summary on the most important aspects of the covered topic. The summary is followed with the two different exercise types: self review questions, intended for checking the state of your understanding on the topic and a practical part where your creativity can be proved in way of writing the actual code.

Deitel & Associates people take a really thorough approach while writing their publications, which can be seen from the detailed statistics on the textbook contents: 11,026 lines of code, 137 examples, 523 illustrations, 38 e-facts, 58 m-facts, 282 programming tips, 1392 summary bullets, 561 exercises, 482 self review exercises and 2312 terminology facts. Impressive, isn't it?

Finishing touch

While reading a technical publication, you are often presented with a number of examples, code snippets and diagrams trying to describe the given situations, so the reader can receive a thorough scope on the subject. CD-ROMs are often accompanying these kinds of books, as they are a valid way the authors can mirror all the code examples and tools used throughout the book.

Interactive learning titles go even further than this, as the CD-ROMs are structured to be in a form of a "cyber" classroom. This means that the publication is complemented with an extensive CD-ROM training guide, often containing hours of audio and video material. The CD-ROM in this case hosts thousands of lines of code and nearly 10 hours of audio commentaries, proving to be a great addition to the 1300 pages long textbook. Unfortunately, the HTML based CD-ROM uses some JavaScript tags that made the browsing tougher, as several browsers I tried didn't work with those tags (Opera 7.01 Build 2651 and Internet Explorer 5.00.2641 for instance).

I got this publication because of the interest in several programming languages that are used on the mobile platforms. This training course is offering just that, as it covers a broad range of wireless and mobile programming topics, written on an easy and understandable way, with lot of practical examples backing the discussed topics. Once you start reading and digging into code, you won't stop until the whole course has ended. You probably won't be interested in all of the programming languages this book contains, but the categorization of the training course offers the possibility of jumping to the exact topics you find attractive.

If you are interested in the development of wireless applications based on one of the languages I mentioned before, this is a perfect starting point.



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