GNOME/Gtk book review

I've noticed that there are about as many titles for
GTK+ as there are for
any comparable subject, but I never sunk in the

Any opinion as to the highest quality titles?

I've got all the Gtk/GNOME programming books I know
of. Yes, it's an expensive route but well worth it in
the time and trouble it will save you and the stuff
you will learn. 

(If any authors are out there, please take offense
offended at my critiques. Think of my pans as
suggestions for improvements in the next edition) 

I'll refer to books by author, since most of the
titles are very generic and very easily confused

Donna S. Martin: 
This paces out the learning into a day by day fashion,
which is a plus for someone who doesn't yet know where
to begin. It makes an excellent reference
material(sort of a "Gtk dictionary") and goes into
thorough detail on certain subjects (such as Drag and
Drop). Until O'reilly puts out a Gtk reference book (I
wonder what kind of animal they'd use?) this one will
have to do. This is a totally Gtk book, and has no
coverage of GNOME (an essential for beginners). The
editing for this book is not as polished as it should
be, and the source code for projects was kind of hard
to navigate, as the source code for a single project
was often incoherently distributed in little snippets
throughout several chapters. But on the bright side,
it does come with a neat widget hiearchy poster :)

John R. Sheets:
It's kind of thin for $50 and should not be used as
the sole reference for a newbie, but it does an
excellent job of explaining some advanced subjects
that no other books touch on. It has very thorough
coverage of the Gtk/GNOME graphics system, especially
on Gdk-Pixbuf, which no other book currently covers.
It also has a very good introduction to

Havoc Pennington:

Not getting (or downloading) this book is not an
option for anyone who want to get a fundamental grasp
on the inner workings of gtk and GNOME. To get
information more thorough and detailed, you'd have to
browse through mountains of source code. Definately
pick this one up. (if anyone on the list lives in the
Raleigh/Durham area of NC, the Triangle Factory outlet
bookstore had tons of them for $15.99, last time I

Eric Harlow:

Possibly not worth getting if it'll be your only book,
since it doesn't do a very good job of being a
step-by-step tutorial for beginners. It also doesn't
cover GNOME, which is something necessary in a
one-size-fits-all book. If you want to practice
writing simple Gtk apps, this book might be useful.
It's the only Gtk book to cover video games, for what
it's worth. 

Peter Wright:

His book is the best for someone who easily gets
confused by reading programming books (which can be
just about everyone since many programmers are not
very good at communicating detailed ideas--which
explains many usability errors in todays systems).
Peter Wright is a rare exception. He carefully walks
the reader through each project, taking great care to
explain the small details that would otherwise cause
the greatest confusion (which can happen with things
like events and list widgets). The source code is well
commented and easy to read. He has good coverage of
both GNOME and Gtk (and his book is the only one to
cover Glade). 

Arthur Griffith:

This book, in my opinion, strikes the best balance
between giving easy walk-throughs the beginner needs
and the comprehensive reference an advanced user
desires. While Griffith's explanations do not have the
detail and clarity of Wright's, Griffith does a good
job of covering Drag and Drop, which Wright eschews.
The book also comes with a CD-ROM containing all
source code for the projects, which is another big
plus. If you've got $50 to spend and you'll be limited
to one Gtk/GNOME book in the near future, go with this

Also check out the official gtk tutorial--it's
deprecated, but it's free. 


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