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Beginning Lua with World of Warcraft Add-ons

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Book Overview

If you play World of Warcraft, chances are you know what Deadly Boss Mods is: it's the most widely downloaded modification available for World of Warcraft, considered required software for many... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Great Starter Book or Reference for all WoW developers!

I started writing some Add-ons for WoW a while back (during the first release of the game). Having this book would have helped bring me much further along, much faster and alieviated a lot of my issues that I had back then. The book is a great reference for when you are trying something that you haven't done before and need a few snippets of code to help you along. If you are just starting writing add-ons or UI's for World of Warcraft then you really need to read this book, or have it in your library to refer to when you have a few issues with something (which you will!)

"Beginning" definitely doesn't mean "Beginner"

I'm not quite sure where to start on a review like this, so I'll just skip to the end: if you are seriously thinking of writing WoW add-ons, then make sure you read this book! Now that I've got that out of the way, let me go back and explain why. There are three primary reasons why I would recommend this book to someone. First, the author of this book created Deadly Boss Mods, one of the most popular (and indispensable) add-ons available, which means that the knowledge he shares comes from experience. That experience comes in handy for navigating around those "gotchas" that have crept into the API over time. Second, the technical information he provides is both thorough and presented in an way that helps you understand the "why" and "how" of add-on development. For instance, the author waits until the end of the book to explain macros. This might seem a bit backwards until you read the rest of the book and realize just how much you need to know to make the most of the macro system. Third, this book is an excellent introduction to Lua, the scripting language used in WoW add-ons. The book provides a thorough understanding of Lua, meaning that the information you learn for writing WoW add-ons will be just as useful when you decide to write Lua-based add-ons for other applications (or when you just want to use Lua on its own). Now, there were a few things about the book that I initially didn't like. First, the book is written in an informal, somewhat conversational style. As a result, I thought this was going to be a "For Dummies" type of book. After a few chapters, it becomes clear that this book is definitely not for dummies and the relaxed style ends up making the information very accessible. Second, one of the larger add-ons that the author builds is a "Texas Hold-Em" client/server. Since I had no intention of writing this kind of add-on (and Texas Hold-Em is a little dated), I thought I was in for several chapters of useless information. Again, after reading just a small way into that section, it became clear that the internal workings of the add-on apply to all large, multi-user add-ons. The "hold-em" part of the add-on ends up being entirely secondary. Do not skip over this add-on! So if, after all of this, you are still thinking to yourself that you can just read some online resources, dissect a few existing mods, then sit down and write your own, think again. Source code will not provide the knowledge you need to write high-quality, professional mods. This book provides that knowledge.

A solid introduction but...

First a disclaimer, I'm a Professional Software Engineer with a Masters degree and many languages in my toolkit so my qualms with this book are a little nitpicky and I'm looking at it from a "get you up to speed fast" perspective. Your mileage may vary. This book is a really good introduction, not only to Lua but to programming in general. So far, the information has been spot-on and the author makes a very thoughtful effort at presenting a broad, balanced, and easy to follow take on building Lua/XML addons for WoW. I found it an enjoyable read and am now actively using it Now with all that said, there are a few deficiencies: - There are a lot of copy-and-paste mistakes in the API documentation (identical descriptions for very different methods/types) - There are editing mistakes and typos littered throughout the book - If you don't like poker or are new to WoW a lot of the examples and project sections are hard to follow. (The book used Texas Hold-em as a recurring and pervasive example of how to use most of the WoW constructs. Many of the other examples depend on the reader being a relatively experienced WoW player and rely on Jargon and advanced situations to explain the usages of some tools). - I found the treatment of the display capabilities of the API somewhat lacking. I would have loved an example of rendering 3D models in a frame. - One extremely useful addition would have been a description of each part of the native interface including class descriptions beyond the advice to read the native UI source code. (Several specific objects are referenced, but not in one place or in any complete way) - Almost all of the tools suggested in the early chapters are Windows-specific (and as I have a Mac, they weren't as useful). Most gamers won't be bothered by this Again, I'll reiterate that this is a very good book and I will recommend it to anyone who asks. I just hope for a second edition with some more content.

Everything you need to learn lua language

I really enjoyed this book, it covers almost all you need to know about lua language and in meanwhile you learn how to make nice Wow addons. Highly recommended.

Excellent reference resource and great examples

Finding any type of LUA information for World of Warcraft is difficult to say the least. This author has several examples with line by line explanations for the code through the book. I have found it to be invaluable to have as a quick reference for various tasks. On the same note, I was stuck on a problem with my own mod, trying to model it around some code that is exampled in the book, and after struggling with it for a while I finally broke down and e-mailed the author a question, and not only did he respond lightning fast to my question, but he even included several code snipits he wrote on the fly to show me ways to solve my problem. I continually refer back to this book whenever I have questions about how to accomplish something in WoW LUA Mods.
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