Book review: Getting Started With JUCE

After the announce of JUCE 5 release, I played a little bit with it, and then decided to read the only book on JUCE. It’s outdated and tackles JUCE 2.1.2. But who knows, it may be a gem?

Content and opinions

The book starts with a chapter on JUCE and its installation. If the main application changed its name from Introjucer to Projucer (probably because of the change in licence), the rest seems to be quite similar. This app still creates a Visual Studio solution, a Xcode project or makefiles.

The second chapter was the one I was interested in the most, because I plan on creating new component and GUIs for my plugins. The chapter still feels a little bit short, we could have worked more with overwriting custom look and feel, handling more events… It seems that not much changed in this area since JUCE 2.1, so this is quite an achievement for ROLI and the team. If in the future my component can last several major releases, I know I can invest time in learning JUCE.

The next chapter feels useless with C++11/14 or even Boost. It seems JUCE still uses a custom String class, which is too bad, not sure it really brings anything to the library, and there are other APIs that are now deprecated in my opinion (data types like int32, file system handling…)

The fourth chapter deals with streaming data and building a small app that can play sound. It is a nice feature, but I have to say I read it even faster than the previous chapter because it was of no interest to me.

Finally, the last chapter ends the book with a sudden note on some utilities (I can’t even remember them without reading the chapter again), no final conclusion, but a feeling that the book was more a list of tutorials than a real book.

Conclusion

I wouldn’t recommend on buying the book, as the tutorials cover the only bit that is still relevant. But I can hope for an updated version, one day.

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