The Micro User1st January 1985
Published in The Micro User 2.11
Taking the serious view...
Supplied as a book and cassette suite, Data Structure Demo is aimed at those who want to use the BBC Micro for serious purposes, especially in data processing.
It takes the concept of data structures apart and then shows how you can use the various ideas involved to develop your own data handling programs.
The main headings are arrays, hash tables, linked lists and binary trees - a reasonable way to break down the subject matter.
Unlike many packages of this type the book is not simply a listing of the programs but serves a dual purpose by documenting them, teaching the concept involved by example and theory.
The theory takes you step by step from the problem towards the solution in a lively and imaginative way.
This is then followed by a section about the programs on the cassette with listings of short sections of the code where and when they are needed.
Next is a list of suggested data designed to show how the program can handle specific problems.
Technical documentation follows, if required, and gives a full explanation of the essential parts of the program code, relating these to the theory already explained.
Each section ends with a set of suggested exercises, a way of testing that you have really understood the area thoroughly. Answers are provided in an appendix in case you get lost or confused.
There is no doubt that this is a well written and conceived package which will appeal to those who have to study data structures or have to teach the subject using the BBC Micro.
I think the programs in particular will appeal to lecturers and teachers due to their well structured design. This uses the features of BBC Basic that so many other serious application packages ignore.
I can't see this being number one in the charts however - there isn't a single Space Invader in sight.