World of Warcraft Programming: A Guide and Reference for Creating WoW Addons Paperback – May 5 2008
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"This has been long awaited by WoW players…it guides readers step-by-step through building Addons with no prior programming experience assumed." (The Bookseller, Friday 14th March 2008)
From the Back Cover
WoW is more than an acronym . . .
. . . it's what you'll say when you see how many ways you can tweak the interface after you read this book. If you're new to programming, we'll teach you the basics of Lua and XML and walk you through writing your first addon. If you already have some original addons in your arsenal, jump right into Parts III and IV and work with templates, function hooking, custom graphics, state headers, and more. We'll even help you distribute your addons, making WoW better for everybody.
Discover how to respond to events, create frames, and use the World of Warcraft API to interact with the game
Learn the Lua programming language through a series of interactive examples, from values and variables to custom functions and control structures
Learn basic and advanced functions and control structures
Write well-formed XML and validate using schemas
Implement saved variables, slash commands, secure templates, dynamic frames, parsing tooltips, and more
Create custom graphics, scroll frames, and dropdown menus
Find specific functions easily in the comprehensive references of APIs, API categories, events, and widgets
Companion Web site
Go to http://www.wiley.com/go/wowprogramming regularly to see how the latest World of Warcraft updates affect these tips and techniques.
Top Customer Reviews
And it can hold up a couch extremely well.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is not one of those books.
I just got my copy today, and my initial impression was how impressed I was by the thoroughness of it. This is a reference that will be of use for people of all skill and experience levels. The opening chapters provide a great introduction to Lua itself, then Lua in the context of WoW, and then hold your hand through creating your first addon, before diving into more complex concepts such as programmatic UI creation and state headers.
I'm the author of a number of high-profile WoW addons, including Omen and Chatter, and I can honestly say that this is a book that I'll actually use - and I don't use many references. Gentle enough for the new programmer, but meaty enough for the experienced. This is one that will be of genuine use to anyone interested in modding WoW, or understanding the WoW mod UI system. This is a genuine, stick-it-on-your-desk, mark-it-up-and-dog-ear-the-pages reference that you'll use for as long as you're developing addons.
Of note, this is actually a reference that may be of use to people embedding Lua in their own software projects. It dissects WoW's implementation of Lua, and how it ties into the user interface, and explains a lot of concepts that may be of use to people looking to use Lua in a non-WoW context. It's certainly not a reference on embedding Lua in your own application, but its explanation of WoW's implementation is a fantastic reference point.
If you have any interest at all in addon development, get this book.
Unlike most of the game dev literature I've seen, this book totally avoids wasting paper on descriptive waffle that is obvious to anyone who plays games (and everyone who makes games does, or should).
For beginners - The introduction to scripting in Lua is MUCH easier to digest than any of the Lua-specific tutorials online, or 'Programming in Lua'.
For experienced scripters or mod-makers - There are over 600 pages on reference, so even if you've got nothing to learn technically, it's still a worthy buy.
There's no question in my mind that this is the definitive book, dare I say the Bible on World of Warcraft programming. If you're a developer who is brand new to Lua, you'll find the first couple of chapters that introduce Lua coding structures a breeze to read, but you'll definitely appreciate the attention to detail for Lua's unique Table data structure which is heavily used in addons and can be confusing for Lua newbies.
In addition to learning the fundamentals on Lua, you'll also learn how a Warcraft AddOn works (anatomy of an addon chapter), how FrameXML files work, and you'll also apply that knowledge to build a fully-functional custom unit frames addon from scratch.
The build-from-scratch model is perfect for someone who want to know and understand everything involved in building a real-world addon.
You'll find plenty of coverage on topics that you won't find anywhere else, like how to build custom graphics/textures, a topic that is either altogether ignored or barely represented online. If you're an experienced addon author, you'll also learn quite a bit from the coverage of best practices and advanced topics (state headers, secure frames, etc)
Finally, the API documentation is *huge* and is arguably the most detailed API documentation every built for Warcraft.
Bottom line: If you want to learn how to build a Warcraft AddOn, save yourself time, energy, and frustration, and buy this book.
This book is *required reading* for contributors to AddOn Studio for World of Warcraft.
AddOn Studio for World of Warcraft
I am a beginning programmer in lua and WoW addons and I have other programming languages under my belt which helps me out. This book will explain it to the novice as well as provide an excellent resource for the advanced programmer.
You cannot beat the price for the quality you get. I have paid twice as much for books with 1/2 that information.
I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to make their own WoW addons.
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