Review by Choice Review
The editors of this unique encyclopedia of computer science (note that it is not about computers) remark that "the most important purpose of an encyclopedia is to be a basic reference work for nonspecialists who need elaboration of subjects in which they are not expert," adding that what an encyclopedia lacks in depth its editors and editorial board should make up in breadth. With this 3rd edition (2nd ed., CH, Apr'83), they have by and large achieved their goal. Well-written by academic and industry specialists, the articles are annotated adequately for further research and embedded in an infrastructure that includes a classification, extensive cross-references, appendixes, and a fine index. Some of the articles are gems (e.g., the graceful and succinct discussion of "bug" or the lucid "boot and reboot" and "cache memory"); some are too obscure to be grasped by general readers ("interleaving"); some are wholly inadequate in the 1990s ("electronic mail"); some topics inexplicably did not merit articles (DOS, SQL, APIs). The bias is strongly toward mainframe computer science; nonspecialists who want serious treatment of PCs and LANs will be disappointed. Every large library will want this graphically handsome, well-bound work, but will also need an encyclopedia of microcomputing to meet all user needs. C. A. Becker; US Department of State
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.