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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A Programmer's Guide to Java (tm) Certification
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Khalid A. Mughal, Rolf W. Rasmussen
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
"it does not cover developer exam " :(

Most people have not mention , It covers only programmer exam not developr exam.Since other books cover Programmer & Developer exam , be carefull before you buy this book. In particular those people who are working for developer exam, must be aware of the limitations. Also it cover lot of topics not required for the programmer exam like java documentation.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Graphic Java 2, Volume 2: Swing (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: David Geary
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Still good

Like a fine movie, this book is still very useful even as the language advances. A wonderful reference I still find myself reaching for it several times a week for parts of the GUI that I don't reach into that often. Considering that I use the Eclipse front-end I do all of my GUI coding by hand (that and most GUI builders put out some really terrible code), so maybe I am a bit atypical in this regard.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Windows XP For Dummies, 2nd Edition
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Andy Rathbone
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
New Revision Out as of 09/04

There is a newer version of this book out now. The new version includes information on Windows XP SP2 updates. So, you might want to look for that one.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Active Directory, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Alistair G. Lowe-Norris, Robbie Allen
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Only for those with strong network backgrounds

Technical books that are written in an understandable fashion for the non-technical or even moderately technical person are very difficult to find. In my opinion, this book unfortunately fits the common mold of hard-to-understand books. The author falls into the same trap most technical authors do. Here is the trap:
The author apparently understands the topic very well. Because the topic is so complex, the author organizes it into smaller pieces. So far, so good. The first problem occurs when the author's explanation employs technical terms unfamiliar to the reader. Another problem occurs when the author uses familiar words that may have more than one meaning. Now the reader must wonder, "But how is that information useful to my running of this software?" Or worse yet, "What the heck does that mean?!"
I've only read the first nine pages of this book and I find myself reluctant to continue. There is already so much that is meaningless and I don't expect the structure of the book to change.
Let me provide you with some examples. The book starts in chapter one with a section titled, Major Features. This looks promising. The beginning of the first paragraph reads like this:
"New Domain model Domains in Windows were flat structures limited to about 40,000 objects, and this had some unfortunate consequences. For one thing the assigning of privileges tended to be an all-or-nothing matter at the domain level; there was no delegation or inheritance within the domain."
Let's consider that much.
I'm familiar with what a domain is, so the title, "New Domain Model" has some meaning to me. But it really doesn't say much. For a person who doesn't know what a domain is, this book is already puzzling. So if you don't know what a domain is, this book is not for you.
Next let's consider the phrase, "flat structures." Since I know what an indexed or hierarchical structure is, this has some meaning to me, but it doesn't convey any practical information. In fact, now I must tuck this information away in my short-term memory in the hopes that the author will contribute some information later that gives this some significance.
Now we see " limited to about 40,000 objects, and this had some unfortunate consequences." You better know what an object is and at least have a suspicion why having `only' 40,000 is a problem. In fact there may not be any "unfortunate consequences" if you work for a small company with a small or even moderately sized network.
It would be more useful for the reader if the author explained first, in plain English what problem Microsoft was trying to solve. Then the 40,000-object limitation and the Active Directory solution may have some meaning.
Now let's look at the next sentence: "For one thing the assigning of privileges tended to be an all-or-nothing matter at the domain level; there was no delegation or inheritance within the domain". Does this have meaning for you? Do you understand what problem resides in this description? I don't. And I know the meaning of every word in this sentence.
If you don't understand what the author is saying there, then this book is likely not for you.
In the very next section, entitled How Objects are Stored in Active Directory, the author explains the hierarchical structure of the active directory in an abstract fashion. I didn't understand its value. I read this paragraphs to two Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers (MCSE's) in my company and neither of them understood why it was important or useful. Putting this at the end of the book MAY make sense. Putting it on page 5 serves no valuable purpose.
Here is the paragraph without further comment:
"When you create objects in Active Directory, you create them in a hierarchical structure you have control over. The structure is made up of two types of objects: containers and non-containers, or leaves. A series of containers branch downward from a root container, just as the roots do. Each container may contain noncontainers or further containers. A noncontainer, however, may not contain any other objects."
In my opinion you would need a fairly strong technical background in networking before you might find this book useful.
It's my belief that technical authors could greatly expand their potential readership if they followed a few simple guidelines when writing about software:
1. In plain English (or as plain as possible), state the problem that the software feature is addressing.
2. In plain English (or as plain as possible), explain what approach the software feature will take to solve the problem
3. If applicable, explain the procedure for the user to follow to implement the software feature.
4. Introduce a technical term only after the term has been explained in plain English
5.Once the reader understands the meaning of the technical terms, THEN explain the relationship that the new technical terms have to each other.
Many writers tend to write starting at step 5 - from their own knowledge base. Instead they should be writing from step 1 - from the reader's perspective.