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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Oracle9i for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Carol McCullough-Dieter, Ned Dana
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good for Newbies

I am new to Oracle. This book really helped me understand everything that I needed to know to get started using Oracle 9i quicker and easier than on-line instruction that I had tried or other books. Don't think that this book will help with the Oracle SQL certification since the coverage on SQL is very brief, but it will help you get get started actually using 9i very quickly.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook (Pioneering Series)
Publisher: Friends of ED
Authors: Dan Cederholm
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent cookbook for tableless CSS-driven web design

This is a cookbook (it's not a reference book), and it'll show you day-to-day tricks to create professional web sites separating structure and information from presentation using XHTML & CSS.
What I liked too is that markups should be as much descriptive as possible (using tables only for tabular data, using h1 tags, em instead of i, strong instead of b, lists for lists of items, whatever it is, even for navigation menus that are just a list of links. This is very clever.
Dan will prove you that tableless layout is the best and that it's possible to create state-of the art web sites with CSS.
Download the CSS handbook in PDF from the W3C web site and buy this book. You're done.

Errata: there's only one error that I noticed: p.104 under "Dotted borders", 1st snippet, it's written "text-decoration: green;", but it should read "text-decoration: none;", but from the context, it's obvious for the reader ;)

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Building a Web Site for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: David A. Crowder, Rhonda Crowder
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
good book but....

This is a good book for people who have some knowledge on HTML. It also has some good tips for webmasters, especially if your planning on a commercial site. But if you're experienced, then this book has nothing you won't already know. It truly is 'for dummies'.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services (Database)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Brian Larson
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
A good start, but a disappointment

Brian Larsen made an excellent start to his book, SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services. Chapter 3, for example, may be the best concise explanation I've ever read of database fundamentals. But it goes downhill from there.
The basics of the SQL Server Reporting Services program is fairly well covered, and the examples and exercises are excellent - but they come with only the barest explanations as to how the report works, or why the program works this way. From the standpoint of the SQL expert, this book may be enough - but for the person who wants to be able to design and use the reports drawn from that database, there's not enough.
Microsoft hypes the Reporting Services program as being well-suited for the non-SQL expert. This book doesn't help much; for example, Larsen gives short shrift to the graphic query designer, preferring instead to write his own SQL queries. This is fine if you're an SQL expert - but the cover of the book says I don't need to know a lot about programming.
Many features of the program are undescribed. Many others are referred to, but with minimal explanation as to how the feature works, or why we might want to use it. In many cases, I'm unable to fathom why certain features might be useful, or how to accomplish certain goals. For example, what do "details groups" do in a list data region? I _think_ this might be a useful feature - but this book doesn't cover it.
When Brian covers SQL stored procedures, the author simply types one in - without ANY explanation as to what it does or why it does it. It's a nice magic trick - but what I need is a book that covers the secrets _behind_ the tricks.
It's a good book, _IF_ you're an SQL expert. I'm not. This book doesn't really meet my needs.