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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ASP.NET Unleashed, Second Edition
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Stephen Walther
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
a lot of how, not much why


If you want to know how to do something (i. e., what code to type in) this book is pretty good. But if what you want to do isn't covered (or is poorly covered, which happens with some of the subjects), you're out of luck because this book doesn't explain why things are the way they are.

Although I've only thumbed through it, I'd take a hard look at O'Reilly's Programming ASP.NET before buying this.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web
Publisher: Pearson Education
Authors: Christina Wodtke
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Must Have to Learn IA in Plain English


Written in a clear, informal and humorous style, Christina takes on the challenge of explaining what Information architecture (IA) is all about and walks us step by step through the IA process and is descriptive and instructional instead of theoretical. This book doesn't give reader rigid rules such as "navigation bars should have only seven links" or some fixed methodology or which software to use for developing websites. Instead, this book is focused on the big picture of building a website: the big picture about the business's needs, the end user's needs, and what needs to go into the site and how to present information in a clear, easy to find format. Just like planning a skyscraper, a website needs its blueprint before choosing building materials or worry about the actual construction of the building.
Personally, I find the chapter on "Making it all up, writing it all down" particularly helpful. Christina provides us with a set of tools to try out as part of the IA process. As she stated at the introduction, she didn't give us a set of rules but instead, developed a toolbox with a collection of techniques and principles for readers to pick and choose based on their needs. Tools that will actually make us think, make us work harder on formulating a better site structure rather than applying simple rules to all your problems.
If you are involved in the web development process, regardless your role as the business managers, project planner, web designer, programmer, etc, and you need to buy any book on planning and organizing your website, this should be it.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide (4th Edition)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Tom Negrino, Dori Smith
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
I would give a zero star - Do not buy this book


I bought this book in 1997 and found useless. Now I have been seeing new edition, little bit thicker, in book stores. I browsed thru the pages and found that it is still useless.
If you are just trying to insert some JS code on you web site as an hobby, this might be ok with this book. But for learning JS, this book will lead you to nowhere. For example, rather than explaining how JS code works, the book has wastes space by writing instructions like "Type a period", "Type a semi-colon" or "type an angle bracker", etc. It is totally waste of time and money.
I would never by any books on this series.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Access 2003 All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Alan Simpson, Margaret Levine Young, Alison Barrows
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
A brave attempt


Keep in mind: I absolutely hate MS Access for being non-intuitive, dense, and frustrating for anyone but a programmer. Given that, the authors make a brave attempt to explain Access and their book has been enormously helpful to me. Still, certain basic concepts never quite get explicated as a 'dummy' would like. I still don't know how to put a picture on a form or to get fields to fill in 'automagically.' The book tells me it can be done, but it stops shorting of showing me exactly how. Getting precise instructions from this book is often like getting directions from a Vermont farmer who assumes that you know "where the old church used to be" or "where Joe's brother got struck by lightning." It often points me in the right direction without quite getting me where I want to go.