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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
To the webmaster in training, a great learning tool!

I wanted to learn HTML and not depend on Microsoft FrontPage to do everything for me. My husband's using the Visual Quickstart Guide series at his college and he loves them. I decided to give this guide a try and I'm glad I did. It's great to see visual examples of how the tags all work together. I can look up what I need and use it quickly! It's a great springboard to learning HTML the 'hard way'. This guide has made HTML easier to pick up and now I plan on not using FrontPage anymore once I get the hang of it! If you like this one, pick up the Java & Javascript guides too! I already did!

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The QFD Handbook
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Jack B. ReVelle, John W. Moran, Charles A. Cox
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Doing QFD Right

The QFD Handbook is a great surprise. A surprise for what it actually delivers compared to similar books. This book is not another mechanics "how to" book. Rather, it is an applications "how to" book. It does not tell you how to form and quantify QFD matrices. It tells you how and where to apply QFD and how to integrate it with other valuable tools of advanced quality. That approach creates enormous added value.
The QFD Handbook is also a surprise because its contributors are among some of the most respected practitioners in the world. These experts provide insight into the integration of many Quality Improvement tools into QFD. The result is an approach that provides guidance to the concurrent use of these tools which, when used in the proper context, produce an output far greater than QFD alone.
In addition to the text, facilitating software is included. QFD/Pathway provides exactly what it says, a pathway through the planning and performance of the QFD process. If one considers the knowledge base provided by the book's contributors alone, it is an excellent buy. When one adds in the software, it is invaluable.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: CSS Cookbook
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Christopher Schmitt
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Not sure who this book was written for...

After reading the other reviews about this book, I thought that it'd be a handy reference guide to add to my collection. I'm an experienced web developer and already know how style sheets work and how to use them - I just wanted a book where I could quickly look up specific syntax, etc.

This book definitely doesn't work for that - the index is sorely lacking and the information isn't well-organized at all. So, since a lot of the other reviewers wrote that this book isn't for beginners (I agree) and, since I'm an experienced developer and it's not working for me, I'm not sure who would find this book useful. Especially when there are so many other CSS books to choose from.....

Normally O'Reilly books are really good, so I'm a little bit surprised that they published this book without having an editor clean it up and organize it. In any case, I would not recommend this book, period. I'm glad that my employer paid for it and not me. ;-)

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Design Patterns
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
MUST be read by all software architects

There is not a day does by that some pattern in this book is used in the daily work at my software firm. These idioms have come to dominate software development: they are both useful in themselves, and they increasingly form a common language for software designers that is abstracted from details such as implementation language or problem domain.

In order to truly use this book, the developer really needs to incorporate an intuitive knowledge of these patterns, how to implement them, and their relative costs and benefits, into his set of skills.

Some of the simpler patterns are those that occurred to me only after doing things badly in OO designs for years (My first OO experience was in C++ over 10 years ago). Others would not have occurred to me and have saved me heartache in the problems I currently face.

One thing that would be nice would be an update that included Java examples and new patterns. Still, this book is indispensable. If you're a software developer and you don't have it, buy it and read it.