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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit for Software Development Managers
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Mary Poppendieck, Tom Poppendieck
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Awesome book!


I had pretty much the same feeling reading this book and Lean Thinking, as I did when I first started reading up on agile methods. It all felt like common sense and that's a comment I hear from a lot of people new to lean/agile. However, I feel, and have experienced, that there is a huge gap between viewing or perceiving something as common sense and actually applying that common sense to the work you are doing. Also, both this book and Lean Thinking put these principles and practices into a different perspective by showing how they have worked in the manufacturing business. Seeing the parallels between the work done in manufacturing a bicycle and crafting a software program is pretty powerful.
Mary and Tom do a great job in the book of presenting specific tools for applying all this "common sense". They start by introducing the seven principles of lean thinking when applied to software development:
1. Eliminate waste 2. Amplify learning 3. Decide as late as possible 4. Deliver as fast as possible 5. Empower the team 6. Build integrity in 7. See the whole
The rest of the book presents the 22 thinking tools that are all tied to the seven principles. Mary and Tom use a lot of real world examples of the usage of these tools and they do a very good job of explaining how each of them could fit into an agile ecosystem.
The book is pretty compact and the authors have clearly eliminated all waste from it because I was never bored.
I can't recommend it enough!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Network Programming with Perl
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Lincoln D. Stein, Lincoln D. Stein
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Perl Guru Has Another Home Run


Everything you wanted to know about Perl and socket applications. Lincoln is very good about explaining all concepts and providing lots of examples.
Lincoln is the author of the CGI.pm module. In addition, he wrote a book about CGI.pm that is the bible - a "must have" for anyone doing Perl CGI work.
Lincoln is a great guy. He wrote a Perl module for Napster. I could not get it running on my Win32 system (my linux box was at work). Within an hour of sending him an email, he sent me a new module for Win32 that worked great. Lincoln did not even know who I was.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Macromedia Flash MX 2004 ActionScript Bible
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Robert Reinhardt, Joey Lott, Robert Reinhardt, Joey Lott
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Surprisingly Wonderful Book!


Okay, I have to confess, when I see a member of Wiley's "Bible" series on the shelf, I cringe. These books seem to be about the ugliest ones in the store, and I'm fortunate to live near Powell's Technical Bookstore in Portland, Oregon... so I see a lot of them. They seem deliberately designed to be as huge as possible, almost wastefully so. I disapprove of the inclusion of a CD; this, too, seems wasteful. The whole design of these books is so hideous that one is bound to realize that it was produced by the same publisher as the "Idiots" books, the main distinction being that the Dummy books are designed to be small, and these are designed to be big.
However, this book is great. It tells you EVERYTHING about ActionScript 2.0 programming. The examples are excellent and work. They include lots of tiny but handy class libraries that you can start using right away. They cover everything, even components, with a breadth that astounds. This book has answered pretty much every question I've had about AS2 already!
Both of the authors are first-rate. I just don't have enough good things to say about this book! I was so surprised! Usually I go straight for the O'Reilly books, for a number of reasons, but since one of this book's authors is also the author of the ActionScript Cookbook (O'Reilly and Associates), which is fabulous also, I decided to give it a look.
I recommend this book for anyone and everyone learning ActionScript 2.0 at this time. Until O'Reilly updates its catalog, this book really is the Bible on the subject. Five stars!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ActionScript Cookbook
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Joey Lott
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
An OK book for programmers


This is from a designer-type.
Going from print to the web, Flash5 was easy for me to pick up. After a break of doing no Flash and coming back to it with Flash6 out for a few months, I was frustrated, uptight and bought every Flash6 book I could find by trusted authors in order to catch up, while at the same time trying to get a big flash site done for a client.
Nothing helped. I kept getting more and more frustrated. Everytime I saw the words "call-backs", "this", "method" or "object", I would get knots in my stomach.
Joey Lott not only helped me get the website done, but his Actionscript Cookbook finally got me to understand Flash6 concepts. Flash5-free at last, no more knots in my stomach. I can now read and understand all the other books I bought! Now that Flash7 is out, I'll be buying every title that comes out by Joey Lott. He is the consummate teacher, and includes explains what you need to know, and why you need to know it, in concise, easy-to-understand verbiage.
In my opinion, Joey's Actionscript Cookbook and Colin Moock's Actionscript, the Definitive Guide, and are the best values out there for Flash6.