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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C++ Primer (4th Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Stanley B. Lippman, Josée Lajoie, Barbara E. Moo
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Excellent Introduction to C++ for C programmers

Lippman's primer is the first book on C++ programming that I read. It happends to remain one of my favorites. The first part of the book is devoted to the "basic" syntax of the language. The differences with C are pointed out and for those unfamiliar with C programming this material is essential. The second half of the book coveres C++ specific topics like templates and object-oriented constructs. I find Lippman's examples superb.
I would rate the book a 9 out of 10 for technical content, but unfortunately C++ has changed appreciably in the 6 years since it's publication. Overall I'd have to give it a 7 since it does not cover the recent changes to the language, for example the Standard Library (STL). Of course, only one introductory text does cover STL anyway, so I have high standards.
Conversly, since the book was written about the time of the Annotated Reference Manual (ARM) it is a great introduction for experienced programmers who don't already know C++ and who might not want to know right away about the latest and esoteric features of the language. Persons entirely new to programming might not want to start with this book.
I teach C++ programming courses to part-time graduate students at the Johns Hopkins University and of the 20 or 30 C++ texts on my shelf I consider C++ Primer one of the top 2-3.
Paul McNamee

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in C++, Volume 1: Introduction to Standard C++ (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Finally I understand C++ (and a lot more OOP)

I thought I knew C++ well, until I read this book. This is really a great book. While learning more of the C++ programming language, I also learned more of Object Oriented Programming. This book doesn't only show HOW the language works, but also WHY it works like it does. It shows alot of what happens "under the hood". There are also alot of examples where he shows how C++ differ in some aspects than C, and also the C++ equivalent of some old C stuff. The exercises at the end of each chapters are also very good. If I have to choose a negative point of the book (only if someone put a gun to my head), it would be that the chapters are a bit long. But hey, if you're a C++ programmer and haven't read this book yet, buy it now, you won't regret it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Core Servlets and JavaServer Pages, Vol. 1: Core Technologies, Second Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Marty Hall, Larry Brown
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Rave

I just got Core Servlets book, and I think it is great. I have spent the last month trying to learn the basics from the download of jsdwk-1.0.1 and tomcat 3.1 and searching for a book that was not fatally out of date. Then last week three people independently recommended this book. I looked at the summaries on Amazon and ordered it, sight unseen. And am I ever glad I did. It is the perfect mix of simple examples to start with, followed by more complex and useful ones.
I am impressed.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Head First Design Patterns
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Elisabeth Freeman, Eric Freeman, Bert Bates, Kathy Sierra
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A really fun way to present technical content

"Head First Design Patterns", from O'Reilly, is a true joy to read, which is saying an awful lot for a tech book. Eric & Elisabeth Freeman have succeeded in taking a potentially mind-numbing technical stuff and presenting it in a way that is entertaining and fun. In the end, I was amazed at how much I had retained, thanks to their use of funny photos, conversational writing style, and real-world examples. Anyone who has read a techie book knows that a lot of them are either so far above our heads that it takes a while to "sink in" or are about as entertaining as a poorly-translated VCR manual. After completing a chapter and doing the exercises, I actually looked forward to the next chapter!

The book is about applying design patterns to Java code. It doesn't go into all of the "Gang Of Four" patterns, concentrating only on the ones you will use the most. My favorite was the Strategy pattern example and its "Sim-u-Duck" example. It was a really funny way of setting the stage, illustrating inheritence, encapsulation, and the use of the pattern. These folks are truly brilliant! While I'm not a Java developer, I found that the content was very usable in my C# coding. I've reserved a spot for this book in my desktop library at work; I've already used the knowledge I've gained from this book in refactoring some of my legacy applications.

Read this book and you will write better code. If nothing else, you will have a blast reading the book! well done!!!