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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning the bash Shell, 3rd Edition (Nutshell Handbooks)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Cameron Newham
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good bus reading

You want to learn Bash, use it, read man pages, whatever. If Bash is the shell you chose, maybe you don't need a book because you can learn what you need at the terminal. I like this book because sometimes I don't have a terminal in front of me, like when I'm sitting on the bus in the morning. So I have this book with me, and I read a few pages rather than stare out the window. It's cheap, so what the heck, if you are a Bash user and feel like there's more to learn then grab it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Marty Neumeier
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

The text and images are superbly woven into a profoundly simple and effective message. Refreshingly straightforward on the surface and equally so in reflection. One of the few books I've enjoyed reading and using as reference. The "take-home lessons" and "recommended reading" sections were nice touches.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Perl (3rd Edition)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen, Jon Orwant
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Poorly Written, Poorly Originized, Highly Overrated

For somebody who is a "linguist", Larry Wall has a horrid writing style that interferes with learning important concepts. For example, he constantly names object "thingys". For example:
...but a hard reference just points to a thingy. It doesn't know (or care) whether there are any other references to the thingy, or whether any of those references are through variables. Hence, a hard rerefence can refer to an anonymous thingy. As such anonymous thingies...
The minute you notice this, you stop reading and just count all the references to "thingy" on a page. its a staggering number. By writting in this style, it seriously detracts from the readablity. I didn't buy this book for it's writing style, I bought it as a reference to perl. Surely there is a better term then "thingy". In fact, I'm not even sure what "thingy" is susposed to refer to as I have yet to find a definition in the book.
Plus he always uses "just" to modify his sentences. This gives this book a very condecending tone as if all these concepts are JUST obvious (you idiot). "to do this, just blah blah" . I hate to say it, but this "everything is obvious" attitude is rife in the perl community and it's a shame that Larry promotes it in his book. Nothing is "just" and nothing is obvious, if it was, why are you "just" spending 4 pages talking about it?
Poorly written and highly overrated. No good for beginners or experts. There has to be a better book out there on perl then this "bible".

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java 2 Study Guide (Exam 310-035 & 310-027)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Better then Peter Heller's book

Kathy's book makes Peter Heller's exam book (called Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide) look awful in comparison. Kathy has perfected the art of "what readers are looking for". Way to go Kathy! You sure know how to make reading fun!