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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning Web Design, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jennifer Niederst
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Good start, but leaves out some important information


I bought this book because I may be teaching a course in web design in a high school this fall. I want to cover HTML, web graphics, CSS, and JavaScript.
Niederst covers HTML and graphics in depth. With HTML, she teaches how to create a page, how to format text, how to insert graphics, how to create links, etc. The graphics section may be the strongest in the whole book. It is exactly what I was looking for as a resource to explain how graphics are edited for the Web. CSS and JavaScript get only passing attention, but that is probably to be expected.
There are a few "modern" tricks that are missing from the book. There is no discussion of the .PNG standard for web graphics. There is no discussion of the "link title" tag, which can create a rollover effect with just an HTML tag.
Niederst also spends some time on the basics of obtaining server space and putting files onto a server. I think that this is very important, because this can be the most confusing part about getting started in Web design, and other books generally omit it.
I can give this book my strongest recommendation to other teachers of web design courses. I am sure that I will refer back to it constantly.
For students, I'm afraid that it might be too broad, and for beginners my guess is that it would be too overwhelming. For example, on p.10-11 in discussing what software you need to buy, Niederst lists 3 web authoring tools, 2 text editors, and 5 graphics tools. Nowhere does she make it clear that you do not need all 10! As an experienced web designer, I know that it would be silly to work with Dreamweaver(tm) and Frontpage(tm) at the same time. But that may not be obvious to a beginner. Nor would it be obvious that if you choose an authoring tool you would not use a text editor.
This breadth of information runs throughout the book. I would think that a beginner would be better off starting with a shorter book that teaches a single approach to page construction, rather than a book that tries to cover multiple approaches at once.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C Programming Language (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Brian W. Kernighan, Dennis Ritchie, Dennis M. Ritchie
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This is a fantastic book


I do not normally review books on Amazon but I could not keep my opinion to myself in this case. This is not just a great programming book, it is probably the best technical book ever written period. This is like reading the best by Hemingway, spare but complete. This is the way books should be written in general.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: RF Circuit Design: Theory and Applications
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Reinhold Ludwig, Pavel Bretchko
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Solid for Intermediate engineers


If you're interested in learning RF Circuit design, you need this book. This book gradually steps through important sections of analysis in RF design and works its way up to amplifiers, oscillators and mixers.
I bought this book without fully knowing a large number of founding concepts of RF theory. What I found was that this book anticipates this from the reader and invests the first few chapters teaching such topics.
As you progress through the high frequency analysis and learning how to apply the smith chart, you're brought into the world of active circuits. Systematically applying earlier taught material to more advanced topics, the reader is left with a good understanding of pratical application.
Overall, this is a beginner-intermediate RF text. After completing a study of this text, you'll have enough to make basic RF circuits and subsystems. To meet the needs of real world applications, you will need a supplimentary text such as Microwave Transistor Amplifiers by Gonzalez. To back this, i point out the extreme lack of emphasis on S-parameter data, as well as only 15 pages on broadband amplifiers.
Still this is a pretty good book.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: David Flanagan
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The K&R of Javascript


The book has a very good introduction to the core of client side javascript. It is a great reference for coming back to those things that you get kind of rusty on like "regular expressions" and "creating your own objects". The rest of the book is an incredibly comprehensive reference which goes into considerable detail. It's the kind of detail that a compiler manual goes into. I would prefer a version with indexes like a study bible. If you read most of this book you wont have to go around copying other peoples code snippets because you'll be to busy making up your own scripting libraries. I wish that this author would add about 300 pages on Server Side JScripting and Active Server Pages. I'm sure he could take the magic out of it in a way that most programmers could pickup in a matter of hours.