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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Core Web Programming (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Marty Hall, Larry Brown
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The best CGI book I ever read.


I have scanned hundreds of Java books looking for information on how to write Java applets that talk to CGI servers, so that you could write programs that simulate what you do by hand with a browser. I drew blank after blank. However this book does at least cover the material in chapter 15.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft® Excel 2000 Power Programming with VBA
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: John Walkenbach
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Complete VBA reference


This is absolutely a great book for intermediate to advanced users. I've founded useful tips in each and every chapter. The companion CD-Rom is also very helpful. If you're a little more curious than average, try the BONUS Example Files in the CD-Rom. You'll find examples even of recursive routines in VBA!
The only thing to say is that I expected a little more information on Pivot Tables, particularly with Analysis Services cubes.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Inside Active Directory: A System Administrator's Guide, Second Edition (Microsoft Windows Server System)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Sakari Kouti, Mika Seitsonen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
How to use and deploy Window2000 without a mouse.


I concur with the other reviews that I have read in that this is the best book on Windows 2000 that I have read and one of the best computer books I have ever read.
The most unique quality is the excellent explanation of how to use scripting to maximize your results and minimize your effort. This book is especially well suited to the enterprise audience that has to deploy many servers (100+) and not just 1-10. If you have even a small bit of programming experience you will really appreciate the in-depth explanations of Windows 2000 under the covers.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Working Effectively with Legacy Code
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Michael Feathers
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
excellent reference and guide


"Working Effectively with Legacy Code" is a very valuable resource. The author defines "legacy code" as "code without tests." It doesn't matter whether the code was written last week or ten years ago. There is more emphasis on old code that nobody understands, mainly because it is messier and harder to work with.

The examples in the book are mainly in C, C++ and Java, but there are a couple in C# and Ruby. While it is essential to know one of these languages, the author provides enough information to understand the others. When a technique only applies to a certain language, it is clearly indicated.

The author shows how different diagrams can help you learn how to understand code. In addition to UML, there are dependency and effect sketches. The author uses these to show how to think about understanding and refactoring. Other tools, such as refactoring browsers and mocks are explained.

Speaking of refactoring, there are "dependency breaking techniques" (aka refactorings) with step-by-step instructions (Martin Fowler style) throughout the book. There are also explanations of why patterns and design rules exist. Most importantly, there are lots and lots of cross-references and an excellent index.

Working with legacy code isn't fun, but this book helps make it as painless as possible. With the split emphasis between psychological/understanding/techniques and refactoring, this book is both a great read and an excellent reference.