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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: VB and VBA in a Nutshell: The Languages
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Paul Lomax
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
A good reference, definitely not a tutorial

As a C++ and former BASIC programmer, I picked up this book to have a reference of all the keywords and constants in the VB language, but also to see simple examples of concepts and have the overall structure of the language explained to me. This book provides an excellent desktop reference of all the functions and keywords, etc., as most of the book is just that. The first/remaining 1/3 of the book covers the "structure" territory, but not terribly well. It does this as an explanation to VB5 programmers who are moving up to VB6; definitely NOT from the perspective of an object-oriented language like C++, making the switch. IMHO, the explanations are quite confusing (e.g. the author assumes certain VB concepts are already known, such as the difference between code modules and class modules, etc.); the author eschews full code examples (providing only snippets and fragments); and there are no exercises whatsoever anywhere in the book with which to test your knowledge. As a tutorial (admittedly, the reviewers here have said this is NOT), the book fails miserably. As a reference for an established VB programmer, I'd say it's quite good. I'm only disappointed I will have to seek out a different book to get the lessons I now (still) need.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Database Design for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design, Second Edition
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Michael J. Hernandez
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
A new approach to teaching database design

While I agree that there may be a need for a simple book on database design without math (I'm not sure about the jargon), and while this book has received a lot of praise, I also found a number of imperfections here. To name a few: - There is no mention of Composite Foreign Keys and thus no design guidelines for dealing with CFKs. - The field specifications do not include the concept of domains, a very important concept in the Relational Data Model, and that although the book emphasizes that the design method is purely conceptual and independent of any system or implementation. - The handling of Foreign Keys is not consistent with the suggested design method. - There is no comparison of alternative design methods although alternative (and obsolete) data models (like hierarchical databases) are discussed. - The recommendation for further reading is incomplete and controversial. - As mentioned above, there is probably a need for a book that explains database design thoroughly and makes it as simple as possible, BUT NOT SIMPLER. I often felt the author is belaboring the obvious. - Nevertheless, the author chartered for us a difficult territory between art and science and tried to make it accessible and usable for many people. In his foreword Ken Getz raised the question why the world needs another book on database design? As if in reply, the author dedicated his book to anyone who has unsuccessfully attempted to design a relational database. If there are many people who have wrestled hard to get the design right in spite of the many publications available on the subject, it means that the current textbooks are not sufficient. Clearly, there was something missing. Times have changed since most papers on database design issues have been written. I just had hoped that this book would be a more complete and more in-depth study of the field. That leaves us still waiting for the definite guide and reference on the subject matter. But then, no lesser authority than the inventor of the Relational Model himself has promised us a book about database design. If only it will be as readable a book as this one.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: C# and the .NET Platform, Second Edition
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Andrew Troelsen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Time (and money) well spent ...

I picked this book up at Tech Ed and have been very impressed. Not only does he provide a comprehensive introduction to C# and .NET, Andrew Troelsen offers perhaps the best overview of Object-Oriented programming I have read. I look forward to reading the next several hundred pages.
Nice work, Mr. Troelsen.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Teach Yourself HTML 4 in 24 Hours
Publisher: Sams.net
Authors: Dick Oliver, Molly Holzschlag
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Good intro to HTML:

You may start as the absolute beginner, learn HTML, and prepare your own web site by writing your own HTML code with the help of this book. You only need a plain text editing program, which comes with every PC operating system as the standard supply. You may do the same by utilising the HTML generating graphical softwares. This book will help you to prepare your web pages without investing for the web page creating software and/or you will learn HTML in order to have control over the HTML code generated by those softwares. Anything further than that is beyond this book and you need to look for other books with more technical coverage.