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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Perl (3rd Edition)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen, Jon Orwant
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Its the reference, but don't use it for learning

The definitive Perl book -- of course. But it's my feeling that at times, Larry was forgetting that the purpose of this book is not *only* to demonstrate his absolute superiority over the humble reader. The book would certainly win if a few phraseological masterpieces were deleted and dumb phrases like "A means this-and-this, and B means that-and-that" substituted instead. In particular, it is impossible to understand the really juicy things -- modules, references, and all that -- from this book unless you happen to understand them already.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: eBay for Dummies, Fourth Edition
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Marsha Collier
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
You need this book, dummie or not!

A step by step look into the world of Ebay. Honest and easy-to-read chapters will send any future Ebayer on their way to successful auction bliss. Full of useful advice, which is written with humerous intent, guides the reader through the jungle of online auction landmines. An absolute necessity whether you are buying or selling via the internet highway!

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Business Data Communications (5th Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: William Stallings
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Not for beginners

I was asked to teach a class using this book. Unfortunately, the book is over the heads of most of the students. It is not the best job of presenting the information either. None of the students like the book. I do not recommend it as a class textbook, but as a reference for someone who already is in the data comm field. It does have some good technical information, but is not presented in a way that you can read the book from cover to cover.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Chuck Musciano, Bill Kennedy
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Possibly Definitive, but not entirely Practical

Technically, this is probably the best book on HTML (and now XHTML) around. However, it falls short in explaining related topics adequately. For example, the chapter on multimedia devotes several pages to GIF, but doesn't bother to inform you that you must pay a royalty to Unisys when you use GIF, or even mention the new PNG graphics format that is replacing GIF partly for this reason but mostly because it's just better than GIF. The chapter on tips and tricks doesn't include the most important tip: run your HTML through a verifier to ensure that it's well-formed. If you're looking for a book that tells you how to create web pages, perhaps a less definitive but more balanced book would be best.