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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Exploring Expect (Nutshell Handbook)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Don Libes
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Your only alternative, buy it....


This is one of the worst books, written about one of the worst programming languages. The information is scattered and difficult to harvest. Understanding this book and writing code in Expect is a huge headache. However, if you don't buy the book, forget about ever writing reasonably complex programs in Expect. I rated the book five stars because, while not a good book by any standard, it is infinitely better than having no reference at all (which is perhaps why it is so difficult to find information about Expect on the web). It's well worth the [money], but expect to spend some time learning about Expect.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: XSLT Cookbook
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Sal Mangano
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Essential Reference for XSLT Applications


What an incredible resource this book is! I am using XSLT to transform XML data into flat files that are delivered to a legacy DOS application, so the chapters on text and string manipulation were extremely helpful. In addition, the author has illustrated examples that covered almost every road-block that I ran into while developing XSLT files. I also like the approach in illustrating generically useful examples for applications in general, not just web applications. An assential resource for anyone wanting to implement XSLT in a hurry.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: SQL: Access to SQL Server
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Susan Sales Harkins, Martin W.P. Reid
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent, Excellent book


I own about 30 books about Access (all versions). This book tops all of them. If you are using Access 2000 or 2002(XP) and you like to know about SQL Server (2000), trust me this is it. Try to read it from begining to the end. It's written in english language (not technical slang) and it shows you some cool tricks even for those Access 97 users. Hope to see more books from these guys. Thanks



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
An excellent book!


I was going to wait to write my review until after I took the exam, but the book has already lost its chance for 5 stars due to one stupid detail I discovered this morning - a Java book whose accompanying CD requires *Windows*! Would it have been that hard to provide a -Java- program for the self-tests so that those of us using other systems could still make the most of the product? As you can see, this has me somewhat annoyed (I'd understand if it was a Windows book or even a C book, but the whole point of Java....)
That said, it wouldn't be fair to rate the entire book against this shortsightedness. The fact is that the book is very good, although it can be tiring to encounter the bad jokes and parenthesized comments sprinkled throughout. I guess some people find them funny, but I found them somewhat distracting. But I *do* appreciate the conversational tone of the writing itself, which makes it easier to engage with a subject that is somewhat dry -- you WILL learn the details of the language that you may have missed in other books. I feel very confident having completed this book, as it cemented a lot of the cracks in my understanding. As it says in the beginning, this book won't teach you to program in Java, but it will answer any questions you had about the Java programming language.
Also note that there are some errors in the book, including one or two (can't remember) in the end-of-chapter tests.
In summary, I do highly recommend this book.