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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: XML for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great Place to Start with XML

Elizabeth Castro's Book is written in a very clear and precise style. She doesn't attempt to explain absolutely everything about XML - it shows you how to write and then put XML into web pages, which she covers very thoroughly; if you want any more detailed info such as ASP and XML, the DOM etc. go buy those thick tomes that deal with those topics specifically.
This book was perfect for my needs. I have been reading snippets all over the web about XML for months now but nowhere had enough detail - this book takes you through how to set out your information and then put it up.
Even though this is an area of "shifting sands" in terms of finalised standards she is bang up to date.
There is no doubt that XML is going to be the NBT (Next Big Thing) - get in there at ground level and read this book.
If you want an excellent introductory yet very practical primer this is ideal.
Leon Cych

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Unified Software Development Process
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ivar Jacobson, Grady Booch, James Rumbaugh
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Lots of knowledge, poorly explained, poor illustrations

I suppose that students at our school are representative for the worldwide population of cs students. This book is not at all an easy introduction to the unified process. Having been introduced to the principles of ooad in an earlier semester, and thus already knowing something about ooad, we were introduced to Jacobsons RUP. Their book contains a lot of knowledge, but unfortunately the authors are a) either not very good at explaining their knowledge b) hiding the knowledge to make it seem more intelligent than it really is or c) have written the book for people who already knows, at least something, about the unified process, or the objectory process that preceeded RUP. If you are looking for good illustrations and examples on how to model a system with uml and the added classifiers using the the RUP, then I suggest that you don't start with this book. You'll be disappointed. Working on our first project using the RUP, hearing complaints from nearly all students over the lack of understandable examples, I bought Jacobsons's earlier book - Object Oriented Software Engineering. In that book I found much better and concrete examples, which were very helpfull in understanding their latest book (but that shouldn't be necessary!). If you are looking for an easy introduction to the unified process, conveniently having things explained for you in an easy to understand way, then this is definitely not the book for you. Very poor examples - or should I say lack of good and understandable examples. On the other hand, if you don't know so much about ooad, has lots of time, likes to crack nuts, read between the lines and guess about this and that, then this book is for you. - I admit that after having gone through the hard process, gaining experience in RUP through a practical project, I have come to like the process and has found it very usefull. The principles of the RUP are sound and good. Now that I have gone through the struggle, and knows it better, I'm glad that I have it on my shelf. It contains a lot of usefull, but unfortunately poorly explained, and illustrated, information.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: More Effective C++: 35 New Ways to Improve Your Programs and Designs
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Scott Meyers
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
More valuable than the first volume, if possible

After being a very satisfied reader of the first volume, I bought this second as well. And I'm even more satisfied with this book. There are fewer items than the first volume, but I found they are exactly those items you're looking for after reading a C++ big manual and the first Meyers' book.
The section on exceptions is a very appreciable collection on exceptions topics, difficult to find elsewhere, unless you're a constant reader of C++ Report (where they held a monthly column on the subject).
The section on efficiency is a niece and useful read that let you meet some important consideration as the famous 80-20 rule (a.k.a. 90-10 rule, the "make the common case faster" pattern, and so on) or the Lazy Evaluation tecnique (I've used it extensively since I'm involved on big proportions projects that need this kind of savings).A special mention goes on the item about the costs of virtual functions, polymorphism and RTTI features. This is about the best account I've found on the subject. The only other one I can think about is Dattatri's in "C++: Effective Object-Oriented Software Construction". You won't believe it, but I've red Dattatri's just a week before I've been specifically asked for this very same topic during an important job interview. Luckily.
The section on Techniques is a source of pure gems: item after item I've discovered how well and widely these topics can be treated. Some will find they are taken from Coplien's book. And that's true. But here they are expanded and more clearly explained.
The last section also will bring some knowledge that will prove to be useful whenever you'll be involved in software design. They well add to those on the first volume.
A very worth buying, and a very worth read, on my opinion.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Administrator's Pocket Consultant
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: William R. Stanek
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Covers the essentials...everthing you need for daily adminis

I've been an Exchange developer and administration for 6 years and have gone through a lot of admin, developer, programmer books on the subject. Probably bought a lot more books than I ever used. When gearing up for Exchange Server 2003 I went back to look at the books I actually used previously and went to find out if new editions were available of those books. I bought Exchange Server 2003 Administrator's Pocket Consultant as soon as I saw it. It hasn't let me down yet. The book will be used as the core book in my Exchange Server 2003 Admin class.