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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: LDAP System Administration
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Gerald Carter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A great guide for implementing and integrating LDAP

Anyone that has attempted to integrate LDAP with services such as Email, NIS, Samba, Printing, etc. knows how sparce the documentation on the Internet is, if you are lucky enough to find it. This book does a great job of describing how to implement LDAP and make the most of it! The author has a concise and easy to read style that makes for a quick read. If you are using or plan to use OpenLDAP, this book is a must. If you want to integrate the previously mentioned services with LDAP, even if not with OpenLDAP, this book is still very valuable.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen, Marie Tahir
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good Information for Web Developers

My first exposure to this book was from a handout in a class on web design. The handout was a photocopy of a couple pages of statistics on where to place search and what to label it. It makes sense to put our web page elements in expected places so that users will have an easier time finding the information they need.
I felt the guidelines in the first chapter were good. They were easy to understand and organized effectively. I wish, however, that there was a summarized checklist-format of these. The topics have an introductory paragraph that can help convince bosses and customers of the importance of the following suggested rules. For example, search is said to be important and easy to use and find. The numbered tips on how to do just that are easily implemented (and also easy to finally form into words why a site's search isn't "doing it for you"). Since I surf the web a lot, it didn't surprise me that input boxes should be big enough. I have seen search fields way too small on places I wouldn't expect it ....
The most valuable - and most easily outdated - part of the book is the Homepage Design Statistics. For example, it is suggested we design for the median page width of 770 pixels. But how long will this be true? The authors make a good point for having a page that resizes to your window (liquid layout), but it should still work for those with smaller browser windows. I prefer liquid and was surprised that only 18% of the 50 homepages surveyed used a liquid layout. Perhaps this number has changed since the book's printing. Most of the information is timeless like calling the link to job openings "Careers" instead of "Join Our Staff."
The rest of the book is dedicated to actual reviews of various well-known sites. The points found and discussed are labeled on a screen shot of the site so that it's easy to see what the authors are talking about. ...
I will reference the tips often and have already started using some of the terms I discovered in this book ("Smiling Ladies"). But, I felt like I was repeatedly being sold Nielsen's usability reports or testing. I felt that here are some great tips but not even half of what you need so go to the online store and buy more. ... Another problem I have with the book is the actual book. Why is it too cumbersome? It is attractive to look at but doesn't fit well on my desk shelf with the other frequently used books. The binding is also already starting to complain from use. Another problem I have is that it seems geared for corporate websites, but I know it is not. Perhaps next edition can have more small, not-for-profit website reviews so that it's easier for readers to convince their bosses that this applies to all, not just Ebay.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Testing Object-Oriented Systems: Models, Patterns, and Tools (The Addison-Wesley Object Technology Series)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Robert V. Binder
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great coverage of OOP testing

This book is an excellent source for the novice and the experienced SQA Engineer. It covers most aspects of SW testing at a very practical level. Explanations and illustrations are well focused and the code samples can save you many hours of design and implementation time. The theory provies a solid foundation, important to do serious QA.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Exploring Expect (Nutshell Handbook)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Don Libes
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Anticipate a long and painful reading session

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.