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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Effective C++: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your Programs and Design (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Scott Meyers
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
C++ developer must read this book.

If you're C++ developer, you should not miss this book.
Before I read this book, I was reading the Scott articles on Internet. Although the explanation was not as detail ad the book, it gave some good start.
Reading this book, I finally knew a little more about the memory leak in C++. As such, I strongly recommend C++ developer or programmer read this book. I have not done so, I should try to avoid using C++. Experience C++ developers or programmers may not be able to point out the simple programming error in this books or Scott's Internet articles.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning Active Server Pages 3.0 (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: David Buser, John Kauffman, Juan T. Llibre, Brian Francis, Dave Sussman, Chris Ullman, Jon Duckett
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great Start for ASP Coding

In the beginning of Chapter 3, there is a paragraph that sums up the entire book:
"When I first started to study Chinese my tutor ... gave me a Chinese-English dictionary, a Chinese grammar book and a primer. But he placed all of these books in a basket and said they were not to used until the next week. In the first week he instructed me just to listen and and memorize some phrases. That week, I had to accept on faith the content, sentence structure, pronunciation and grammar. But by Friday I could at least walk into a Chinese restaurant, order a bowl of rice and pay for it."
That pretty well desribes how this book progresses. The authors start you off with some simple ASP and then build on that in the later chapters. I basically went chapter by chapter and did all of the "Try It Out" projects. By the end, I could understand ASP code and I was able to adapt it to the project I was working on.
The book is rather wordy, but not in a boring way. The authors' target audience is people with almost no programming experience, and I think they do a good job explaining things to that audience. I had done some web coding before, so I usually skimmed the text to look for the techniques I was not familar with. As I worked on my real-world project, I would refer back to the book when I wasn't sure how to do something.
I like the book because it has lots of hands on examples, right up to a full blown web application called "Wrox Classifieds". It's easy to look up a specific ASP technique and get right to the explanation of how it works and how to code it. An added benefit are the Appendices, which include a complete description of the ASP 3.0 and ADO 2.5 Object Models and a VBScript reference. If that's not enough information, they have a website with a messgae board on which you can ask specific questions and get answers from more experienced ASP coders.
My only criticism of the book is the "support" provided by the publisher. Wrox was sold to Wiley a couple of years ago in a bankruptcy proceeding. You are supposed to be able to open a ticket with their technical support if you have problems getting something to work. I tried to open a ticket, and all I received was an e-mail from Wiley saying they weren't sure if they would support the book but they would get back to me. They never did.
That experience, however, has not dampened my enthusiasm for this book or other books by Wrox.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: XSLT : Programmer's Reference (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Michael Kay
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Five Stars

Before this book, the only way to use XSL seemed to be msdn.microsoft.com, regardless of whether you were using in Java or an MS language; and even then, all you could do was copy fairly mysterious examples. This book does for XSL/XSLT what the Wrox ASP book did: allow programmers to (finally) fully understand a technology and start using it right away.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in Java (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Downloaded it, then bought it!

With miminal knowledge of C and none of other "PC" programming languages, I found this an excellent way to get started with Java. As an AS/400 specialist, I needed to learn at least the basics in order to work in VisualAge for Java. I have six other Java books, but they all put me to sleep. Not Bruce! I am very impressed with his publication methods. I downloaded the book, printed the entire file, and thought it was so good, I bought it!