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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Eric Meyer on CSS: Mastering the Language of Web Design
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Eric A. Meyer
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Must-Have Book


If you really want to use CSS, but were put off by a lack of practical guides, then your ship has come in. If you think that perhaps this is going to be a geeky, bleeding edge trip that ignores the cross-browser question, then you're wrong. Eric Meyer does CSS that you can use now- not next year.
Get it. You'll be very glad you did.
-Al Sparber



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Robert C. Martin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Clear, specifc, applicable


The bulk of this book describes OO design principles. They're presented in a readable, useful, and well-organized way. Often they just clarify and put a name to something you've probably been doing anyway. The standard Dependency Inversion Principle is there, for one. (I'm glad to see that other people have trouble with the name. By today's reckoning, there's nothing inverted about it, but the name dates back to less enlightened times.) Others, like the Interface Segregation Principle, are less well known but reinforce lots of other good practices, such as data hiding and prevention of "interface leakage".
The "Agile" section is blessedly short, and doesn't much contaminate the otherwise good presentation elsewhere in the book. There's a lot of good to be extracted from the agility movement, but there's a lot of rabid dogmatism too. Martin managed to keep it well under control. He presented the Manifesto (ugh) early on, but that was the worst of it.
A few points marred the book, but only slightly, The drawings came across as "cute" - unprofessional and tangential to the topics at hand. Semi-fictional conversations in books like this always seem fatuous to me, and Ch.6 was no exception. The technical content managed to withstand this presentation anyway.
This book has lots of good ideas. It relates those ideas well to common and useful design patterns. A few aspects of the book tried to be funny, but came across as more annoying than anything else. That was only a few, though - the meaningful content of the book came through despite those flaws.
I recommend this book to any serious student or practitioner of OO design and implementation. I really mean "any," since even project-scarred veterans are likely to see some of their hard won knowledge set into clear text and into the context of other ideas.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Publisher: Basic Books
Authors: Douglas R. Hofstadter
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Occasionally frustrating, but interesting as a whole


Gödel's incompleteness thoerem is one of the most profound results of abstract mathematics, but unfortunately it is difficult to grasp its full meaning. GEB explains Gödel's thoerem in an interesting way by tying the mathematical result with Escher's paintings and Bach's music. The book can frustrating in some parts, but on the whole it's very interesting and useful to understand the incompleteness theorem.
One interesting thing about GEB is the dialogues. Hofstadter puts fun dialogues between the chapters, usually to introduce the concepts in the next chapter from a different angle. Sometimes this makes the concepts easier to understand, and it can occasionally be confusing to read the dialogue and then wonder what parts of it were real and which were fictional, but mostly they're fun to read and a good break from the mathematics and philosophy.
Gödel, Escher, Bach is worth reading if you're interested in philosophy, logic, artificial intelligence, or mathematics.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Steve Krug
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Krug v. Nielsen: A Highly Subjective Review


This is a great book. I assign it as a college level text for a Web Interface Design Class.
My students actually enjoy reading this book, and derive an understanding of important usability principles from it. It presents this fascinating information in a very engaging style.
I think this would be good for anyone who is associated with designing web pages. The principles are sound, and important.
There are many web sites which have design/usability problems. If only they could read this book!