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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in Java (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good depth, but reader needs some competency already

I am a C/C++ programmer who has benefited greatly from Eckel's other big book, Thinking in C++. I have been sufficiently impressed with that book that I thought his Java book would be just as excellent.
The first portion of this book (after the obligatory stuffing at the beginning) is a brief primer on OO concepts. I found this section to be helpful because I already understand the fundamental elements of OOP, and I was looking to clarify what I already know. There were a precious few examples to help make his points, and that's all good, but there needs to be more. There were several keywords thrown about, with no prior mention (and, in some cases, statements like "You'll learn more about this in later chapters"). In a few cases, pulling them together into a program is left as an exercise, and the solutions are not included with the book. For someone with a foundation already, it is sufficient, but for someone with less knowledge it will leave the reader frustrated. Also, this is not intended to be a complete study on OOP, and the reader, beginner or advanced, should keep this in mind.
Just as in his other book, the author goes into great depth to the point of being wordy about different topics. He explains in detail the particulars of the topic he is trying to explain, and he gives examples that focus on the topic at hand and tend to avoid fluff. This is, in my opinion, the strongest aspect of this book.
Another point about this book that pleases me is that, unlike most other tomes on Java, Eckel avoided hitting graphical programming until MUCH later in the book. This is excellent, in my opinion, in that muddying in the waters with graphics, message passing, etc. only adds confusion -- cover the absolute basics first, *then* get to the "cool" topics like graphics.
As he explains the Java language, Eckel often explains why certain language aspects are present, and the decisions that led up to their implementation. So, the reader not only knows what, but why. This will benefit many (myself included), but some people - especially those in a hurry to get about the business of learning the language particulars with no regard for why - might be frustrated by the wordiness.
One thing that can be very annoying is that the author constantly refers back to C and C++. For those who know either of those languages (particularly C++), this is a good point of reference. For those who don't, it can be a sore spot. The book does include an electronic copy of Thinking in C on the CD, but chances are high that the reader bought this book to learn Java, not C. Most Java books teach Java as a standalone language -- this one relies a bit heavily on C++ as a point of reference.
Overall, this is a good book, but not perfect. Those readers who already know C++ in particular will reap the biggest harvest from this book, but everyone can benefit from this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: David Flanagan
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
excellent book

I have tried several books on Javascritping and while they all seem to have the same format of learning, this book draws from a different line of thought, make it simple and you can learn. This book may just be the definitive guide to learning Javascritping.

Starting off this 750 plus page book is the explanation how JavaScript works from the client side and then from the server side of the things. This understanding is crucial to making sure your code is set up properly and that is works correctly the first time.

Other topics covered in the book include data types, values, variables, expressions, operators, functions, objects and arrays. All of these topics are detailed yet simplified so even I could understand the nature of the text.

Moving on you'll also cover how to setup windows, frames, DOM, events, forms, DHTML, cookies and security. All this is coupled with actual code screen shots to show you what the final outcome should look like.

The author's ability to break down each topic and show you what you need to know in order to write the best possible code is the basis of this book. Overall this book is one to have and use on a constant basis.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Design Patterns
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A must have if you are an OO developer

This is a basic book on OO design and coding. I see it more as a reference cookbook than a textbook. It was nice to know that there is a systematic approach to (and names for) things that every OO designer/programmer does in his/her day to day job.
Both if you are a starter programmer or an advanced one, this book will provide you "recipes" for low level design common problems.
This book together with Scott Meyer's books help me to improve a lot and to save a lot of time in my C++ developments.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 Step by Step
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Online Training Solutions Inc., Inc. Online Training Solutions
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Step by Step to nowhere special...

Absolute beginners only. No advanced topics covered at all... doesn't even mention ASP.Net integration...