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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Effective STL: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your Use of the Standard Template Library
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Scott Meyers
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Scott Does It Again


There we go - with his well-known sharpness and diligence, Scott absorbed STL in all detail, taught it in seminars, chewed on the ensuing experience, and distilled it all in this book.
I was one of the reviewers and in the beginning I thought that reviewing a book on STL is going to be an easy enough task. I was wrong.
I learned lots of new things on using STL effectively: why `empty()` is better than `size() == 0`, when and how to write custom allocators, how std::string might be implemented, how associative containers distinguish between equality and equivalence, how to implement associative containers as sorted vectors (that's a gem!), and many, many other things that I either had a blurry understanding of, or simply didn't know about. Now I'm glad I do, because my understanding of the STL and the practical use of it are much better.
The book went through an extensive review process; it is really combed and distilled to its finest. I recommend it to any C++ programmer who uses STL - which should be, any C++ programmer, period. Five well deserved stars.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Routing TCP/IP, Volume II (CCIE Professional Development)
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: Jeff Doyle, Jennifer DeHaven Carroll
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very good book for CCIE lab prep


I bought the book five weeks ago and have been working through it setting up the labs. The BGP info seems to be every bit as good as Sam Halabi's, the NAT section detailed, the IP multicasting very detailed and thorough and the Router Management section good. I wish Cisco provided more books that are understandable like this for CCIE study.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: David Flanagan
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A thorough introduction for experienced programmers


Usually putting a subtitle such as "The Definitive Guide" on a book is a setup for a joke, but Flanagan's "JavaScript" neatly avoids this trap by being truly definitive. JavaScript should be familiar as the implementation of ECMAScript found on most web browsers. I actually picked the book up when I needed to embed ECMAScript into a speech recognition grammar formalism for work, a rather daunting task for someone who'd never read a line of JavaScript. JavaScript is designed for embedding; unlike Perl, Python or Tcl, it's completely isolated from the operating system.
The ECMAScript specification is dense, but more readable than the specs from the W3C. "ECMA" used to be an acronym for the European Computer Manufacturers Association; now it's just a name for yet another standards body. Flanagan's book is the perfect bridge for a programmer who knows nothing to the spec.
Flanagan assumes a reader who is an experienced programmer; this is not JavaScript for novices. Basically, this is the Kernighan and Ritchie of JavaScript. As such, the book is classically organized, taking the reader from syntax and control through the object model. Most usefully, Flanagan clearly describes how the JavaScript object model works, which is no mean feat given the double inheritance chain along with the overloading of members, methods and constructors.
For those who prefer source code, Mozilla distributes their reference JavaScript implementations: the Rhino implementation in Java, and the SpiderMonkey implementation in C. The code is quite well organized and the Mozilla message boards are closely monitored by the coders. You'll also find the latest information on known bugs through their Bugzilla trackers.
Note: Because I was using JavaScript for an embedded application, I thoroughly studied the first half of the book, but never even cracked the DOM sections in the back, which describe JavaScript's integration with web browsers.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Inside SolidWorks
Publisher: OnWord Press (Acquired Titles)
Authors: David Murray
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Terrible Book


This is a terrible book. It is not worth the money nor the time to read it.