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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: CSS Cookbook
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Christopher Schmitt
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Useful and quick lookups

Beware, the author warns. This is not a book to learn CSS from scratch. Its premise is that you already have a basic understanding of CSS and of the rudiments of JavaScript. But given that, Schmitt offers a handy grab bag of time saving hacks, that others have found useful when struggling with CSS.

Some of the problems and solutions do seem really basic. Like the very first one, about setting the typeface of some text in a page. You'd expect any book teaching CSS to cover this, or, if not, that a user who read that book could quickly find this solution. A few other problems are like this.

But the majority of problems presented here are not so trivial. That, combined with a succinct set of one liners that describe each problem in the contents, should give the book some appeal to you.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Assembly Language for Intel-Based Computers (4th Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Kip R. Irvine
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Read this for an honest opinion.

This is by far the most poorly organized programming book I have ever read. The author repeatedly refers to subject matter he has not yet discussed and asks review questions on material to be adressed in later chapters. Assembly language is described in such a bizzaire, structureless, ad hoc manner that one feels as if they are being subjected to whimsical tutorage. The author presents one topic, and then moves on to something completly different never building upon previous knowledge, and puts the finishing touches on his patheticism by referencing subjects that are not addressed for another several chapters. The worst programming book I've ever read - use only for firewood or paperweights.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Metadata Solutions: Using Metamodels, Repositories, XML, and Enterprise Portals to Generate Information on Demand
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Adrienne Tannenbaum
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
THE metadata solution!

I've always been amazed at how much the level of detail varies in technical books. Some books seem to be quite popular even though they don't tell us much...others tell us plenty but don't seem to be popular.
This book, Metadata Solutions tries to tell us as much as it can about the world of metadata. Sometimes this may turn people off, but it kept me interested. I think my absolute favorite part was Part V, the section that started with an example of a "A Typical Metadata Disaster" (chapter 21) and then showed various ways of solving it...starting with a centralized metadata repository,then an "integrated architecture", then an "information directory", metadata interexchange (XML), a standalone metadata store (an Access db in this example), and an Enterprise Portal.
I don't know of any other book that takes the time to illustrate many types of solutions, with many types of products, all for the same problem.
I didn't give the book 5 stars because there were some sections which I think were theory (like defining information, knowledge, and data). I suppose some readers may like this stuff, but I didn't....but I truly recommend this one anyway.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Head First Java, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
First Amazon Review

I have bought lots of books on Amazon. I have bought lots of Java books on Amazon. This is the first time I have felt COMPELLED to write a review. Currently my job involves writing perl scripts and using Javascript for various web-based things. It has now become necessary for me to learn Java. Prior to reading this book, I took two Java classes. I just was not getting it. I think in a very linear way. i.e. Dig hole, plant flower, water flower. Not, I will need a shovel object, a flower object, and a hose object to make this happen. However, even though I am only on chapter 5, IT IS MAKING SENSE!! I really was beginning to think I could not wrap my head around the idea of objects but because of this book, I am sure that I will. This is the first book I have ever read that doesn't make the assumption that the knowledge of the Java API comes standard in the human brain. I will DEFINITELY buy the other books in the Head Start series and if I ever become a multi-million-dollar-making Java programmer, I will give a big chunk of it to Kathy and Burt!