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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Oracle Certified Professional Application Developer Exam Guide
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies
Authors: Jason Couchman, Jason Couchman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Strong coverage of Developer Forms & Reports


At last, a readable book on Developer/2000. I wasn't planning to take any exams when I bought it...I just needed to learn Developer, and wasn't happy with any other book I found. After I bought this and saw how accessible Developer can be, I started signing up for exams. I've passed both Forms exams, and am schedule for the Reports exam. (I put the PLSQL exams last, because those parts of this book could use some help...they contain some mistakes, and I want a second book to augment the information.)
For Developer alone, this is the best book available. For Developer and PLSQL, this plus the PLSQL Programming book are the unstoppable duo.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: MCSD .NET Solution Architectures Exam Cram 2 (Exam 70-300)
Publisher: Que
Authors: Randy Cornish, Don Pavoni, Thomas Moore, Eric Rockenbach, Ed Tittel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A slightly different approach than Microsoft's Exam Guide


The just-published Exam Cram 2 for .NET Solution Architectures presents a different approach than Microsoft's Exam Guide which I recently reviewed. Both books appear good and my initial reaction is recommend both as there are areas that each cover that are not covered in the other book. If you must choose only one, I recommend this one. Interestingly both books have almost the same number of pages - slightly under 500.
Overall in the Exam Cram book, there's much more exam-taking and strategy discussion. This book also appears to have much more up-to-date information including extensive discussion of XML. I was also impressed with the amount of just good practical information in the Exam Cram vs. the Microsoft book.
Another plus for this book is it's statement that much of the actual exam involves case studies where a wide range of information is tested on each case as opposed to the earlier 70-100 Solutions Architecture Exam where only a narrow range of topics were quizzed on each case. The Microsoft guide has no case studies in the text as opposed to the Exam Cram version that is chock full of thought-provoking case studies. There is also ample discussion of how this exam uses questions where you must move things around (drag & drop, etc.) as opposed to the classic programming exams that are largely multiple choice.
I still haven't taken the actual exam, so I can't speak to which book covers more of the material. The Transcender practice tests for this review aren't due to be ready until June 2003 either. I plan to study both of these books and practice on the Transcender exams when they become available.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Designing with Web Standards
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jeffrey Zeldman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
It's the bomb


Designing with Web Standards is the bomb, all right - just what you'd expect from Zeldman. It addresses all of the issues that have plagued us at one time or another and then gives us options for dealing with them. It's the nuts and bolts and the how-to manual for creating timeless code.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The C++ Programming Language (Special 3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Bjarne Stroustrup
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Great Piece for Master of C++


Let me start out by saying what this book isn't. This book is not for people who do not have programming experience in C++ already. This is not a ground up tutorial on how to program in C++, and it is not a fast read. What this book is, however, is probably the best reference book on C++ in existance. Written by the most authorative man on the subject.
It covers all the pieces of C++ in stunning detail while remaining mostly readable. Some of the tricks he plays with code are things that you've never heard of before. One thing that he does address in this book is the implications of the language features on the design of the software being written in it. He discusses how to implement certain object-oriented concepts using different capabilities of C++.
In other instances he talks about precicely what the compiler does when it sees certain things, and gives a programmer a deeper understanding of exactly how the machine is carying out the requests that the programmer makes of it. This book is often compared the "The C Programming Language" by K & R and deserves the vaguely refencing title.
Just a note, if you like learning by doing you'll have to do the exercies at the end of the chapters, because there aren't any "compileable as is" code listings in this book, just fragments for examples (about 5 code fragments per page on average). It will also help to have an understanding of fundamental computer architecture (assembly) and data structures for comprehension.
Overall if you've done some C++ and you want to become more proficient and Master the language, this is the last book you'll need to read before you'll feel like one.