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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mastering Regular Expressions, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jeffrey E. F. Friedl
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Those wise birds!


I got Mastering Regular Expressions in 1998 and I peek back regularly and it am proud to say is one of most used and useful books I own.
Regular expressions are for everyone. They are simple to write and can be close to impossible to read and even unimaginably harder to understand. But reading comes after you can craft one.
And this art of crafting RE is explained in astonishing detail and analysis in this book. Reader is carefully guided through basics, differences and common and uncommon pitfalls. Some of the parts are definitely not for the faint hearted! And this is especially true for parts that cover Perl RE. While main topic is Perl RE engine, a deep-enough travel through different RE dialects is made to help RE-crafting in almost any tool that supports REs.
I've used the methods described in the book in tools as different as MS VC++, various editors, search engines and programming (Perl, PHP, C++, ...). The ability to use RE usually impressed people to the point they were sure I am using some incredible magic.
But I must say that the most useful feature delivered in this book was ability to PARSE, UNDERSTAND and FIX a (slow, broken, strange acting) RE. This can be slowly absorbed by reader's (open) mind while carefully reading the book. The difference between meant/written can be as extreme as it can get in RE. I can (proudly) say I've been able to fix several complex REs, by simply (one could say blindly) following the rules laid in the book.
My opinion is thath without this book real understanding of RE is almost impossible. I recommended it all of those who use programs that support (any form) of RE engine. It will help them solve some (hard) problems incredibly fast!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide (4th Edition)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Tom Negrino, Dori Smith
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Not enough explanations


This book is very difficult to use if you work with MS IE. Almost every comment in the first few chapters discusses only what works on Netscape and Mac. I stopped reading after a few chapters. (This is really a one star rating, but Amazon didn't post my first comment with one star, so let's try two stars).



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Compilers
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Authors: Alfred V. Aho, Ravi Sethi, Jeffrey D. Ullman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
AAAAHHHHAAAAHAHAHAAAA YEUS! YEUS YEUS!


AAAAHHHHAAAAHAHAHAAAA Yes! Buy me! Buy me now you crazy guy! Ahhhahahhaha yeus, yeus. Everyone buy this and you will be a genius straight away. AAHAHAHHAHAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Microsoft DirectShow for Digital Video and Television
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Mark D. Pesce
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Needed to like it, but....


I wanted to like this book - mostly because I really needed a book covering some of the problems I was having with DirectShow. The company I work for has DirectShow as the core component of their customer-facing software. I wasn't brought in to work on that part of it, but it quickly fell under my umbrella. I had no DirectShow experience, so I turned to the SDK docs and looked for a few books.
Well I have to say that if it wasn't for the SDK docs I would have been sunk. Both this book and Programming Direct Show have been real losers. This is better than the other book, but that isn't saying much.
Like previous posters I was disappointed by the audio. I have to support file playback, streaming, and control of a tv card through my interface. Its not rocket science, but the dearth of material on controlling tv cards in this book made it all but useless to me. The same material exists in the same form on MS DirectShow docs - the author added next to nothing.
I did give it 2 stars because sometimes it is nice to have the SDK documentation - with a little extra - to read when you are away from the computer. The author however should be ashamed for putting out such a cut-n-paste effort, pathetic.