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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java Servlet Programming, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jason Hunter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best in the Market.

This the best book on the subject. It's better than official documentation and tutorials. Buy it, Mr. editor! do I get commission?

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Plone Content Management Essentials
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Julie C. Meloni
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
"Getting started..." kind of a book

I bought this book together with McKay "The Definitive Guide to Plone" and all I can say is that they fit together nicely.
In the old days when software was delivered to you in a nice box with accompanying manuals, one of them was hopefully titled as "Getting started...", "Introduction to..." or "Quick guide to...". Julie's "Plone Content Management Essentials" is by all means *that* kind of the book in a 'missing box' for Plone.

As a complete Plone (Zope) newbie on my way to migrate some stuff from Movable Type intranet site, I needed quick, concise guide to get the general feeling about Plone features and the level of complexity involved (I already knew that Zope behind the Plone is a "beast" in it's own if compared to simple packages like MT) . With just 200+ pages this book helped me grasp the basic concepts behind the Plone CMS in a way, that I could build my prototype site in a few days. The chapters that I liked the most are chapter "4. Additional Plone Elements" describing Plone add-ons of immediate interest to me (CMFBoard, CMFPhotoAlbum and CMFWeblog) and chapter's 5 and 6 on customizing plone and implementing custom skin. The only objection that I have about the book is Appendix A., imho it's completely useless attempt on introduction to python language (it would make more sense to just publish the links to python online resources).

Book is geared towards complete Plone newbie's, even non-techies will not be easily lost, thanks to step-by-step approach and numerous screenshots. Nevertheless, I would strongly recommend that you also consider McKay "The Definitive Guide to Plone" which is in my opinion the most complete book about Plone on the market (but you'll certainly need more than a few days to digest it). Thank you for reading this review!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Service-Oriented Architecture : A Field Guide to Integrating XML and Web Services
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Thomas Erl
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

Lots of advice in this comprehensive architectural guide. It's a collection of design and optimization techniques, cleverly tied together to cover the range of problems that you'll encounter when getting into service oriented solutions. It's really a unique book containing effective techniques I'm sure you won't find anywhere else. It also warns you of the pitfalls of using Web Services and XML. We are working through a major transition with .NET, and XML has become a huge issue for us. This book points out a number of mistakes we made in the past. If we would have had it a year earlier, it would have saved us a great deal of money and grief. We have already incorporated a number of the book's Web Services design strategies into our standards. Considering how much a consultant would have charged us for this information, this book is a real steal.
I'm ordering a second copy for my boss, as it contains best practices that will help him budget our upcoming Web Services projects.
Also, the SOA tutorial and use case is excellent learning material for this new platform. We are using this part for an internal traning course.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning Programming for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Wally Wang, Wallace Wang
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I learned it! I really did!

I highly recommend Wallace Wang's Beginning Programming for Dummies to anyone looking to learn programming for the first time. I'm a technical writer who is terrible at math and not very bright in general. Fortunately, as Mr. Wang assures me in the first chapter, you don't have to be a math genius to be a good programmer. You just have to be curious and willing to spend a lot of time practicing. One thing that sets Dummies books apart is their ability to make the boring part of a subject (its dullness or seeming difficulty is why you need the book in the first place) seem fun. Wang employs his extensive gifts as a comedian to make memorizing terms like "REM," "CLS," and "FOR...NEXT" feel deceptively fun. After finishing this book (it took about a month of daily to semi-daily study to digest), I have a good grasp of programming in general, and QBASIC in particular. I'm making my own QBASIC program to master the language (it's a psychologist who asks you questions and then belittles you). And, because QBASIC comes free with every PC, you don't have to buy anything extra to learn it. Once I master QBASIC, I'll easily be able to move on to Visual Basic, and then maybe dabble in some C, Java, and HTML/XML.