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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Perl Cookbook, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Tom Christiansen, Nathan Torkington
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Fantastic resource

Having used Perl for about 3 years now, I was overly comfortable with the language and originally bought the book because many a colleagues had recommended this resource to even seasoned perl programmers .The approach of this book is far different from most of those lofty, heady books with their shopping carts and examples of basically useless coding ideas. Tom takes real life needs and cooks them up with short, useable snippets of code. Having read this book from front to back i have found the resource ideal as a daily reference for problem solving]." Another nice thing was that I started finding functions that I didn't even know existed and then started imagining uses for them to solve problems I hadn't thought of as problems!
Great one. Keep these good books coming

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java 2: The Complete Reference, Fifth Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Herbert Schildt
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great Coverage

Patrick's book is one of the better ones that covers beginners in Java programming. Seldom there are facts being explained in detail and the explaination is rather brief at times. Nevertheless, the topics and coverage is good with simple to understand examples for the inexperience which is contrary to the content's explaination depth. One of my Java lecturers bought over 30 odd books on Java and this book is one of his recommendation on top of several best sellers in Amazon. Also, use this book together with other best sellers and you will appreciate it's contents coverage. Let's face it, no programmers is gonna be good without referencing a few books and this could be just one of those.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A+ Certification for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Ron Gilster
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
good for old exam prior to January 2001

The book itself is good however the exam has changed. Advertizing book out of date for the new exam is very deciving to possible customers. Do all of us a favior if it is does not cover operating systems/core do not advertize it like a new book. Put it back in the closet where it belongs!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Jakarta Struts, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Chuck Cavaness
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Poorly organized book

The author is knowledgeable but does not present the material in a clear, coherent manner, especially for those new to Struts development (which you probably are if you're reading this book). I never really "got" Struts after reading this book cover-to-cover. That is to say, there's no way I could create even a simple working Struts application from scratch. Here's my two main complaints:
1. The book is organized very poorly. For example, although throughout the book we've been seing ActionForms used in code, it's not until page 175 that we get "What Are ActionForms?" The IStorefrontService interface is finally described on page 158, even though it's been seen multiple times previously without any explanation as to what it is. On page 230, the author writes "I've mentioned the UserContainer and ApplicationContainer classes in previous chapters without defining exactly what they are." So the pattern is that things are just foisted upon the reader inside code listings with no explanation and no reference. Sometimes they are finally described hundreds of pages later, sometimes not. In-between are many pages of useful information, but that would have better been left for future chapters. We learn lots about how to extend Struts before we even know how the basics of it work. That makes no sense if you are looking for a tutorial. Needless to say, it's pretty confusing to look at stuff that isn't explained. Terrible.
2. There is no step-by-step creation of a working application here. I made the mistake of thinking there was by skimming the book, but the code is largely given in unconnected fragments, often without a reference to even what file it is supposed to go in (some code relates to no actual project at all). There are two applications presented (a bank account manager, and a shopping cart tool), but again it's almost impossible to create and configure what's in the book into working applications. Sure, you can download completed applications from a web site and try to decipher them on your own, but the fact that only bits and pieces of the code are in the book, with little or no methodology, is lazy.
To be fair, there are some pretty good chapters on ancillary topics, such as Business Objects and Object Persistence, Struts Tag Libraries, Tiles, and Logging. This information will be useful, but not before you can build a working Struts app to apply it to. I think it's a shame because with a little more thought from the user's perspective towards organization/editing, this could have been a really good book. If you already kind of know Struts, I would pick it up to augment your knowledge (perhaps in that instance I'd give it four stars), but I cannot recommend it for the Struts beginner. Sadly, I have not found a single Struts book or online tutorial yet that succinctly and sufficiently explains it to someone with no previous experience. I'm almost tempted to try the Tapestry framework instead...even though the documentation is horrible, the product looks easier to use.