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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Cocoa(R) Programming for Mac(R) OS X (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Aaron Hillegass
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great intro, a few nits


First my background. I'm a very experienced C++ programmer who is also very experienced with Carbon.
I found this book to be a great intro to Cocoa without a lot of preaching about how Cocoa will change the world. Carbon vs. Cocoa seems to be an almost religous debate, and I'm glad this book didn't try to overpromise the benefits of Cocoa.
The book is well organized, very readable, and has good examples. It is *much* better than the O'Reilly "Learning Cocoa" book.
After reading this book, you'll be able to start writing applications in Cocoa, and you'll know where to go for more info.
Now, my nits:
* The book explicitly stated that it was for people with a C++ or java background, but I think there should have been more direct comparisions between C++/java and Objective C. For example, saying that class functions (the ones with +) are just like static functions in C++ would have helped.
* This may be an introductory book for people moving from other platforms to the Mac, but the UI for most of the applications violated Apple's UI guidelines in many ways. I think the book should have promoted following Apple's UI guidelines.
* There was no discussion of exceptions, and much of the code was not exception-safe and didn't do much error checking. There wasn't even the usual disclaimer about leaving that out for simplicity.
* I would have liked a quick overview at the end of some of the classes not discussed in the book with a couple of sentences about what they do. This would help to learn what's out there.
I hope to see more books on Cocoa by the author. There's still lots of room for books on more advanced Cocoa topics.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science
Publisher: Franklin Beedle & Associates
Authors: John M. Zelle
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This is where to start


For those of you who don't know how to program, this book is the best starting place I've ever read. It's written as an introduction to computer science, by professional educators for a CS1 course.

This book defines all the terms and parts to programming that other "Learn Python" books seem to assume you already know. If reading the tutor section of the Python documentation that came with the language (www.python.org) was not completely clear to you, this is the best book to get you ready to program.

There are plenty of example programs to keep this book interesting to intermediate programmers, but there is doubtfully anything surprising to experienced programmers. Everything in this book is very clearly explained and organized.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Testing Applications on the Web: Test Planning for Internet-Based Systems
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Hung Q. Nguyen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Grey Box Testing for Web Applications


Grey box testing is based on a general understanding of a system's architecture and components. This understanding drives test strategy and identifies opportunities to test components in isolation.
The shade of grey can vary from white box testing (full review of source code) to black box testing (no review of source code). You choose what level of information to gather depending on your budget, capabilities and judgment.
This book provides the first detailed approach to grey box testing, focussing on web-based application architectures. These architectures are based on a heavy use of components: application servers, web servers, load balancers, databases and the like. This book describes these components, suggests how they can fail and what you can do to anticipate, trigger, or detect such failures.
This approach is supported by the author's extensive experience testing web-based (and other) applications as president of a software testing company. It is augmented by plenty of good advice on how to communicate test results clearly.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Windows Desktop Deployment Resource Kit
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Microsoft Corporation, Jerry Honeycutt, Jerry Honeycutt with the Microsoft Windows XP, Office Teams
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A valuable resource for anyone deploying Windows XP Pro!


A valuable resource for anyone deploying XP and Office 2003, this book includes everything from deployment methodologies to image customization and maintenance. The included CD has all the scripts and customizations mentioned in the book. Having attended several M$ events on this very topic, Jerry Honeycutt really outshines M$, making his process the definitive resource guide for any Desktop Architect. Some of the information is available from M$ White Papers and other sources, but never before have they all been so well thought out and available in one location. The book also contains unique advice and techniques that you won't find anywhere else. You will learn techniques that you didn't know were possible. As an author, Jerry Honeycutt has a talent for being clear and concise when it comes to complex subject matter.