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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Has something for everyone

I have read a number of books on HTML and found this be be the BEST. It is concise, to the point, has excellent comparisons between Netscape and Internet Explorer. Perfect resource for the neophyte - - the instant gratification is wonderful.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: XSLT 2.0 Programmer's Reference (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Michael Kay
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Reference only - Consider ONLY if already good at XSLT

The style of writing in this book makes it rather awkward for learning. Perhaps this is okay for a guru in XSLT, but I'm finding the book difficult to follow and more difficult to use.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Streaming Media Bible
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Steve Mack, Steve Mack
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This book definitely made me SMIL!

An outstanding resource for streaming media. I read Streaming Media Bible cover to cover and learned more about asset preparation than I ever learned in books dedicated to specific media types. As a result of reading this book, I now feel confident to prepare my own streaming assets.
If you want to learn SMIL, this is the book to start with. I have been trying to learn it for some time (and have muddled through two other books on the subject) and no one comes close to explaining it as well as this author does. After reading the SMIL sections, I felt confident enough to author a graduate level distance ed. course.
The CD proved to be a valuable resource for the times when my code looked right - but didn't function as expected.
How often can you say you enjoyed reading a tech book? This book is written in a clear, concise, easy to understand format. You don't have to be a technology guru to understand what is being presented in this book. As a streaming media beginner, I didn't feel overwhelmed by this book. Instead of trying to impress people with his knowledge of technical jargon (as many tech. authors do), this author chose to make the book understandable.
If you are interested in streaming media, definitely check this book out!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: SQL/400 Developer's Guide
Publisher: 29th Street Press
Authors: Paul Conte, Mike Cravitz
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
How to save yourself $65

It's actually not an awful book - it's just really poorly organised, generously sprinkled with omissions and errors, and it doesn't provide any information you couldn't otherwise easily get from IBM's own AS/400 manuals, which are available online (http://publib.boulder.ibm.com).
I've been using DB/2 on MVS mainframes since about 1984, and there are a number of well-written, well-organised texts on the subject, including Ranade's DB/2 book. Having started working recently with SQL/400, I really didn't need much help with DDL and DML basics - what I needed was an assist on learning the AS/400 equivalents of SPUFI and QMF, MVS's SQL user interfaces.
The SQL/400 book wasn't much help. There was only a cursory discussion of ISQL (a watered-down kind of SPUFI), and I haven't yet come across a word about Query Manager. The index is really lacking, too - Ranade's book could serve the authors as an object lesson.
In summary: Save yourself a nice wad of cash - and don't bother with this book.