Sponsored links

Valid XHTML 1.0!
Valid CSS!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A Programmer's Guide to Java (tm) Certification
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Khalid A. Mughal, Rolf W. Rasmussen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

I have just finished reading the first complete chapter (chapter 6, one of the longer ones) of the book A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification by Khalid A. Mughal and Rolf W. Rasmussen, and I have to say that I like the book very much. It is NOT for beginners that don't know programming already, but for those that like the language presented more formally, and definitely not in the style of the "Learn Java in 21 Days" or "...in 24 hours" etc (which some people say are a waste of 21 days, 24 hours and worse of all, a waste of TREES, but I digress...). Its style is more academic than that, and I would see it being used in a four-year college for a Java class.The review questions, which are dispersed over a chapter, are really good, and the answers are very well explained in an appendix. I have not gotten to the programming exercises, which are at the end of chapters. This is a book that goes way beyond what is strictly necessary to pass the test, which is something I like. I don't believe in "bare minimums". The only time I had to e-mail the authors, their reply came promptly and to the point, including code example. This is not what you usually get with other books. Some books even by Sun/Prentice Hall don't even have an errata web page. This one, of course, does.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Fast Track to MDX
Publisher: Springer
Authors: Mark Whitehorn, Mosha Pasumansky, Robert Zare
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Seriously flawed

This book has big fonts, many screenshots and not many pages. Yet it goes about its subject matter very slooowly. Verbose and lack of clear concept explanation is abundant. For example, the authors need about 7 lines to explain to us how to pronounce "tuple". And this in such a short book.

Simple but tricky issues like calculation of weighted averages are ignored. Because of the verbose, basic topics are only treated very late in the book. For example, calculated measures are only treated in page 72 and the book only has about 260 pages. Lengthy explanations that don't say more than what a few well-written sentences would convey is the rule. Worse: some of these explanations may be misleading to a novice. Much said but little done. This may be the reason why neither a preview nor an online search of the book are available in Amazon.com.

I know that MDX is hard to learn because it looks like SQL but yet it is so different and there are many new concepts behind. But this "fast" track will rather mislead a reader into thinking he/she is at all on track.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The C++ Programming Language (Special 3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Bjarne Stroustrup
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
A good reference but not a good educator

This book is an invaluable reference for daily C++ programmers. This book is a terrible waste of money for novices looking to learn about C++. This explains why the rankings are all either 10s or 1s. I'm somewhere in between so I'll give it a 5.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Design Patterns
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Expand your programming vocabulary...difficult but worth it

This is a book that you need to chew on for a while and which will take a while to digest once swallowed. It will, however, turn into pure programming muscle as payback for all your effort!
This is an academic treatise (it started out as a Master's thesis) and reads like one. But as you read you'll find yourself identifying with some of the patterns that you've unknowingly used in your own code. And you'll start seeing how you could have used other patterns. And before you know it, your approach to programming has changed and you are able to focus more on the domain-specific issues rather than getting caught up in the need to continuously re-invent the proverbial wheel. And the world looks a little bit brighter.
Any book that does that for you deserves 5 stars regardless of how dry it is.