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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essential XML Quick Reference: A Programmer's Reference to XML, XPath, XSLT, XML Schema, SOAP, and More
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Aaron Skonnard, Martin Gudgin
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
It is really just a quick reference!!

Don't expect anything else or you will be dissapointed. I got some quick reference cards that are free for download that contain basiclythe same information! There are some code snippets and some explanitorylines of text, but nothing that helps you understand how the differentXML constructs really work - unless you already know it and just can't remember the name, but this is what I have code-completion in my editor for.
I would have hoped for some recipies that solvetypical problems that augment the pure reference style listing, but there's nothing like that.
For me as an XML beginner this book is not very usefull and I doubt it is for a experienced developer.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Administrator's Pocket Consultant
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: William R. Stanek
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Exchange Server 2003

Just started reading and already found incomplete information. So far I'm not real impreased.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java for Students (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Douglas Bell, Mike Parr
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Didactically superb. Says HOW to and WHY so.

The number 1 ranked university in Turkey has selected this book for an Undergrad 1st year Java course. This book is excellent, not confusing and intenden to teach something. Forget all other commercial "Teach Yourself in X day" books. If you want to learn Java, buy this book.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: An Introduction to Database Systems (Introduction to Database Systems)
Publisher: Addison Wesley Longman
Authors: C. J. Date
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5

I dislike this book. A lot.
It seems like it could be a nice reference guide for some middle manager who needs to know "the lingo", but that's about all.
One problem is that it has WAY too much stuff in it to be an introduction book. This alone is enough to make me look the other way. However, add to that the fact that this book covers almost no SQL (seems that Mr. Date doesn't like SQL--he even says so) and you have a pretty usless book.
I have a "real world" job where I work with databases (and SQL) regularly. I deal directly with "real" database people. I have never heard any of them use the terms Date dreamed up in this book. Instead of sticking with the common terms (table, row, column, etc) he has to make up new words.
He also is not a very clear writer. I'm certainly no english major, but I would expect a published work to be written better than this! Especially since it's a technical book! Clarity is key in this situation, and he just don't deliver.
I'm all for theory-based courses and books, but this book causes more confusion than any other text book I have ever had to use. There is very little connection to the way the real world works and to me that is simply the wrong way to approach a subject. Luckily I have real world experience with databases, or else I would be totaly lost. I feel sorry for the other students in my class.