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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming the Perl DBI
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Alligator Descartes, Tim Bunce
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
What's There Is Good, But We Need More

This is a good DBI reference for experienced perl programmers. The authors give you a good road map in the introduction so that you can find what you need to accomplish your task.
I needed to interface to an existing database so I skipped chapter 2 on alternative persistent storage mechanisms.
Having prior experience with SQL, I also skipped chapter 3.
Chapters 4-6 are where the majority of people are going to find useful information. There you will find good explanations on connecting to databases, executing SQL statements, and some advanced features such as binding variables. The authors give a good treatment of the various ways to execute queries with performance tradeoffs.
Chapter 7 is only useful if you are working on a Windows platform. My database is on Solaris so this wasn't something that I needed.
As I said, though, what's there is good, but I there is definitely something missing. I needed to be able to call Oracle stored procedures as well as executing simple SQL queries. It would be nice to include some examples of calling stored procedures using the major vendors: Oracle, Informix, Sybase, etc. This information is hard to come by on the web. There are subtleties in using inout parameters in stored procedure calls that require some extra work in perl. You have to size variables large enough to store the largest value that is in the database. Since perl handles all string sizes dynamically, I used sprintf to force the strings to be large enough before calling the stored procedure. I don't know if you would run into these issues with outher databases, but it would be good to have this information with the rest of this text. That would make this fine book complete.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Tales Of Symphonia: Official Strategy Guide
Publisher: Bradygames
Authors: Dan Birlew, Phillip Marcus
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Valuable Information, Poor Presentation

This strategy guide contains a vast amount of information needed to find all the goodies and sidequests in the game. There are some problems with the writing, in which some paragraphs abruptly end. It also lacks dungeon maps, leaving you to find chests using tedious step-by-step instructions rather than visually spotting where each is on a map.

If you buy the game, definitely get the guide. It's the only one available on the market so its your only choice. If I had the choice of a competing guide however, I would certainly go for that one instead.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in C++, Volume 1: Introduction to Standard C++ (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Good for the beginners,but...

I waited for this book with great expectations but in the end it felt short of my thoughts. This book should have been named "Learning C++" rather than "Thinking in C++ " because it doesn't really teach you how to think in C++. The most problematic aspects of the language and of the OO programming are hardly covered. I still don't know well the difference between containment and aggregation , virtual inheritance is hardly mentioned as well as multiple inheritance. I recommand it but only for the beginners

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Definitive XML Schema
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Priscilla Walmsley
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Information

This book answered my questions about XMLSchema. Prior to reading it I felt intimidated by the W3C XMLSchema specification. Now, I understand further why Schema's are so valuable and necessary. Several other technical books I have read seem to be simple paraphrases of W3C specifications. However, this book is very well written and full of clear examples.