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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Dive into Python
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Mark Pilgrim
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A great read!


This is one of the best practical programming books I've read in a while. Pilgrim combines interesting examples--not too trivial, not too involved--with crystal clear explanations. I learned a lot of interesting stuff about XML and SOAP that I didn't know before (not to mention Roman numerals) and it was entirely painless! The chapter on regular expressions is not to be missed.

This is not a book for Python beginners. If you haven't done any Python programming before, but are an experienced program, I'd read the excellent tutorial chapter in Beazley's Python Essential Reference (it shouldn't take more than half an hour) and then proceed to Pilgrim's book.

I do have a few minor complaints. Pilgrim has a fondness for and/or constructions that cause me headaches everytime I see them. (Personally, I think it's a defect of the language that "x or y" is equal to either x or y. Hey, Guido, why not just support the ? : ternary operator?) The chapter on refactoring is weak and the example of unittest seemed artificial to me. Also, I could have used a few less language dialect examples. But this book is so much better than any of the other language books I've read in the last few years, that it seems ungrateful to complaint about minor defects.



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
Required reading for software engineering


I had heard quite a bit of rattle about design patterns. Reading the book made the rattle sensible. However, as nothing is perfect, it would have been great if there was discussion about scenarios in which more than one pattern could have been used and how would each scenario fare. Well, such thing can make a book by itself. However, such comparison makes it easier to comprehend the application of patterns which is harder than understanding a pattern in a given example. Anyways, this is something that a software engineer would need to read before embarking on large projects.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essential COM
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Don Box
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very good theory based book


I've been learning COM for a while starting out with VB, and then realizing the real COM developement is done with C++. I have learned all the ways to implement COM object but somehow didn't realize some of the reasoning behind it. This book will tie it all together, and use code to show you the hows and whys behind the theory. It is a great book for a intermediate level COM developer.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A+ Exam Cram 2 (Exam Cram 220-221, Exam Cram 220-222)
Publisher: Que
Authors: James G. Jones, Craig Landes
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Ough!


Dont ever,ever,ever use the Exam Cram 2 Exam Questions book. If there's any book out there preparing you to FAIL the exam, its this one. I stopped reading halfway after realizing the amount of mistakes it had. You may be able to wing it and see right off the bat which ones are wrong. But just by the fact that this is publish material, makes it so insulting. I passed the exam the first time, but no credit to this book whats so ever.
For exam readiness before sitting in the exam room, purchase
"The A+ Exams Guide: (Exam 220-301), (Exam 220-302) ". This is an excellant book. You can see my review under the book details section.