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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Steve Krug
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The Unwashed will Finally Understand Usability


I didn't find a lot new, I found it a bit formulaic, I don't agree with parts, and it is now my Absolutely Favorite usability book.
Because it's also EASY and FUN and SMART (and FULL of information for people new to usability).
I've given several copies as "gifts," but the real gift is to me because people who previously couldn't spell usability (much less practice it) "GET" this book.
Besides which, the title is Absolutely Brilliant and if people who wander in my office don't read any more than that, they still leave with a better understanding of usability than when the walked in. Honestly -- I've had several conversations about web site usability just because of having *this* book on my desk (and trust me, I have others there)... and every time I say the book is about "web site usability," there's a pause and then this light bulb goes on and my life just got easier because they connect as an *end-user* and realize what challenges the web team faces.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: David Flanagan
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
an exellent book


I purchased the Netscape One Developer's Guide thinking it would provide answers to my Javascript questions - it answered very few, unfortunately. The 'Guide' doesn't begin to approach the ease of use, thoroughness or amount of information contained in "Javascript: The Definitive Guide". Javascript is as completely covered as it can be (with the free-flowing nature of WWW specifications, its hard to keep track of all the changes). I found the descriptions and examples informative, clear and concise and kinda fun sometimes. The layed back nature of the writing won't scare off novice coders/web developers and yet doesn't turn off more advanced developers. The book is cut in half - the first provides an introduction into Javascript and discusses its more important subjects while the second is a complete reference section for Javascript 1.2. It specifically treats the differences between Netscape and Internet Explorer whereas the Netscape One guide left that up to the reader to figure out - an oversight which relegates the Netscape One Developer's Handbook to the dusty bookshelf (way in the back). If you're doing web development and need to use Javascript - this is probably the only book you'll need. If you're doing web development and you're not using Javascript - you NEED this book - it will show you what you can do with simple client-side scripts.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Visual Basic.NET How to Program, Second Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel, Tem R. Nieto
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
A High Price for Ineffective Training Techniques


The content and organization was pretty bad (just look at the cover). It was pretty cool that the whole book was in color, but that was negated by the ineffective use of color and the author should consider not bolding so often as it makes it difficult to read. On that note, publishers should consider using Arial font versus Times Roman. It makes it easier to read when one is tired.
The range of topics was good, except for the above-mentioned inadequacies, one can get real (I assume) information out of this book, though you would need to do so in a quiet room and concentrate really hard.
Code samples & illustrations are where this book really shines. Since I am already familiar with programming, I can make my way through the material, but this book also has a chapter on what is a computer. At its heart, the main problem with this book is that it tries to be all things to all people. Perhaps they should have a separate book for beginners and experienced people.
The author should really review the material presented in this book for ease of reading and logical flow. Often times, I don't read a technical book from beginning to end, but look for specific topics when that need arises. I do not appreciate the convoluted layout they chose for this book. After reading this book, I feel like the author just typed a bunch of things and took a lot of snapshots from their desktop and voila...a training book.
I expected a lot more from a book at this price range. My advise to the potential buyer is to keep shopping and let this expensive paper weight stay on the shelf.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference (2nd Edition)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Danny Goodman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great reference for Javascript, CSS, and HTML


This is not for true beginners, but it is a handy reference for those pesky HTML attributes or javascript functions that are so unforgiving if a comma, quote, or case is wrong. I refer to this very often. Do not buy this if you are looking for examples of complete code; this is just for reference.