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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Unix Power Tools, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Shelley Powers, Tim O'Reilly, Mike Loukides
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
UNIX Power Tools is the best unix book on the market


UNIX Power Tools packs more information about UNIX than any other book on this planet. Best of all, the mass amount of information is organized and indexed in a way that make it all easy to find and use.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Extreme Programming Pocket Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: chromatic
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Very good concise guide...


In today's world of tech books that are hundreds of pages long, it's nice to see a short, "no fluff" guide to a subject that is actually usable. This book fills that bill nicely.
Even if you've read about and implemented XP in your shop, there are times you need to review one of the points about how it all works together. Since the author covers all the main points of XP, you can quickly find the information you need. You also get a nice cross-reference at the end of each chapter that shows how each point relies on other parts of the methodology. I find this very useful if you are faced with having to modify XP for your use. It's recommended that you implement XP in its entirety, as it's meant to be more than the sum of its part. But if you have to tweak something, you know how it will affect the other areas.
I would not recommend this book as your only resource if you were just starting to implement XP. You really need to read Extreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck. He's the founder of XP, and that book goes into much more detail as to the whys of the process. But this book is one that each member of the team should have to keep the concepts fresh.
This is a very good book to use as a supplemental reference or reminder guide if you're using the XP methodology. If you were looking for a concise explanation of XP, this would also work for you. If you were looking for a more in-depth explanation of the methodology, I would recommend one of the books by Kent Beck.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Use Case Modeling
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Kurt Bittner, Ian Spence
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The GOLD STANDARD of Use Case Texts


Given the many misconceptions in the software community regarding what use cases are, and how to develop and apply them, Bittner and Spence present a clear, pragmatic approach to use cases that focuses on the process of synthesizing use cases rather than simply the analytics of syntax, semantics, and diagrams. More than ample time is devoted to use case structure, syntax, semantics, and style. A significant percentage of the book addresses the process and logistical issues associated with team development of a use case model. Comprehensive process discussions are included regarding discovery of actors and use cases,preparing and conducting a use case workshop, finding use case mentors, building a representative team of stakeholders, reviewing use cases, and applying use cases across the lifecycle.
Chapter 10, Here There Be Dragons, will strike a chord with every experienced use case practitioner. As a consultant that develops and reviews use case models for customers, I found this chapter to be on the money. Bittner and Spence identify many improperly-used modeling techniques that often plague organizations during their initial adoption of use cases. Specifically, the sections regarding overuse of extend, include, and generalization relationships deserves much attention.
The Use Case syntax and semantics presented in Bittner and Spence's book is based on the foundational work developed by Ivar Jacobson. Straightforward and useful examples are presented for all of the use case artifacts discussed in the book. Unlike other use case texts that emphasize use case structure, form, and analytically oriented techniques, this book presents sufficient attention to notational elements and invests significantly more in describing pragmatic activities focused on synthesizing use cases that can be effectively leveraged across the lifecycle.
I have recommended Use Case Modeling to my clients as both an introductory as reference book for any project using use cases. The writing style lends itself to the entire spectrum of stakeholders involved in use case development from end users, architects, project managers, and developers.
If you are currently employing use cases, or are considering applying use cases on a project, this book is a MUST HAVE. It de-mystifies much of the confusion surrounding the practical application of use cases, and should be put on par with the early Object Oriented texts of Booch ,Rumbaugh, and Jacobson.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Unified Modeling Language User Guide
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Grady Booch, James Rumbaugh, Ivar Jacobson
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Ideal for the interested novice


"The Unified Modeling Language User Guide" really starts from the beginning. Apparently the reader is assumed to be totally unfamiliar with object oriented design. The book starts with the very basics, and explains a reasonably complete set of UML. The really advanced and esoteric features are not explained.
Each chapter is written like a good lecture. It starts from the very beginning assuming no previous knowledge of OO. Then one aspect of UML is carefully explained. Every chapter ends with some concluding remarks and "hints and tips". This organization is mostly good, but it adds a lot of repetition to the book.
The language is smooth and easy to read. It might still be a struggle to get read the book simply because of the amount of text (and repetition).
I would recommend this book to the interested novice. However, if you are reasonably familiar with UML, or if you have a solid foundation in object oriented programming, then I would recommend you the combination of "UML Distilled" by Martin Fowler and "The Unified Modeling Language Reference Manual" by James Rumbaugh et.al.