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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Php Web Development With Macromedia Dreamweaver Mx 2004
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Rachel Andrew, Allan Kent, David Powers
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Pretty Good Not A Rave


Having read the rave reviews for the this book of these other authors on Amazon, I was excited get started with this book learning how to actually use the tools that Dreamweaver provides for PHP based website creation. I admit I was a little disappointed but did learn alot about how to use Dreamweaver with PHP especially after repeating the examples more than once.

To be fair, the only part of the book that I wanted was how to use Dreamweaver's PHP features which cannot be figured out on one's own. The book includes chapters on web standards such as CSS and XHTML as well code reuse, debugging and error handling, and extension use and writing. I read the web standards chapter and glanced through the others because code reuse and debugging are easier to figure out and more or less similar to other development environments or roll your own situations. Also to fully disclose I'm not more than a beginner at PHP, but have programmed in other languages. I have worked through the O'Reilly intro book and a self-assigned exercise I invented for myself. I was really hoping for a leg-up with Dreamweaver. I found the results using this book mixed. So much for disclaimers.

There are two example applications used in the book. Sometimes the notes on the examples boil down to "do this step now so that it will work later" and not enough generalized explanation of the tools used to get the work done. I would have appreciated a little more bird's eye discourse on how the tools in Dreamweaver (behaviors, recordsets, and the fields and buttons and other form elements used with them) are supposed to be used together.

The other note I have is the books writing is for some reason sometimes hard to follow because it seems they have left something in their commentary out. Now this of course may not be true in your case as it was for me.

What I did learn from this book is enough to use the basic php tools in Dreamweaver, so I do overall give it a plus, just not a rave. For example, I learned that each page maintains its own recordsets and recordsets can be cut and pasted between pages. I learned that field entry validation is accomplished by a simplified javascript behaviour which for real applications would probably have to be reworked. (The book does tell us where to get a better third party form validator though). Most valuable for me were the example applications which when studied and restudied should yield some confidence with Dreamweaver's imposing toolset interface.

My opinion is that as a tool for PHP, Dreamweaver is better if the user already knows enough PHP and javascript to modify the basis that Dreamweaver offers. It's still good if you don't but better if you do. Overall, this book has added to my ability to work with Dreamweaver in PHP so I would recommend it.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Programming Windows With MFC
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Jeff Prosise
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Worth the money


I am an experienced C and C++ programmer but on UNIX machines. A recent project required programming a 3-D medical imaging visualization program on a Windows platform. This book made the transistion to Windows and MFC much easier. Rarely did I come up with a question that I couldn't hunt down in Prosise's book. It helps not only with MFC function calls but with programming style as well. Not for the C++ novice, but if I were a somewhat experienced C++ programmer, I'd skip the introductory books, and buy this standard instead.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Publisher: Anchor
Authors: SIMON SINGH
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent read


Singh does a great job of keeping the reader involved in a storyline as well as presenting some fairly intense logic and math theories. If you're looking to get your head around the ideas of crypto, this book rocks.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide, Second Edition (All-in-One)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Shon Harris, Shon Harris
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
CISSP


Excellent book that really summed up the CBK's in a very efficient way. I read several books to prepare for my CISSP and I can tell you that THIS one was the only one I really needed. Shon Harris has a brilliant way to communicate sometimes boring subject matter in a very interesting way. Thanks to Shon's book I recieved my CISSP.