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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Unified Modeling Language Reference Manual, The (2nd Edition) (Addison-Wesley Object Technology Series)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: James Rumbaugh, Ivar Jacobson, Grady Booch
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Solid reference source

Let's be clear - this book is a reference manual, not a tutorial. Don't use this book to learn what the UML is all about. But when you want to answer a question about how to show something or what something means, then this book is invaluable. It's my first reference choice because, unlike the specification, it is written with explanation in mind. I turn to it more than any other UML book and so far I've found that when this can't answer my question, it's because the UML designers haven't thought about it yet.
So to sum up: if you use the UML seriously, make sure you have a copy handy.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Jakarta Struts, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Chuck Cavaness
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great book on Jakarta Struts

Overall Rating: Well done! This book will be a valuable teaching and reference tool.Teaching Value: Excellent! An essential book on this topic.Reference Value: A complete reference. I would not need any additional reference on this topic.
This book presents an explanation of Struts that is both easy to comprehend and one that follows the design process from beginning to end. It's a complete guide to the Struts project, taking developers through concepts, design and implementation and explains the Model 2 design pattern in depth.
Installation and setup are thoroughly documented, and every configuration option is clearly explained. JSP programming within the context of Struts is explored, with tons of practical examples that use both the standard JSP tag libraries and Struts additions. You'll also become adept at programming multitiered applications, interacting with EJBs from struts applications, and handling complex validation and logging through the Struts provided packages and tools. Also covers how to create your own rules and to use it outside of Struts.
Whether you've been struggling with Struts, or you want to get started in Model 2 programming, or you're an advanced Struts programmer wanting to fully exploit this powerful framework, overall I'd say this is an excellent resource.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Large-Scale C++ Software Design
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: John Lakos
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An excellent analysis of physical design.

This comprehensive reference covers all aspects of physical design in C++. The material is relevant to all C++ projects however the effects of poor physical design are amplified in large-scale projects. John Lakos illustrates how to eliminate cyclical dependencies, excessive link-time dependencies, and excessive compile-tine dependencies. Provides guidance for organizing the content of header files. Covers components, physical hierarchy, levelization, encapsulation, insulation, and packages. As a bonus the author includes an excellent essay on designing a function interface specification including the following tradeoffs: operator or non-operator function, free or member operator, virtual or non-virtual function, pure or non-pure virtual member function, static or non-static member function, const or non-const member function, public, protected, or private member function, return by value, reference, or pointer, return const or non-const, friend or non-friend function, and inline or non-inline function. Includes a dependency extractor/analyzer package in appendix C.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Eric Meyer on CSS: Mastering the Language of Web Design
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Eric A. Meyer
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
OK but perhaps it is just the best of a bad lot

Like many others, I bought the book based on on-line raves. I thought it was great at first but now the blush is off the rose. The book IS a more informative and user-friendly intro to CSS than the others I have (many are "look what I made, mommy" books by designers...nice visuals but not the best learning tool). Some of the lessons were a struggle so, fortunately, there were the free tutorials from w3schools.com to help with the rough spots.....never thought of myself as a slow learner until now.
Then, just when you think CSS will answer all your prayers, you get seriously gored by the infamous NN4 incompatibilities and then IE problems crop up.
What this and every other book lacks is a decent chart reference which shows browser incompatibilities like the great cheat sheet programming cards from visibone.com BUT, I shouldn't have to buy this kind of critical tool, it oughta be a pullout or be in the appendix.
Until a better book comes out, prospective buyers should go ahead and get this one PLUS Meyers Programmers Reference (ISBN #0072131780). Round it out the Visibone cheat sheets for quick reference and to keep those nasty NN4 and IE4 nightmares from giving you an ulcer. Between all this stuff and the W3C School site (PS:which also has HTML and CSS validator links and other very cool stuff), even I was able to master CSS...but it takes more books and programmer's aids.