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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning Active Server Pages 3.0 (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: David Buser, John Kauffman, Juan T. Llibre, Brian Francis, Dave Sussman, Chris Ullman, Jon Duckett
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Easy and Fast ASP

Beginning Active Server Pages 3.0 opens the door and gently and thoroughly guides you through learning VBscript/ASP programming.
I am the consummate newby to this programming, and this book is not just a how-to it is a vital resource. It would be a valuable addition to any programmer's library.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Lesson Learned; Lesson Forgotten

This book did not resonate with me. Perhaps it is because I recently completed reading a great book on web design, "The Design of Sites."
It is not that the book is without merit. There are nuggets of wisdom buried in every chapter. Jakob Nielsen is an acknowledged web design expert. This book summarizes much of his thinking. Simplicity and usability should rule the web, according to the author. He is right. Users, or perhaps the term, surfers is more appropriate, are never more than one click from moving on to the next site.
There are some great chapters - the one on content design springs to mind. However, the book is like reading a W. E. B. Griffin novel. By the time you finish it, you realize it does not contain much new material. Topics and introductions are continually re-served and rehashed. At these prices, the author ought to credit his readers with enough intelligence to remember lessons taught in previous chapters.
The author's mantra is to know your user. This book would have been better if he accepted his own advice.

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

Book is kind of simplistic, but it reflects an 'API' that is overly complicated for what it does. Abstraction is a good thing - as long as it conceptually simplifies an interface. Struts is abstraction for the sake of abstraction. It is a complex abstraction over a set of complex APIs. It seems to me that the designers of Structs just wanted to write an abstraction layer for the sake of writing one. There are lots of complicated things that I normally program that Structs can't even begin to do. And, all the objects that Structs creates makes it perform slowly.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog
Publisher: Perseus Books Group
Authors: Rebecca Blood
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

For an easy introduction, choose Rebecca Blood's Weblog Handbook: it explores how such logs work, their impact on media, and how to participate in a weblog. An intriguing and informative survey of different kinds and styles of weblogs and how they foster new communities.