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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Network+ Certification for Dummies (With CD-ROM)
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Ron Gilster
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Numerous content errors.


I passed my Network+ 886/900. Which means I missed one question. But my high score had NOTHING to do with this title. I also would like to add to the other disappointed reviews that I emailed BOTH Ron Gilster AND the dummies press with several instances of factually incorrect information, asking if any errata was posted; as of today, 12 months later, I have received NO REPLY from either party from the 4 emails I sent.
Ed Tittel from Exam Cram ALWAYS returns emails. Are they unwilling to live up to the same standards?



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: David Flanagan
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Too much text!


Perhaps this book *does* define every last aspect of JavaScript, but for the novice programmer, or someone who just wants to get started and write simple scripts, this book is heavy going. Chapter after chapter of detailed (and sometimes over-complicated) English explanantions would be more interesting with visual examples (like the Visual Quickstart guides, for example). We're all trying to produce code for a fun visual environment, but with its lack of supporting visual examples and lack of code examples, this book just didn't make me feel interested.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 Hands-On Training (Hands on Training (H.O.T))
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Garo Green
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Great Starter, for both Dreamweaver and bad habits


The authors start out by informing us that they are very proud to be teachers. They feel it gives them insight into how students learn. And they do a good job working you through the many features of Dreamweaver. In this respect I recommend this book.
But I've got a bone to pick...
As a hobbyist web builder who has been hand-coding for quite some time but now needs the time-saving power of a program like Dreamweaver - I feel they are teaching some bad habits. In Chapter 6 "Typography" they spend the first 2 pages talking about how the techniques they are about to teach are frowned upon and may one day be considered non-standard code. They also explain that in a later chapter they'll be teaching another way of working with Type that is future-proof. I ask: Why wait? Why not move up that later chapter to Chapter 6 and leave Chapter 6 as a PDF on the CD-ROM?
I'm also not a big fan of table-based design. But I can't fault the authors for embracing it - it's still the best way to get your site to look good on different browsers.
Overall the book is good. Especially for beginners.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Design Patterns C#
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Steven John Metsker
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
"Challenges" ruin this book for experienced developers


I had high expectations of "Design Patterns In C#" by Steven John Metsker but unfortunately the book didn't live up to them. This book is part of the "Software Patterns Series" of books that was started off by the classic "Design Patterns" by "The Gang of Four"(GoF), as they are known. That book is amazing and should be part of every software developer's library.

Metsker's book assumes the reader has studied the GoF book and is knowledgeable in the basic 23 design patterns covered in it. Therefore, this book is intended to be a supplement to the original classic, expanding on it to show implementations in C# and leaving the in-depth rational of the design patterns to be described in the original. I feel like this was the correct approach to take because the original masterpiece does such a good job at introducing the subject of design patterns and giving the reader a solid foundation.

My main complaint about "Design Patterns In C#" is the "challenges" this book includes throughout the text. I have no problem with exercises for the reader to try but the way this book presents them makes the actual text useless as a reference.

In many chapters, the major UML diagram and/or coding example showing how to implement a given design pattern is left with missing parts for the reader to fill in. This book's audience is experienced developers, who are looking for the author's opinion on the proper ways to implement a given design pattern using all the features of C#. Because of the "challenges" sections, the author is leaving out the exact parts of the book the developer needs. It is very frustrating to have to consult an appendix every couple of pages before making sense of the text following a "challenge". This book should have left out the "challenges" and instead imitated the original "Design Patterns" book by becoming a no nonsense reference for software architects.

My other, smaller, complaint about this book is that it uses one large source code base for its examples instead of giving the reader a separate, small example for every pattern. If the author had chosen to use a small example for each chapter then they would have remained more independent of each other and easier to use as a reference. But, as I covered above, the author pretty much killed any chance of this book being a useful reference.

This book wasn't all bad. The author did do a good job of showing which specific features of the C# language, such as interfaces, applied well to the various design patterns and made their implementations cleaner. I also liked that the author used UML instead of the older OMT used by the GoF book. To be fair to the original book, UML was not standardized at the time of its writing. Overall, I would recommend against purchasing "Design Patterns In C#" because of its "challenges" sections.