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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Designing with Web Standards
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jeffrey Zeldman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Simply outstanding

Zeldman is to be congratulated on this writing. The book approaches the topic of designing with web standards in a very practical manner. I recomment this book to developers, managers and site designers. This book does not teach you CSS, but rather it teaches you how to use CSSm XHTML, ECMA script and DOM to develop web sites according to standards.
I must say that Zeldman, among other good writing traits, has a pretty good sense of humor.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Game Coding Complete, Second Edition
Publisher: Paraglyph
Authors: Mike McShaffry
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Game Coding InComplete, but one helluva lesson in the facts

I say Incomplete because there is still a lot that could have been covered in a book called Game Coding Complete. At the same time I would not have picked it up off of the shelf if it didn't have such a catchy title, and learn as much about Game Coding as I did reading this book. Even though I think the title is incomplete, I still learned a great deal and I frequently reread chapters to catch things I missed the first time round.
IMHO this book is geared toward those who want to make a professional career in making games, but have no idea how, while at the same time teaching concrete principles of game programming to those like me who are currently hobby coders. Many times had I tried and failed to start developing a game, but I am now building my game intelligently and efficiently, knowing exactly what I need to do to get things done. I have to say it is all because of this book. This is also one of the few books that has managed to grip my attention for as long as it did because of the clever way that Mike writes. His writing style is such that it is easy to read because of its almost informal nature. The text thankfully lacks rigid structure, and welcomed breaks in the lessons of "how and why" are made up of "I remember the day" stories that are both amusing and filled with helpful hints on what NOT to do OR how the approached a problem and fixed it :) (Which is the point BTW)The code in the book is sparse, and it initially bugged me, but I came to realize that it really is not about giving the reader chunks of code. This is not a step by step guide on how to make a game, but a collection of ideas on how to cleverly write and manage your game. Mike frequently comments on the potential problems one might have compiling his code, and he rightfully tells the reader to fix it as an exercise. After all that is the kind of industry Game Development is if I am not mistaken: Fixing broken code and solving problems???
Anyways, this book is not for know it alls already in the industry. This is a book for people like me who are passionate about games but don't have a clue on where and how to start. To me working in the industry is an impossible endeavor, but this book is not only filled with concepts on game programming, but it is filled with motivational stories and tips on how to GET IN. This is a booster in the right direction, and to actually get the opinions of someone already in the business, and not just straight HOW TO LOAD A BITMAP crap, (which is also in the book I might add...) has left me pleasantly surprised and content. If McShaffry wrote another book, hopefully something that covers topics he didn't cover in the original, I would be all over it like a Fat Kid on a Smarty.
I highly recommend it!!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Publisher: Basic Books
Authors: Douglas R. Hofstadter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A symphony for the mind

Perhaps Hofsteader's method (or is it madness) is best explained with an example. One of the chapters, contrapunctus (or something like that) opens with a dialogue where some of the "characters" are discussing the greatness of acrostics and J.S. Bach. One character remarks that he wonders whether an author would include his own name or Bach's name, should he just happen to be including an acrostic work. As it just so happens, the first letters of each line in the dialogue spell "Hofsteader's Contrapunctus Acrostically Backwards Spells J.S.Bach, which, acrostically backwards, spells J.S. Bach. Wow! This is not to say that the work is not serious though. Through analogies such as the attempt to create a record player(logical system) that could play(prove/disprove) any record(statement), Hofsteader attempts to explain 300 years of process in formal systems and theory. Escher and Bach are just some of the ideas he brings together in this history. Be forewarned, the math/small print can get a bit heavy at times (especially in the sections on 1-2 specific formal systems). If you're willing to slog through it though, it is well worth it. The entire book is like a pleasant little exercise for the mind.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The C++ Programming Language (Special 3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Bjarne Stroustrup
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The Best Book for the intermediate c++ programmer

This is definitely the most comprehensive book on the language. The creator of c++ reviews every main feature of the language ,recommends when you should use it and shows you how to use it. This book will not only teach you C++ ; The author tries to teach some good practice of object oriented programming and warns you against common pitfalls. You don't really know C++ unless you read this book.
I read this book as my second c++ book and it was more than instructive,yet I do not recommend it as the first book on the language. You should first read a simpler book on c++ to get the basics of the language and than read this one. I bought this book two years ago and I still use it as my only reference for the language.