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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Deluxe Learning Edition--Version 2003 (Pro-Developer)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Microsoft Corporation
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Batteries Not Included


This package should have a big warning on the cover, similar to the "batteries not included" warnings on children's toys.
The glaring omission from VB.NET Learning Edition is the Help system. There is none. The install routine prompts you to insert MSDN CD 1. But it ain't there. You are apparently expected to buy it separately, though this is not mentioned anywhere on the cover.
The intricacies of VB.NET are not obvious, even if you're an experienced VB6 developer. Many of the most basic things you are used to do not work. If you need help you can try your luck searching on the MSDN website, but the easy interaction you need and expect from a help system is simply not there.
The book that comes with the package may well be a useful learning tool. It is pitched at beginning programmers as it should be, and as the name implies it takes you step by step through various projects. But unfortunately the minute you step outside the book you are left alone and help-less.
The package as it stands is not up to the task it sets itself, and it should be recalled and amended immediately.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The J2EE Tutorial
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Stephanie Bodoff, Dale Green, Kim Haase, Eric Jendrock, Monica Pawlan, Beth Stearns
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Broad introduction to J2EE


"The J2EE tutorial" addresses readers with a broad range of
technologies, which lie under the hood of the J2EE 1.4 standard
as XML/XSL, JAXP/Webservices, Servlets, JSP, JavaServer Faces,
EJB, JMS etc. This book does cover really broad topics. I liked
the chapters on JAXP/JAXR, Servlet (2.4), JSP (2.0) and Java Server Faces,
they provide you good starting point to understand these new technologies.
Since EJB3.0 (and alternatives as Spring framework, hibernate, etc)
is out, all chapters on EJB need to be updated.

The author focuses on running and deploying sample code in CD but does not make
enough effort to explain the code and concepts involved. It puts too much
focus on deployment with
Sun's J2EE SDK, some readers who are using Sun J2EE SDK may like it but I think most readers
may not the deployment detail. If these details are needed, it's better to put them into another
volume.

You can find this book online, but have a printed book may be more convenient.

Since this book covers lots of topics, it's good as a reference.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Effective Java Programming Language Guide
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Joshua Bloch
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
By far the best Java book I own!


This book is far and away the best Java book I own. It reads like a mixture of "Practical Java" by Haggar (Java implementation specific advice) and "Code Complete" by McConnell (Good software engineering advice). The majority of the book covers good software construction practices that work well within the Java framework. The author was involved in the design and construction of the java libraries so he has a great deal of experience as to what is and is not a good design idea. Also, some design flaws in the Java libraries are pointed out as examples of how not to do things.
This book assumes that the reader has a total understanding of Java basics and basic software design so it is not a book to learn Java from.
I found "Practical Java" by Haggar to be a really good complement to what is not covered in this book.
Anyone using the practices in this book will improve their code reliability, reuseability, and debugability (I probably made that word up).



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Effective Java Programming Language Guide
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Joshua Bloch
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
By far the best Java book I own!


This book is far and away the best Java book I own. It reads like a mixture of "Practical Java" by Haggar (Java implementation specific advice) and "Code Complete" by McConnell (Good software engineering advice). The majority of the book covers good software construction practices that work well within the Java framework. The author was involved in the design and construction of the java libraries so he has a great deal of experience as to what is and is not a good design idea. Also, some design flaws in the Java libraries are pointed out as examples of how not to do things.
This book assumes that the reader has a total understanding of Java basics and basic software design so it is not a book to learn Java from.
I found "Practical Java" by Haggar to be a really good complement to what is not covered in this book.
Anyone using the practices in this book will improve their code reliability, reuseability, and debugability (I probably made that word up).