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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Head First Design Patterns
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Elisabeth Freeman, Eric Freeman, Bert Bates, Kathy Sierra
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
A mixed blessing. ? Yet explanatory and informative

I love graphics, as in explanatory graphics: arrows, UML diagrams, process diagrams combined with great written explanation. This book has it all. Add the examples and the pluses and minuses of design pattern usage, this book really comes through. So why the mixed blessings ? There are other graphics carton and comic book style and explanations through conversational style writing ... Just takes to long to get to the point. May be good for a junior. But is excess reading and time for a senior. This book could be 150 pages shorter

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Eric Meyer on CSS: Mastering the Language of Web Design
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Eric A. Meyer
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Real World Use Of CSS - Awesome!!!

This is the best book on CSS, period. It is not a reference, and in fact it would be beneficial to have a reference on hand while reading it. However there is no book within miles of this one in describing the power of CSS for use in everyday web design.
Most books try to list the specifications CSS with hopelessly simple examples that leave one with little knowledge of how CSS can be used to design web sites that are complex and elegant. This book shows one how to, any why it is important to, unlearn all the HTML work-arounds we have been using for years. No more transparent gif's to organize empty space. No more tables nested in tables nested in tables.
Brilliant work. Now I know why they developed CSS. You cannot go wrong with this author and this book.

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: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Shallow, confusing, and disconnected

I don't ordinarily pan books online, but I was so disappointed in this one that I felt an obligation to prospective purchasers. If your aim is simply to gain experience deploying someone's J2EE application by following instructions, then I suppose this would be a good book for you. I was looking for more than that.
Each major section is written by different writer (credited, by the way). Although there is some continuity, the tone and pace differ from section to section. For example, in some sections, code is explained prior to presentation, while in others it is explained after presentation. I find the former approach annoying, since I can read Java code just fine. The explanations would be valuable if they went into subtleties or fine points, but they don't... they just say in words what you can read in code.
Many, many pages are devoted to keystrokes to use with deploytool. The conceptual glue of deployment is left to one's imagination.
And finally, many questions are left unanswered. Here is one example: a section on J2EE Connector Architecture goes into XA transactions because you have to know what one is to make the proper deployment choices. We are told that an XA transaction is one that spans resources. In other words, it is a distributed transaction. I know that distributed transactions get into hot water if one of the resources does not have adequate transaction management. An obvious question is "How does J2EE know if a resource has the right kind of transaction management, and what does it do if not?" The text gives no hint that this is even an issue.
I would not recommend this book. There are better ones out there.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java Servlet Programming, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jason Hunter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I got it

I found this book easy to follow. They had lots of info. And I tried. I see a lot of people bashing the book, maybe they didn't concentrate. There is a difference between not liking a book and being angry at it. Why are some of you angry?