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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C++ for Dummies (4th Edition, Completely Revised)
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Stephen Randy Davis
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Am I the only one that sees numerous typos?


I like the first part of the book except for the typos in the code and the explainations. Typos are extremely frustrating to someone trying to learn the material. The later part of the book starts skimping on the explainations. In the later part the typos will have you tearing your hair out trying to follow the examples.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
good but not gospel


I agree with other reviewers, Jakob does present his ideas as Rules You Must Follow, rather than observations or suggestions. On a few things, he offers no data to back up his assertion, and on a couple things I know he's factually incorrect. I also agree that there are a lot of typos in this book, but only if you're observant.
However, what he does present is just great. I like the writing style. I like the example images. For example, when he says to design for "any" screen size, and then shows you 3 screenshots of Web sites that lock themselves into a certain size, that certainly illuminates how stupid some designers can be.
One other point. Jakob is writing for usability, about how people get information. He pays no attention to marketing issues, such as branding, creating product interest, giving the customer a memorable experience, entertainment, etc. It is fine that he concentrates on other areas, but know before you buy the book that you will have to make up you own mind in those areas (at least). For instance, site reports from the Web site I work on show that any time I throw a DHTML "whiz-bang" widget onto the site, the area it is promoting gets a doubling to a quadrupling of traffic. That flies in the face of his "don't use whiz-bang features" philosophy. But I've learned that his data and my data don't always agree. So take Jakob with a grain of salt.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Designing with Web Standards
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jeffrey Zeldman
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A worthy addition to any bookshelf


Weighing in a three-quarters of an inch and actually four hundred and fifty-four pages long (456 if you count the inside cover), this impressively-named apologia for CSS-based design greets you with a smile! Or is it a smile? One can't tell, because the mysterious blue-chapeau'ed elf on the front cover does not deign to reveal his expression. Consequently, au courant web designers refer to this paperback as "the Mysterious Blue Elf Book," for the cheeky woodland creature who peeks out at you. Perhaps he had some hand in writing this book, along with Eric A. Myer and Zeldman's facial hair.
The book itself fits nicely with other technical books, neither too tall nor too wide, unlike other lesser works that aggressively jar the harmony and aesthetics of a carefully-trimmed bookshelf. That is not to say the book is not without its faults. Many a fastidious web designer has complained about the cover, presented in bold tangerine, arguing for the conventions of technical blue. Being somewhat stingy with my stars, I am compelled to subtract one, marring an otherwise faultless execution.
There's always hope for the second edition.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: David Flanagan
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
To the person who didn't like the cover:


"Don't judge a book by it's cover."
I have read some of the chapters and learned more in 5 minutes than I have in 5 books previously. It may not have a great cover, but it does have great content. Do yourself a favor and get it. I highly recommend it.