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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: XSLT : Programmer's Reference (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Michael Kay
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

This is a truly outstanding book. Of the very many computer books I have read, this is one of the top 5.
As other reviews have correctly stated, this is neither a tutorial nor an introductory text. But if you have been working with XML/XSL for even a little while, the dearth of complete and accurate documentation becomes onerous. I have spent untold hours experimenting with variations of syntax to get the desired results, never really understanding what I was doing. After reading this book, so many of the mysteries and black magic incantations I had built developed now become clear.
This is a deeply detailed reference book, and it is very much written from the perspective of an author of an XSLT parser. You get innumerable details about all sorts of arcana. But once you get beyond some very simple stylesheets, I have found that you often need this kind of detail to help you understand exactly what is going on.
The heavy slogging thru the material is greatly aided by Mr. Kay's refreshing writing style. He completely avoids the fluff, illiteracy, or arrogance so common in technical writing. His language is precise, yet easy to read. Most commendable are his examples. Rather than the trivial, artificial or non-sensical example we often see, each example here (and there are LOTS of them) is well-crafted, well-explained, and relevant to a real-world task.
Another astounding fact is the relative sparseness of typos and errors. As an author myself, I know that computer publishers rush to print with all sorts of egregious errors that are very disruptive. Although I did encounter a very few errors in this book, Mr. Kay and Wrox are to be commended highly for a very professional first edition.
A monumental writing job, excellently done. This belongs on the bookshelf of anyone who is seriously involved in XSL work.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PMP Exam Prep (4th Edition)
Publisher: Rmc Pubns Inc
Authors: Rita Mulcahy
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good book but not complete!

Write down the formulas as soon as you sit down--paid off big. This way you do not have to keep recalling them (and there are some tricky questions that require you to know the formulas pat).
Follow this type of advice from Rita's book and you will pass. Everything she said was true and really focused my study. I spent 1 day reading her book and working through the exercises (plus 15 years experience). I passed!
Her questions were very similar to the actual exam. If you know this book, you should have no problem passing the exam.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A Programmer's Guide to Java (tm) Certification
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Khalid A. Mughal, Rolf W. Rasmussen
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
misleading, tricky, hard to learn

I found it scholastic and dogmatic in the bad sense; the examples are forced out and do not make (much) sensible sense, they are there just to confuse you more. Excellent for a textbook (that the students would hate !): hard questions, poor explanations.
Plus: I don't need sooo much detail about for, do, while loops, and other language constructs, since the title tells me this book is supposed to be addressed to programmers :(
Don't get me wrong: these guys know their stuff, they just don't know how to teach it !
There !
Sincerely, Larry Tobos
software consultant, and ex-instructor

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit : Expert Methods for Designing, Developing, and Deploying Data Warehouses
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Ralph Kimball, Laura Reeves, Margy Ross, Warren Thornthwaite
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Finally, an intelligent development book rooted in reality

After 21 years in software development, which includes managing three data warehouse projects, I had decided to write a book trying to capture whatever wisdom I had accumulated. After reading this book I no longer feel the need to.
This book not only provides detailed techniques for building a data warehouse and managing the process, it also deals with the realities faced in these projects. If you've ever been frustrated with those abstract tomes written by strict methodologists while you were burdened with a tight budget, a dysfunctional company (is that redundant?), immature technology, underskilled technologists and waffling user support -- then this is the book for you. It is filled with recommendations for conducting every phase of the project, yet is always careful to acknowledge that no two projects are alike and there is no one guaranteed blueprint for managing the project.
My only regret is that this book wasn't available before my first data warehouse projects. Although our teams ended up at many of the same conclusions, it was only after a lot of hard thought, insecurity, and trial and error.
If you are going to develop a data warehouse or a data mart, read this book first.