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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Practice of Programming
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Brian W. Kernighan, Rob Pike
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
A waste of time

If you have not read Steve McConnell's books this book is worth reading. The supplementary reading lists at the end of each chapter are valuable (again, if you have not already read the material cited). I was disappointed in the lack of new material and/or fresh perspective on older material. Read McConnell, Stroustrup, Lakos, Gamma et al, and Scott Meyers and skip this one

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Chuck Musciano, Bill Kennedy
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A very good guide to HTML

When I got this book I had built two websites with an editor, and couldn't tell a tag from a hole in the ground. I bought the book HTML: The definitive guide and within a week I was coding my pages cleanly by hand! Since that time (6 mos.)I have created two domains coded by hand, that look as good or better than many sites that I visit. This book is a good primer for novices, and a great reference for experts. (Especially those who code with an editor)

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A great book on web usability... and management science

The other commenters have it spot-on. A delight to read, don't forget some jazz, a must-have if you plan to do web sites yourself, explanatory text as to why you love/hate certain web sites, blasted flap.
One aspect is missing in the reviews IMHO: it is also very much so a 'management science' book (Amazon: you might want to add this book to such a category). Although usability is the argument (and well made it is), the real grist is on putting the user central to all you do. That's a philosophy one should take to heart in this networked world, where 'power' is shifting from producers (1850-1950) through retailes (1950-about now) to the consumers. That's us, by the way. To be able to put customers central requires a 'net-centric' frame of mind. And that's a very difficult thing to do for (established) organisations. My favourite quote is thus (page 353): "Most companies are severely deficient when it comes to strategic thinking about the impact of the Internet. Accelerating change means that the future will happen sooner than you think, so you have to start thinking about it now." Indeed, and that is why to me this is ultimo a management science book.
Thanks, Jakob.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Perl (3rd Edition)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen, Jon Orwant
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
you have to put up with a lot of annoying chattter

It is a good book and you can learn a lot. However, the "comedy," which is really just a lot of annoying chatter, get in the way a great deal.