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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript: A Beginner's Guide, Second Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: John Pollock
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Superb book for the beginner...

Javascript: A Beginner's Guide is the best book that I have seen for beginners. The book is written like a text book and provides novice programmers with information on basic programmer's terminology, etc. Exercises are provided to help develop programming skills. When I start offering javascript class, this will likely be my choice for a textbook.

As a beginner's book, I give this 10 stars. This is a great book for people completely new to programming. For example, graphics designers without programming experience who want to develop web pages could easily use this book to learn javascript. Experienced programmers, however, may find this book to be too elementary. The author takes several pages to define what a variable is, which may be aggravating to experienced programmers who just want to learn a new language.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Adobe Photoshop CS Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter)
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Scott Kelby
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
50 Stars

5 stars doesn't cover it!
I've seen Scott teach live and he is absolutely the most knowledgable Photoshop trainer on the planet. This book is the next best thing to seeing him live. In fact, it may be better because the explanations are just as clear as a live class but you get to keep them right by the computer where you need 'em.
From the comprehensive explanations of how to perform certain editing functions and new functions in CS, to the first class printing (these pages are as bright and crisp as my studio display LCD) this is easily the best computer book I've ever seen.
I have several of Scott's book and the reason they're great is because the approach is NOT like a manual. If you're after a "classroom in a book" you'll be surprised when you get this book. The illustrations are awesome and explanations are concise and step-by-step. There are no assumed steps like lots of books have and the examples cover a wide variety of things digital photographers and retouchers need to know.
This book is for beginners and experts alike because the lessons are structured like a recipie book. The steps are easy enough for the novice to understand and advanced enough so even experts applying the techniques look their best and accomplish their retouching even faster.
If you're the kind of person who prefers to read a book that gives you a comprehensive variety usable examples and clear detailed explanations and supporting illustrations, this is your book. If you want a manual to tell you all about each feature in a dry, clinical manner, find another Photoshop book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Eric A. Meyer
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent "real world" application

"Love yields in one moment," wrote Goethe, "what years of efforts can hardly attain." Farseeing as he was, I don't think that Goethe -- the poet, the dramatist, the statesman, the scientist -- had Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) in mind when he waxed poetic about Love. But I fell in love with Style Sheets at first sight. Why? Because I realized that in mere moments CSS gave me gorgeous design effects that even the most cleverly worked-around HTML could never come near. Yet every love requires the lover to make sacrifices. CSS is more complex than HTML, and far more fickle: CSS is not fully supported by even the latest versions of the major Web browsers. Which means that in the real world -- oh, dear! - - some browsers will not be able to view your web pages made with Style Sheets, and other browsers will see things much differently than you had planned. In technology, as in life, Love is blind. Fortunately, there is help for both the weak-browsered and the broken-hearted. Two new books about Style Sheets, both lucid and superbly written, explain how style sheets work and how to get them to work despite the problem of browser ineptness. One of these books, XHTML 1.0 LANGUAGE AND DESIGN SOURCEBOOK by Ian Graham, which covers CSS in relation to XHTML, has been reviewed in BookLovers Review # 18. The other must-own work is Eric Meyer's Cascading Style Sheets, The Definitive Guide. To work with this book you do need a basic understanding of HTML 4.0, but you don't need any prior knowledge of CSS . What we really want in a computer book is an expert in the field taking us step-by-step through the basics, clearly and gradually, to higher and higher levels of proficiency. Eric Meyer is an acknowledged expert in the realm of Cascading Style Sheets. Meyer writes with a natural style, easy to follow, lively, and often reassuring. Here's one example of what I mean: after explaining the potential pitfalls about how your style sheets will look different in different browsers, Meyer writes: "Above all, though, regardless of how bleak things may seem, keep going! Your perseverance will be rewarded." How right he is to understand that computing beginners -- and even computing experts -- need not only information, but also encouragement! The book covers everything important about CSS1 in chapters titled: Selectors and Structure, Units and Values, Text Properties, Fonts, Colors and Backgrounds, Boxes and Borders, Visual Formatting, and Positioning. There's a penultimate chapter about CSS2 which lets us glimpse a supercharged version of Style Sheets: a web designer's Utopia with even more control and even more splendid effects. Meyer's final chapter, CSS in Action, explains three projects, all about how to convert to CSS from ordinary HTML and a magazine article in a printed page. There are some stunning effects illustrated here. In future editions of this book it would be valuable to expand this hands-on chapter. Expect to spend lots of time perusing this book's appendixes. One explains all the CSS1 properties; another contains a CSS Support Chart, showing which CSS properties are and are not supported by which browsers. What it all adds up to is everything I look for in a great non-fiction book: an expert teacher making a difficult subject interesting and clear. This is the heart of it all, and yet a few words need to be said about this book's design: it is gorgeous. Not flashy, but the typefaces are attractive, and the book has been designed with just the right amount of white space so that it's pleasant to look at and easy to read. Needless to say, there's a companion website to the book. The website offers Eric Meyer's Top Ten CSS Tips; the book's Contents and Chapter 1; and an insightful interview with Meyer. Web browsers are getting better, and the better they get, the more important CSS1 will be. Style Sheets are an evolutionary leap beyond HTML. Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, will teach you everything worth knowing in this domain. Meyer explains why you should be using Style Sheets, guides you from beginnerdom to Style Sheet mastery, and takes you and your website into the designing future that promises the best of both worlds: more structure and more style.
Michael Pastore Reviewer

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Tomcat: The Definitive Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jason Brittain, Ian F. Darwin
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5

In short, this book provides comprehensive instructions for almost anyone wanting to deploy the TOMCAT Server. This book is a good starting place for programmers or admins who expect to quickly understand basic concepts.
Chapter-by-chapter the book presents new concepts accompanied by examples and descriptions for installing, configuring, and some debugging of the servlet engine. While the book tends to be Unix-centric, information for other Operating Environments is provided. Each successive chapter tends to expand on the previous chapter increasing the reader's knowledge along the way. It adequately serves as an introduction to Tomcat but it is also a good book to keep around as a technical administrative reference.
The book provides specific information on Tomcat interfaces and components through a "user guide" type format. For example, information is presented for Tomcat's setup, configuration files, environment variables, servlets and JSP's, JDBC, SSL and much more. What this book is not is a programmer guide but is a good how-to for programmers wanting to administer the server. Examples are provided for using and running Tomcat as a stand-alone web server.
In summary, this book is a success in explaining the relatively technical concepts of Tomcat and also provides very useful and relevant information about Tomcat features.