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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The JFC Swing Tutorial: A Guide to Constructing GUIs, Second Edition
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Kathy Walrath, Mary Campione, Alison Huml, Sharon Zakhour
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The 2nd edition is a great book...


Target AudienceJava developers who want to learn to develop graphical applications using the Swing classes
ContentsThis book is part of the Sun tutorial series, and concentrates on the Swing classes of the language.
The book is divided into the following chapters: Before You Start; Learning Swing By Example; Using Swing Components; Laying Out Components within a Container; Writing Event Listeners; Performing Custom Painting; Component Reference; Layout Manager Reference; Other Swing Features Reference; Event Listeners References; Troubleshooting Reference; Index
ReviewMost of the coding I do in Java involves background agents that don't involve any sort of a user interface. But that's not to say that I haven't wanted to put a front end on some of my routines and allow for some user interaction. In order to do that, I need to learn more about how to use the Java GUI classes. This book, The JFC Swing Tutorial, is definitely what I need.
The book is a nice blend of tutorial and reference guide. The first six chapters are definitely tutorial in nature, with a number of examples and things you are asked to try and work through. At the end of each of those chapters, you'll find a series of questions and exercises that will allow you to assess your understanding of the material. Starting in chapter seven, the book moves more towards a reference manual, but not in the typical "here's the documentation" format. Each reference section has a series of "How To..." topics that give you more detailed information and examples about that feature. For instance, the formatted text field section has a demo of that feature, instructions on how to work with features in the JFormattedTextField class, and an API chart of the related classes and specific methods in JFormattedTextField. The blend of information and examples helps you to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical use.
The only "complaint" that one might have about this book is that much of the information can be found online at the Sun Java site. To that I say, "so what?" When I'm looking up a quick answer to something and I don't have my library available to me, online references are great. But when I'm learning a new skill, give me a book that I can carry around, mark up, and have open in front of me at the keyboard. It's how I work best.
ConclusionThis is a very complete and well-written volume on how to use the Swing GUI classes. If you need to learn how to move your Java programming in a graphical direction, you'll like this book.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Discrete-Time Signal Processing (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Alan V. Oppenheim, Ronald W. Schafer, John R. Buck
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Reference or introduction?


I found this book to be an excellent fundamental text about DSP. But is it a good introductory book for beginners? Well, it depends... The book covers the essential topics in great depth and that means every one of its 800+ pages is packed with concepts and details and examples. The style is clear, but the amount of information can be a little overwhelming when you read it for the first time. If you have time, patience, a good maths background, the desire to master the subject, and someone to clarify your doubts, this can be the best first book on DSP you could ever buy. If you just want to learn the basics, and don't have much time or patience you should probably look elsewhere.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 9.0
Publisher: Wordware Publishing, Inc.
Authors: Frank D. Luna
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Good balance between text, maths and code


This is a hard to fault book. My only criticism is that is wasn't longer. The presentation style is excellent. Readers will need a grasp of programming in C/C++ and an understanding of the MS environment to get the full learning value from the text. Concepts are explained clearly with supporting relevant code examples. The book should stand as a model of best practice in the area. Hopefully the author will produce another volume on dynamics in DirectX some time in the future.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Python in a Nutshell
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Alex Martelli
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Can't be definitive....


This is a great book, without question. The question is whether it is worth the price, given the free online HTML reference documentation.
Pros:+ Very nice typesetting. (Python Essential Reference is a bit small for eyes.)+ Very good index; somewhat better than the online index.+ Good explanations.+ Some examples.+ Much more advice than the online docs.+ Most errata were corrected in the [09/03] printing. (I just received a [12/03] printing.)
Cons:- Does not cover some of the most useful (new) modules: timeit, logging, zipimport, itertools, sets, sum, heapq.- In particular, I would love to have ADVICE on how to use logging effectively.- DOES cover the dead (insecure) modules rexec and Bastion.
So take your own decision. Personally, I would say it's not essential, but still worth the price. I go back and forth between the online index and this book.