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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Enterprise JavaBeans, Fourth Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Richard Monson-Haefel, Bill Burke, Sacha Labourey
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Highly Recomended


This book is the only EJB book I realy like. Using plain English and a real life example that is being developed throghout the book to a complete application it gives you the hands-on demonstration of the most importent stages and concepts in developing enterprise server applications. The idea of taking a real example and fully developingit is a wellcomed blessing which is missing from many books that concentrate on sole theory, scholarly wording and examples that are too concise to be helpful in understanding the big picture. This book gives you very good foundations on EJBs, and stresses importent technology issues. The only thing that could have made it better is some covering of deployment tips for specific popular app servers such as WebLogic iplanet and IBM's Web spere - a topic which is by itself a source of headacks and sorring eyes. The documentation for these servers is usualy 1000 (or more) pages long and often lacking accuracy. Very Warm recomendation.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mastering Regular Expressions, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jeffrey E. F. Friedl
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Don't fear the regular expression


One of the most frustrating things about learning the perl language is learning to deal with its regular expressions. This book does a great job of explaining complicated examples and has challenging problem solving situations. It covers mostly input manipulation, searching and filtering, which are probably the most important aspects of regular expressions. I give it 3 stars is because its a tad bit on the wordy side. O'Reilly books useually do a good job of explaining things, but there were many details about regular expressions that I could have done without reading about. There is a consistant lack of examples throughout the book as well. If you are going to throw a lot of complicated technical information at the reader, it is a good idea to illustrate consepts no matter how big or small. I can't say anything else negative about the book though, because if you are struggling with regular expressions I would recommend that you get it. After a few chapters you will have a better understanding and be writing your own confusing perl regular expressions.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in C++, Volume 1: Introduction to Standard C++ (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
... and there was light.


I'm a Computer Science minor who mainly programmed in Pascal but had an object oriented background to some extent by programming on MUSHes (text based role playing games where anyone can create objects, and place code on them). Obviously the syntax was quite different, but some of the 'systems' coded on these games are quite complex, so I was at least somewhat prepared to learn the concepts of OOP.
After picking up a basic primer on C++ (Waite's C++ Primer Plus) and working through it, I discovered that while I'd learned the syntax, my understanding on how C++ operated on an object oriented level was still somewhat weak (which isn't to say that I didn't like the book, in fact I gave it 5 stars as a primer). This isn't that surprising for me, the normal way I learn is to get the details, do the work and at some point in the future _something_ will trigger a 'aha!' in me and understanding will come.
In Eckel's first descriptions of C++ as an Object Oriented language, that light came on. In particular, when he described how inheritance could be used to replace a switch statement. It was clearly stated and proved to be the norm throughout the book. Now I combine the two books, using Waite's for a first look at a concept, and following it up with Eckel for the 'understanding'.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Steve Krug
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The best of the best


Steve Krug's "Don't Make Me Think" is the best book on web usability that I have ever come across. There are two reasons for this, first is that the content is strong in boiling very complex concepts down their simplest format. The second is that he manages to impart the information in such a way that you immediately grasp the concepts. The reason some have complained that there is not a lot "new" in here is that usability is nothing new to begin with. What is new is being able to take so many issues and find simple metaphors to illustrate them. I'm always amazed at usability books that are poor at being usable! It is almost impossible not to make a significant improvement to your web site after reading this work. Steve does wonderful job of getting inside the head and visual cortex of the potential surfer of your site. You see it through that person's eyes for the first time. And he shows you how to convey these obvious, but sometimes hard to articulate trouble spots to the rest of the team. Buy this book. If you read it and come away not learning anything, then I believe you have lost track of the forest for the trees. Stop, clear your mind, and read it again. In years of doing this, I've never seen such an effective treatment of the subject, and I can't wait until Steve produces a sequel with even more insight.