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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Direct from Dell: Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Authors: Michael Dell, Catherine Fredman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Enjoyed the audiotape which is in Michael Dell's own voice


Dell has been a pioneer in accelerating the velocity of inventory throughout the supply chain. Listening to Michael Dell tell the story is well worth the time.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Object-Oriented Software Construction (Book/CD-ROM) (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bertrand Meyer
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An Explanation of OOP that is both Broad and Deep


This is a comprehensive explanation of Object Oriented Programming principles. It is complete in breadth, thorough in depth, well-organized and well-written. It requires discipline on the part of the reader to stick with it for 1000+ pages, but it is not such a chore as it first may seem and the payoff is worth the effort. No programmer would regret this read.
Other reviewers have mentioned that Meyer was unable to separate OO principles from the Eiffel language used as the book's notation. I disagree with that analysis, though perhaps he went further into describing the notation than was necessary to make the basic point in a few instances. As a reader, I was never left in confusion about which points were conceptual and which were notational.
I also appreciate the fact that this book was NOT written using a more popular language. The above criticism would have been more true but less noticed if he had. A more familiar langauge would have distracted readers from the real topic. It is useful to learn about priciples that are not directly supported in C++ or Java. Such a presentation helps you more effectively apply the features of the language that you are using and the other features can often be simulated when it seems useful to do so.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: VRML 2.0 Sourcebook, 2nd Edition
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Andrea L. Ames, David R. Nadeau, John L. Moreland, David R. Nadeau, John L. Moreland
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best book on VRML 2.0


I have done extensive programming with VRML, and I find this book the best source for learning how to build VRML worlds. Explanations are simple, thorough, and complete with code examples. I recommend this book without any reservations, to anybody wanting to explore VRML.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Robert C. Martin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Extra Credit Bob for mentioning Kuhn twice!


As a developer new to OO programming I have struggled (and still continue to) to wrap my head around the power of objects.
How do I construct well designed OO software? How do these design patterns work? And how do I wrap some sort of process around my development to ensure that I produce the best software I can?
One answer is to hire Robert C. Martin but failing that you can get a virtual Uncle Bob in the form this book.
Robert has managed to impart so much in one text. John Vlissides describes it best I think (on the back cover) as a weaving of agile methods, patterns, and principles of modern software development.
I particularly liked the sections describing the OO design principles and the use of design patterns. I found the code examples excellent. It would have been nice to have them ALL in Java but that just meant that I had a few exercises to do :-)
Robert's writing style makes this book very easy to read but it is by no means light in content. Questions that came to mind as I read were frequently answered as I turned the page. (And if you still have one that is unanswered, you can always ask Robert via comp.object)
In fact anyone who as ever submitted a question to comp.object is probably already familiar with Robert C. Martin and if you do follow this newsgroup you've just got to read "A Satire of Two Companies" in the appendix section.
In summary this book has provided me with so much great stuff on good OO design and the use of patterns that I am constantly referring to it and will no doubt be re-reading many chapters.
I am not sure if there are many "must have books" on the market but this is definitely one of them!