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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java Development with Ant
Publisher: Manning Publications
Authors: Steve Loughran
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Fantastic Book


I've had used Ant for a while on small things but was starting a large project conversion with it and needed better info. I find the Ant online docs lacking in good overview and how to use information. This book is great. Even for people who don't normally think they need a book beyond the manual, this one is a fantastic reference. The sections on how to best use it in practice are invaluable. I had started the conversion before reading the book and threw away all the build.xml files I had written and started over based on their advise. The build system is now top notch.Much, much better than the "reprinted on-line manual" of Ant: A Definitive Guide.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML Pocket Reference (2nd Edition)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jennifer Niederst
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Second Edition is not an Improvement over the First


After being disappointed with the 1st edition of this book, I was looking forward to the 2nd edition, which I expected to be much improved. The new edition does contain improvements in some areas, but also has regressed in others.
For example, the book is updated for IE 6, but is missing information on which tags are supported in IE 5. New information on character entities was added, but all information on color names was removed. Tags missing from the 1st edition were added, but now the <img> tag is missing. Most disappointing is the fact that most of the errata and suggestions sent to O'Reilly on the 1st edition were ignored when creating the 2nd edition.
The end result is that the 2nd edition is no more helpful than the 1st. The book contains most of the information that experienced web designers need to write HTML, but you will need a more comprehensive book handy to look up information that is missing or inaccurate. If the book were updated according to the suggestions on the O'Reilly site and many examples added, it would be far more useful on its own.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: User and Task Analysis for Interface Design
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: JoAnn T. Hackos, Janice C. Redish
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A handbook you will dog ear from use


First of all, I have not read this book cover to cover. I have used it as a manual for task analysis in bits and pieces. Eventually, I will read it cover to cover, as it deserves this attention and I need the information.
I was recommended this book by a colleague and since recommended it at least a dozen times myself to fellow human factors engineers and software/system designers. It had the answers to many of the practical questions I was asking and being asked.
This book gives practical advice on how to analyse a task based on the "things that need to be done" to the "people that need to do them". Based on the recommendations, these are not "pie in the sky" ideas but practical tips from the people that do this work day to day.
If you read through the table of contents that Amazon provides you will find most if not all of your questions on how to go about this type of work answered within the pages of this book.
Briefly the Chapters are broken up into main segments of this type of work:
1. Introducing User and Task Analysis for Interface Design
UNDERSTANDING THE CONTEXT OF USER AND TASK ANALYSIS
2. Thinking about Users
3. Thinking about Tasks
4. Thinking about the User's environment
5. Making the Business case for site visits
GETTING READY FOR SITE VISITS
6. Selecting techniques
7. Setting up site visits
8. Preparing for site visits
CONDUCTING THE SITE VISIT
9. Conducting the site visit-Honing your observational skills
10.Conducting the site visit-Honing your interview skills
MAKING THE TRANSITION FROM ANALYSIS TO DESIGN
11. Analysing and presenting the data you have collected
12. Working toward the interface design
13. Prototyping the interface design
14. User and task analysis for Documentation and training
Appendix A: Template for a site visit plan
Appendix B: Resources
Appendix C: Guidelines for User-Interface Design
The appendices are a collection of very useful information to jog your memory while doing a site visit as well as some general user interface guidelines. This makes for a nice checklist to check if you forgot anything.
Not only is this book chock full of good tips, advice and an idea of how to structure this type of work, but it was designed well visually. The fonts and typography are pleasant to look at and the examples, graphics and important points are well illustrated. I guess they did a good job of analyzing the task of the reader as well.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: MCSE Self-Paced Training Kit: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Core Requirements, Exams 70-290, 70-291, 70-293, 70-294
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Zacler. Craig, J.C. MacKin, Ian McLean, Microsoft Corporation, Dan Holme, Orin Thomas
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Great if only for the evaluation


Like all the other books from MS Press, they do their best to let you fail the exam. The topic covered in the book usually not well balanced or deep enough to gain knowledge.
Buy some publishedr book which is well target for certificate exam.