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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Design Patterns
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
excellent book for programmer who want to learn more

This book is probably the best book talking about OO design. I have been writing java for 2 years, and I have read several pattern books on java. However, none of them can compare favourably with this book. I was truely amazed by this book after i read it.
Be notice that this book is not for beginner, if you are new to OO programming. I prefer you to read some OO book first, otherwise you will find this book too difficult.
The only bad thing , if i have to say, is the sample code is written mainly in C++. For me, a java programmer, who only know java, have to spend more time in it. Besides, some technical aspects like multiple inheritance in Java and C++ are different.
In a nutshell, this is the best book i have ever seen regarding OO design. I recommend this book to anyone who want to write good OO program no matter you use C++ or Java or other programming language.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Enterprise Service Bus
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: David Chappell
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Useful book but too Java Centric

Perhaps a better title for the book would have been ESB for the J2EE technology stack. Although the author positions the book as a technology agnostic exploration of the technolgy, his lack of understanding of the Microsoft technology stack makes it impossible for him to pull this off. His obsession with JMS shows through in every chapter and the if he made a convincing argument about why JMS compatability is so useful in an ESB in a Microsoft based platform - I failed to spot it. Also his cavalier dismissal of Biztalk ( the latest version of which incidentally does have all the features of ESB he identifies ) is also quite surprising. As an architect who is working in a non java centric ,microsoft based environment, the book comes across as primarily written for people working on the Java stack. He does pay lip service to how the ESB in his view will work with any technology but the arguments fail to impress and appear incomplete. Given the fact that the essence of SOA and ESB in my view is interoperability, his espousal of JMS,a java specific mechanism, as a key standard ESBs must implement is strange to say the least.

Having said all that, I did think the book is extremely well written and the concepts outlines nicely complement Hohpe's book on intergation patterns in my view. He should perhaps have looked a bit more at that book to see how to truly write a technology independent book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essential C++
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Stanley B. Lippman
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5

This isn't greatest book to *learn* C++. I bought it largely on the strength of the other reviews and my experiences coding successfully in other languages but (e.g., perl, python, java, php, shell scripts, etc.). My experience with this book (even in comparison to other books I'e browsed on C/C++), it that it is written to be useful more for someone who already knows C++ or is a dedicated C programmer and wants to pick up C++.
A great author usually writes in such a way as to not be misunderstood, but I found myself hae to reread passages frequently to answer questions which went unaddressed. Some typos were also evident, even in critical places--e.g., when he introduces references and relates them to pointers (page 46). At other times he'll introduce concepts without much expalanation at all. For example, the keyword extern shows up in the sample answer to problem 2.1 without being inroduced yet. The eventual discussion of extern on 64 is only useful if you already know what it means. He also likes to inject new concepts or syntax in the main text and footnote them with comments like "I'm certainly not going to explain this guy!" on page 33, referring you instead to some other book if you happen to have it nearby. Maybe this won't appear in subsequent editions. If you already have significant C/C++ experience, then you can esily oerlook these matters; but, if you are just trying to learn C++ (especially without a dedicated C background), then the compact nature of this exposition will be a two-edged sword.
That said, I did like the sample problems and answers. I wasn't a big fan of the subject matter for the running example (a game based on sequences), but it serves as a framework for exposition. If you already know C/C++ but want to brush up on you techniques, then this may be a good purchase. Otherwise, keep looking.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: iPod & iTunes Garage
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Kirk McElhearn
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Notes from the author...

Hi, it's me, the author, checking in to add something to the info above.

First, I had to give the book a 5-star rating - but I'm sure you understand.

What I wanted to tell you, though, is that iPod & iTunes Garage is not only a great book, but it's always up to date. If you go to my web site (Kirkville: www.mcelhearn.com) you can download an update to the book. And as more new iPods are released, and more new features added to iTunes, I'll update the update. So even though Apple has released new stuff and added new features since the book went to the printer, you won't be left out.

So, if you go to my web site now (www.mcelhearn.com), you'll find an update that covers the latest iPod shuffle, as well as the iPod photo and the latest features in iTunes and in the iPod software.

In addition, I've got lots of articles on my site about using the iPod and iTunes, as well as articles on music and other subjects.

I hope you like the book!