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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide (4th Edition)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Tom Negrino, Dori Smith
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Long on examples, short on substance

Unlike Peach Pit's excellent HTML introduction by Elizabeth Castro, this book is superficial and not useful for programming. The book provides numerous examples of what can be done with JavaScript, but the explanations are weak and incomplete. (Example: The authors provide an example of how to pass parameters for controlling the appearance and features of a new window, but don't explain the crucial fact that Navigator's version of JavaScript doesn't allow spaces between parameters. This cost me several hours figuring this one out, since IE4 handled this just fine, only Navigator had the problem.) Also, their online examples are a great idea, but the numbered examples don't always correspond with the examples in the book. More attention to detail--and more depth--would make this a more usable book. Given the complexity of the topic, it may not be possible to do a book in the same style as Castro's HTML book. I'd recommend Danny Goodman's JavaScript Bible instead, despite its greater price.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PHP and MySQL Web Development (3rd Edition) (Developer's Library)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Luke Welling, Laura Thomson
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good Resource

This book starts off in a detailed description of PHP coding and sends the reader into a project instantly. The first project is simple and useful, utilizing the basic PHP commands for storing and retrieving data. The source code in the book is awesome, it shows many examples of coding, most of which is used on many websites.The few problems I have with the book are in the later chapters. I felt that while this book does teach the basics, when it jumps into the "advanced" section the authors really didnt explain the steps in enough detail for beginners.The things I like about the book is that it covers Php sessions, working with the file system directly, Ftp uploads, user authorization, and it even shows you how to make your own email page using PHP.MySql is lightly covered in the book; it does not go into "high" detail with MySql but it does cover the basic commands such as create database, use database, create table, insert commands, and some basic authentication processes.In the appendix it also has Apache, MySql, Php tutorials to help you set up your own little webserver. Overall I would hand this book to anyone who wants to learn PHP & MySql the proper way.-us3rX-

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Head First Java, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Revised Opinion

I'm trying to edit my previous review, as I was harsher than needed. In fact the first exercise is technically correct. Even after I realized that, I didn't like the fact that it is obscure code when done. The authors may believe that a tricky piece of code makes a good first problem for a student, but I think it is liable to be merely frustrating for many.The writing is fascinating and engaging, but I wonder if a different style of exercises might be better for most people learning a computer language? I also wonder how many people bother to do exercises in books, perhaps I'm a little dotty to be trying or concerned.I would have been better off thinking of them as entertaining puzzles rather than teaching tools. As puzzles they are entertaining, but I think only a small number of people learn best by only looking at challenging material from the beginning.Perhaps the kind of mind that could develop the innnovative text material can't help but develop innovative exercises. In my own opinion, a set of exercises ranging from simple to complex gives a student some confidence and a picture of how well they grasp the material. The exercises should both reinforce the lesson and give the student some hope.Despite my problems with the exercises, if you are tired of boring texts about Java with the only variance being the level of formality, you'll find Head First Java a refreshing change of pace and a very entertaining way to be educated.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Expert Service-Oriented Architecture in C#: Using the Web Services Enhancements 2.0
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Jeffrey Hasan
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Overview of Service-Oriented Architecture

This book provides a very good overview of Service-Oriented Architecture in C#: Using the Web Services Enhancements 2.0. Mr. Hasan provides alot of background information and definitions for understanding the architecture and goes into detail about how the process works. I liked his writing style and ability to express these terms in a cohesive overview and explanation. I too like some of the readers would have liked to have seen a CD of code (I am a developer). I liked the discussion on security and that he alluded to the coming indigo development.