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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
One of top HTML references available!

Overall a very good book for beginners (no HTML authoring experience at all). You can have a web page up and running in half an hour with this book. Plenty of advanced stuff for beginners, however anyone with a little HTML experience will want one of the "dictionaries" because this book was not designed to go into that depth.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essential PHP Tools: Modules, Extensions, and Accelerators
Publisher: Apress
Authors: David Sklar
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Helpful but not comprehensive

This book does alert you to many useful modues, extensions and accelerators and given that many of these are open source and their documentation can be skimpy, it's good to have examples and documentation from another source.

However, this book is not comprehensive in it's coverage of said modules, extensions and accelerators and in areas where it covers material already explained in the documentation, I preferred the original documentation's style and explanations. The book does mention things that the original documention does not, but the original documentation talks about things that the book does not.

In short, I had to read both the documentation and the book to fully understand the code.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sams Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL and Apache in 24 Hours
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Julie C. Meloni
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
verbose and inadequate

This book was exasperating to use. It described easy topics at length while leaving important details murky or omitted altogether. Many commmands and structures are described out of context, leaving you with little idea of *why* a person might use a particular form. It doesn't try to put the ideas together into a unified application until the end. Much better is _PHP and MySQL Web Development_ by Welling and Thomson, which introduces concepts in the context of building an e-commerce site. Even though it is longer than the SAMS book, the writing is tighter, more concise, better organized, and generally much easier to understand.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning ASP.NET Databases Using VB.NET
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: John Kauffman, Fabio Claudio Ferracchiati, Brian Matsik, Eric N. Mintz, Jan D. Narkiewicz, Kent Tegels, Donald Xie, John West, Jesudas Chinnathampi, James Greenwood
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
As a co-author, I may be biased, but...

Understanding how to interact with databases within the web and .NET paradigms is extremely important to developers these days. I am a co-author of this book, and can say that this book is written by people with a lot of experience creating database-driven web applications. I have managed and coded many mission-critical business apps using SQL and Microsoft's technologies, and wrote from that perspective. I hope you get as much out of this book as we put into it.