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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Applying UML and Patterns : An Introduction to Object-Oriented Analysis and Design and Iterative Development (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Craig Larman
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Useful, but limited

While this book gives a good overview of the UP, I found it to be somewhat lacking in the "applying patterns" aspect. It did describe GRASP and GoF patterns consisely, but the examples, which all centered around a single system, were so simple and completely applicable, that it made applying the patterns to a totally different type of system, and seeing them from any but the very obvious angle in which they were introduced, difficult.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning ASP Databases
Publisher: Wrox Press
Authors: John Kauffman, Kevin Spencer, Thearon Willis, John Kauffman
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A good beginner's ASP book

If you understand who this book is for, you'll get a lot of use out of it. It's for people who've worked with HTML and have some familiarity with programming concepts, working with databases, and VBA. If this describes you, you'll be up and running with ASP database application programming in a remarkably short period of time. Of course, once you've mastered the very basic examples in this book, you'll probably want to pick up an actual ASP reference to help you get beyond the basics. I think of this book as more of a quick-start guide than anything else.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Visual C++ .NET Step by Step--Version 2003 (Step By Step (Microsoft))
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Julian Templeman, Andy Olsen
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
A Book to Learn What's New about C++ .NET

Much of this book is wasted on me because I am already experienced in MS C++ MFC programming. I bought it because I wanted to see how it and C++ .NET differed. I do think it was worth it overall for this purpose. I took an interest in the C++ portion because I saw the previously posted reviews and noticed that some reviewers were disappointed with it because they thought it inadequate to learn C++. Skimming those chapters I skipped, I would say too that it would have been inadequate for me to have learned C++, but to do justice to this book no one book was sufficient for me to learn C++ either. For example, much of the power of using C++ as an OOP language lies in abstract classes and virtual functions. Instead of building the narrative towards these features, this book mentions their existence almost in passing. Without these features, there's not much to recommend C++ as an OOP language of choice. The beginner who wishes to learn full C++ and not a particular flavor will need other books. Some books were better at explaining object-oriented concepts; some were better at explaining how C++ features related to OOP. Over time I bought about 16 books on C++ and OOP (object oriented programming). In particular, I think two of Herbert Schildt's books, Teach Yourself C++ and C++, the Complete Reference were good. You might think of getting a generalized OOP concepts book such as by Booch. Later, I found the C++ FAQ book by Cline and Lomow useful. Unlike when I learned other languages, learning C++ and OOP required many small epiphanies. Most important you just have to try small programs that implement the ideas in the books to "get it". Once you do, learning something like Java seems almost trivial. Make no mistake, learning OOP and C++ is a tough row to hoe.

Of course, no one goes through all that effort to write command line programs. You'll want window control, graphics, multi-threading, database access, etc. -- all implementation specific activities. This is where this book is relevant. It provides a brief overview of how a C++ programmer can interact and use Windows OS functionality.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essential COM
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Don Box
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The best book on COM available

Tough reading but by far and away the best and most complete COM guide available.