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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: XDoclet in Action (In Action series)
Publisher: Manning Publications
Authors: Craig Walls, Norman Richards
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A superbly accessible and useful primer

The collaboration of XDoclet seasoned experts and enthusiasts Craig Walls and Norman Richards, XDoclet In Action is a truly user-friendly introduction and guide to the metadata-driven, code generation engine for Java called XDoclet, and its many uses. A wealth of instructions, examples, and sample code lay out how XDoclet can be used with EJBs, Servlets, JMX, and other technologies, as well as customized or out-of-the-box uses to which XDoclet can be put for one's specific needs. A superbly accessible and useful primer, reference, and self-teaching tool, XDoclet In Action is a welcome addition to the computer reference shelf.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Practice of Programming
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Brian W. Kernighan, Rob Pike
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Snappy Reading and Excellent Advice with One Shortcoming.

This book is great for programming style and clarity but there is a glaring flaw: The authors have a bad case of six (or eight) letteritus when it comes to variable names. Even though they advocate readable names for globals and functions, they still change "procedure" to "proc", "SIZE" to "SIZ" and "buffer" to "buf".
Other than that it is a good book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Theory of Fun for Game Design
Publisher: Paraglyph
Authors: Raph Koster
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Fun in the Sun - Raph Koster sheds new light on games!

A Theory of Fun is a title long awaited. Raph Koster takes an incredibly complicated and seemingly arcane subject and demystifies the magic with lucid insight and laser sharp deconstruction...and it's all done in a wonderfully playful way! I found myself both laughing and saying "aha!" simultaneously at both the insight and humor.

Koster's creative talents are clearly demonstrated in the book's unique format - a design mirroring a Left Brain / Right Brain construct, where the left side of each page is packed full of information on games, how we learn, and cognitive functions, while the right side contains fun drawings with a light and moving theme that enhances the left, while striking out on its own, almost like a counter point melody to the book's grand symphony. It really is almost two books in one! Yet even the light and funny elements carry wonderfully heavy insight into what games teach us and why.

A Theory of Fun is highly recommended for anyone working in entertainment today - from game designers, to producers, to the film industry, to people working in any creative endeavor, and people who think they don't have a creative bone in their bodies. (They'll soon discover they have a whole skeleton of fun in their proverbial closet after reading this book!)

Koster's book clearly demonstrates that `Fun Is As Fun Does' while exposing the method to the madness in gaming. A Theory of Fun is a must read for anyone who wants to understand why games are so pervasive today, as it sheds new light into why fun matters in this world, and how `play' makes us truly human.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Learning Bayesian Networks
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Richard E. Neapolitan
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Enjoying this book enormously

Rarely do I find myself reading a technical bookso carefully as this one. I always enjoybooks on Bayesian inference, but this is the first that shows me howto write useful algorithms. I appreciatethe level of mathematical rigor, too, forsuch a new subject. Bayesian networks are whatneural networks should be, without the ad-hoctheory and trial-and-error algorithms.