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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
Excellent HTML Book for people who want to learn to code.

This book is easy to read and provides useful examples.
It goes into enough detail, without boring you or skipping important information, which is a tough balancing act which most technical books fail to accomplish.
If you are interested in learning how to code HTML on your own instead of letting some program do it for you, buy this book.
Programs that help people create web pages add a lot of useless "fat" to the code.
When you write your own HTML you can create lean pages, and are also able to customize your web site to your own liking.
I used Elizabeth Castro's 3rd edition book, but this 4th edition was still worth buying.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C++ Coding Standards : 101 Rules, Guidelines, and Best Practices (C++ in Depth Series)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Herb Sutter, Andrei Alexandrescu
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Many good ideas

I have great respect for both authors from reading their other books/articles, and there are many good ideas in this book, but I was expecting to agree with the authors here much more than I do.

Item 0: Don't sweat the small stuff. The authors say not to overlegislate naming and bracing standards, but they also say "do be consistent" and don't mix styles. From personal experience, I can say the only way to get a group of programmers to be consistent is by "sweating the small stuff" and having well-defined policies that are strictly enforced.

Item 1: Zero tolerance of warnings. Eliminating Level 4 warnings (in Visual C++) from a complex application (as opposed to a library intended for third-party use) is more trouble than it's worth. The authors' suggestion to decrease code readability (Examples 2 and 3) to get around these warnings is quite a bad idea, in my opinion.

Item 59: I wish somehow there could be a better answer to the C++ namespace issue. Giving many symbols (but not all, like preprocessor macros, classes not in a namespace, etc.) two names (the qualified and the unqualified) based on where that symbol appears seems so wrong and at the very least makes searching and cut-and-pasting more difficult.

The authors clearly prefer use of stl over custom containers (although they have not always followed their own advice), but they don't address many issues related to this, like are teams using stl supposed to use the peculiar stl naming practices across the board in all code, so stl dictates naming and all projects would use naming like some_stl_vector.push_back()? Or would code like m_object.DoSomething() be mixed together with the above statement so there really is no standard? What are programmers to do when the stl containers don't cut it and a custom container is needed? Should they write it in the stl idiom or consistent with their own naming standard?

Many of the examples refer to std::string, and even a few use const char *, in a book like this I would prefer not to see uses of these types that are not localization-friendly, since it is a best practices type of book, after all.

The book's proofreaders are very good but I believe they missed one error on Item 61, page 112, near the bottom: "Do not definite..." I'm assuming should be "Do not define..."

Anyway, I do recommend this book, and I do agree with most of the items, the authors raise many good points to consider when a team is deciding on its own coding standard.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beyond Software Architecture: Creating and Sustaining Winning Solutions
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Luke Hohmann
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Beyond Everyday Architecture Issues

This book delivers on its promise to discuss the larger business realities of creating software products. If you're a software architect, or dream of being one, this is a must read book. Appropriately, it eschews the details of implementation, and focuses mainly on the business issues an architect must focus on to succeed. It works from the assumption that the reader has done a fair bit of design work, and now wants to create software architectures that will last for multiple releases. Luke expands your horizons to include new areas you probably have not have considered.
The book is nicely segmented into logical chapters, making it an excellent reference. Although it covers classic architecture issues such as portability, usability, performance, layering, API design, and security, the truly valuable material is on the business and product management side of the fence, which often get ignored, or left till late in the process. For instance, the installation "out of the box" experience, planning your upgrade strategy, technology licensing, branding, and user community discussions are incredibly valuable, as they bring together the benefit of a lot of experience in the commercial software market. It is this focus on non-traditional architecture issues that makes the book so valuable.
My only issue with the book is the tone. I find it a little too academic, and I think that it detracts from the pragmatic advice given. However, the content more than makes up for this minor lack. If you're ready to move to the next level of architecture or pondering a new software product design, check this book out.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning UNIX Operating System, Fifth Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jerry Peek, Grace Todino-Gonguet, John Strang
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The PERFECT book for the beginner!

I am an MCSE who is looking to expand my skills as an Administrator. I recognize that being Agnostic in which OS best suites a given situation is a must. So, I decided to take on the task of learning Unix - something that takes a looong time....unless you know where to start!
No matter what flavor of Unix (any System V or any *BSD version) this book will get you started in a jiffy. I sat down on an SGI running Irix 6.2 and started reading this book and perofrming the exercises. One of the most important things about this book over any other is that when you actually do these exercises you will learn more than you expected! Best of all it makes a good, quick reference to flip open when you forget something silly and need the answer quick. I GURANTEE this book will help anyone who is a Microsoft junkie that wants to start learning *ANY* version of Unix.
Although it's only 92 pages, you will understand mail, file and directory permissions, passwd, file management, printing files, pipes and filters, and multi-tasking. That's a lot of sh*t for such a small book.