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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: C++ Templates: The Complete Guide
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: David Vandevoorde, Nicolai M. Josuttis
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Book is good but

A very good reference book on the subject. It made many things more clear to me that I had been uncertain about.
The only weakness lies in Part IV: Advanced Applications, chapter Smart Pointers, and chapter on Function Objects abd Callbacks, which do not exploit their subject to the full extent. I recommend the book Andrei Alexandrescu: Modern C++ Design for more discussion on these.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Visual Basic.NET How to Program, Second Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel, Tem R. Nieto
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

This book is an exhaustive reference for anyone wanting to learn Microsoft's latest incarnation of VB. Whether you're just beginning to learn programming or you're experienced, this book will get you wherever you want to go. Deitel, et al have done a marvelous job creating a book that gives you what you need. If you've never programmed, don't know a thing about Visual Studio.NET this book does a great job bringing you up to speed. If you're experienced in VB this book is a great reference and a genuine "How to.." book that will show you what you need to know about VB.NET. Everything from the new GUI features, ASP.NET, Web Services, XML, ADO.NET, MulitThreading, COM integration, and even has 3 great chapters on Object-Oriented Programming with VB.NET. All this with line-by-line analysis of code too! Well I can go on and on, but I won't, try it for yourself, it may be pricey compared to others but it is well worth it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
IRONIC - this book is not very usable at all

I never thought I'd be so impressed by a book that I'd actually write a review here. However, this, by far, is the most incredible book about the science of Web usability I've ever seen.
I almost feel sorry for the those who use the sites created by those who rated this book poorly.
In their defense, sure, if scanning the book, a lot of what Nielsen says can be interpreted as "common sense." Unfortunately, it's obvious by looking at the images in the book, coupled with Nielsen's explanations, that many websites don't use this "common sense" approach in their site development.
Personally, prior to reading the book, I didn't agree with Nielsen's "10 Laws" - to me, they seemed outdated and didn't take into account new media. Thankfully I purchased the book anyway.
This book covers the gamut from navigational development to writing for the web. It is an outstanding foundation for those InfoMapping for the Web.
I can only hope that Nielsen writes a book specifically for Intranet development in the future. I'm going to push that Designing for Web Usability become a standard for our department, and I suggest it as a 'must-have' for all web designers and content developers.

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

This book starts with an overview of code generation and how and why XDoclet fits into your development projects. Xdoclet can generate code, deployment descriptors and configuration files. The authors fully explain how XDoclet integrates with Ant. If you understand Ant, you can easily follow the examples.

The authors then go through tutorials on how to use XDoclet with different aspects of Java development, EJB, web layer, JMX, Struts, etc. The example code and xml files are well documented and easy to follow. One of the best parts is the summary sections that how you how you benefited from using XDoclet and the number of files (code and deployment descriptors) that XDoclet generated for you. The last part of the book is a reference section, so this book is all you need to start using XDoclet.

Reading this book will also give you guidelines on the proper way to code a J2EE application using design patterns and source code organization. The authors cannot explain every topic covered in great detail, so you must understand the underlying framework (Struts, Hibernate, etc.) to use XDoclet, which is summed up by their admonition, "Don't generate what you don't understand." This book shows you how to solve real-world problems with XDoclet solutions. I would recommend this book (and XDoclet) to every Java developer.