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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Alison Balter's Mastering Microsoft Access 2000 Development
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Alison Balter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Thanks for the broad perspective along with how-to details

I really value Alison Balter's writings on Access, especially this book on "Access 2000 Develoment".
For me as a technically-inclined person and development manager but not a hard-core programmer, the book makes things understandable and puts them into useful perspective. Instead of dwelling entirely at the level of "Here's how to ...", it includes perspective on what is possible, what alternatives are available, when one might choose one path over another. Then it goes on to provide clear instructions on "Here's how to... wisely and skillfully."
It's what I call "outside-in" presentation -- her writing takes me from being "outside" of understanding to "inside". This is contrasted with "inside-out" presentation, in which one can learn every detail about how to do something but have no perspective on why or when to do it and when not, and no overview of alternatives.
I recommend the book highly, and look forward to using its contents more completely as I develop in my understanding.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mastering Regular Expressions, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jeffrey E. F. Friedl
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The definitive guide to regular expressions

Regular Expressions ("regexes" for short), have been officially integrated into Java with the release of J2SE 1.4. While many Java developers are just discovering them, they have been a fixture in other languages and tools for quite some time. Regular expressions are powerful tools for performing all kinds of text processing, but they require no small amount of knowledge to use effectively and efficiently. This is where "Mastering Regular Expressions" comes to the rescue.
The book's nine chapters are categorized into three sections. The book first teaches the basics of regular expressions, crafting simple regexes, and the different features and flavors available in various regex packages. Next, the reader is given invaluable information about how the different types of regular expression engines work, as well as techniques for crafting practical and efficient expressions. The final section covers language specific issues in Perl, Java, and .NET.
The author does an outstanding job leading the reader from regex novice to master. The book is extremely easy to read and chock full of useful and relevant examples. The author offers up questions along the way designed to engage the reader to apply what he has learned. In-line references to other parts of the book containing information pertinent the particular topic being discussed are also very helpful.
Regular expressions are valuable tools that every developer should have in their toolbox. "Mastering Regular Expressions" is the definitive guide to the subject, and an outstanding resource that belongs on every programmer's bookshelf.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Code Complete
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Steve McConnell
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5

All book taught me are too numerous to mention. However, one thing stands out. I can now look at anyone's code and immediately find at least one thing wrong with it no matter how much more experienced or talented they are than me. It helped me develope a style that is effective and respected. I can always easily argue my reasons for coding things the way I do.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ActionScript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Colin Moock
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
excellent book... worth its weight in gold

Another excellent book for anyone using Flash. Unlike many Flash books the author is not trying to be clever and impress us with his tricks and techniques (often called, "real life projects"). Instead he is genuinly trying to document and explain ActionScript in a methodical and structured way.
For many, ActionScript would be unfathomable without this book. I have two copies, one at home, one at work. I just wish I had more time to read them.