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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: DNS and BIND, Fourth Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Paul Albitz, Cricket Liu
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
DNS and BIND for Network Managers


This text should be in every network manager's library. It is chock full of examples for every DNS scenario. To date, this is 'the' difinitive guide for DNS and BIND services.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming ColdFusion MX, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Rob Brooks-Bilson
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Excell Adv. technical content, not instructional or complete


Overall the better of the dozen or more books on coldfusion mx in terms of development-quality reference material.

Almost all of the other books on the topic do a poor job of explaining ColdFusion MX in terms of an instructional blow-by-blow get from step 1 to step 30; where 1 is an architectural overview and by step 30 you have been "instructed" on the development of a featurable product.

This book assumes some advanced knowledge of coding technicques and advanced Web-based topics, which is fine for its targeted audience. It is not a complete Bible or Courseware-level instructional offering, by any stretch of the imagination.

Many CF MX offerings are too lite. This one is certainly not lite - it is rich in content that it does showcase, but I was disappointed when they got into the coding examples for T-SQL, but fell short by ending the topic prematurely. It also failed to give real-world examples of how SQL databases can be created, implemented and administered in a virtual capacity - as is the case with a lot of company's who do not host their own servers and do not Co-locate them either. Many, including ourselves, use a datacenter that offers industrial-grade servers that we share, and where the licensing doesn;t require me to sell my shild on the black market or a second-mortgage to pay for it

Many CF/DW texts fill their weak offerings in those subject areas (often cursory at best) with other Macromedia Applications, specifically Flash - and even these are cursory categories at best. If you don't grasp the underlying mechanics of how CF MX works, and how DW MX interfaces directly as an excellent WebDev toolset, Flash becomes so far outside the box as to make that content worthless as a resource.

All of these Macromedia offerings have their own (several hundred page) books devoted to them intimately, and still often fall short. Very few printed offerings (including this one) explicitly discuss combining DW MX for advanced design work (read: uber graphics, layout AND Database / e-commerce development/interaction...and I don't mean Access), along with DW MX's interfacing technologically with ColdFusion MX and T-SQL / SQL Server. My investigation required 2 resources: DreamWeaver MX Advanced (Towers, et al., PeachPit) and ColdFusion MX with DreamWeaver MX (David Golden, New Riders) - these were overall the "best" offerings I could find for this subject matter, although once under my belt, I will most certainly be looking forward to utilizing this book.

Hopefully someone will put all of the respective pieces together ( CF MX / DW MX / Database integration / e-commerce development). There are few (if any) that do so, or do it well - the material is just too broad and deep for most audiences. Macromedia's Web site and Developer Forums continue to be the goods in terms of supporting this - the best quality materials I have seen in a software development product to date, and a far superior approach from a content-finding and "usability" standpoint. Still difficult to find good server-level DW/CF/DB materails, with a focus on e-Commerce, though - even on the manufacturer's website. Macromedia is still tops in my book, though. Microsoft take note: If you want people to use your products and do it effectively to saturate the market and develop your IT Development base, you need to make your product offerings rich but workable at a basic level AND you must post up real-world examples that can be used as templates and starting points for that educational process - not just White papers and written (non-technical) case studies... Macromedia has this nailed, and it shows through the support and uber-cool feature sets, and in its real-world implementation guide by professional users of the technology that run it, use it, help develop it and teach it openly. Technology isn't supposed to a technical or administrative nightmare - which is sort of how I feel about Visual.Net at the moment. Adobe could also take a cue from Macromedia - it has probably the closest suite of product offerings that are usable, rish, and increibly flexible - and Version Cue is cool, but alas, GoLive sucks when it comes to DB integration and there is no Server infrastructure (or product available) to support scalability the way Macromedia's products do. If Adobe ever gets their ducks in a row in this regard, they will directly be a competitive force to be reckoned with, but until then ColdFusion MX reigns supreme, and if you know what you're doing, this book will pave the way to glory.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Non-Designer's Design Book, Second Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Robin Williams
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
You can really learn it here fast


I never learned so much from a book. I immediately re-designed some stuff that we have on hold right now and it looks so much better now. I don't need anything else.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java Servlet Programming, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jason Hunter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
No cute O'Reilly animal on the cover!


Would someone please remove the review that casts a suspicious cloud on this excellent book? This book is both very clear for the beginner and detailed enough for the old pro. The author even hangs out on the servlet interest mailing list and answers questions. There are examples for real-world issues like DB connection pooling and applet to servlet communication. If everyone on the servlet interest mailing list would read this book first the traffic would be cut in half at least. (Can you guess that I like it?)