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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Design of Sites: Patterns, Principles, and Processes for Crafting a Customer-Centered Web Experience
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Douglas K. van Duyne, James A. Landay, Jason I. Hong
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Review: "The Design Of Sites," Van Duyne, Landay, Hong, 2002


"The Design of Sites" is Pattern Language for Graphic User Interface Architectures, GUIAs - please make more! Soon!
Like most good references, it is not necessary to read front to back right away. One does out of interest anyhow and finds a manual of common functional web styles. This is the kind of book that empowers the first timer and the 100th timer.
Thorough reference organized by Patterns and Pattern Groups is the structure of most of "The Design of Sites." Professionals are wise to scan it all now. Having it close makes me feel a little more prepared as it may come in handy as both an info source and a model for future manuals like it.
E-Commerce through better online customer service is a message that surfaces when reading about the granular breakdown of e-commerce concepts in relevant paradigm that everyone can appreciate. Search, navigation, site performance, and usability, all are factors when designing on the web. Developers and managers at all levels can benefit from specific parts of this book of collected, common web experience.
By demystifying common and complex web processes, plus all the standard material and easy organization one comes to expect from thorough reference, "The Design of Sites" is a valuable text for students of web design. That is, in business as in art, learn the rules of the road or keep off the highway.
The arrangement of each pattern heavily borrows from the design philosophies of Alexander, for those that appreciate his work, and are arranged as web design scenarios divided into 6 Factors of: Name, Background, Problems, Forces, Solutions, and Other Patterns to Consider. TDOS is an advanced reference and choose your own adventure of sorts.
By studying patterns these authors have struck on the great lesson of design which is not always reinventing the wheel.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C++ Primer (4th Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Stanley B. Lippman, Josée Lajoie, Barbara E. Moo
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Learn to become an efficient C++ programmer from the start


The traditional way to teach programming, especially C++, has been to introduce the basics of the language and building on top the basics as the book progresses. Lippman, et. al. have diverted from the traditional way of teaching C++, which leaved the reader with a better understanding of the topic and the language as whole. Instead of creating yet another "C++ Reference Manual", which in turn gives the reader a very detail description of the language, the authors have focused on the effective and current best practices in C++ from the get go. The Standard Template Library is introduced early on in the book, and the readers begin to experience "how things are done in the real world" early on, instead of waiting until the end of the text.

C++ is a powerful language; more importantly, it is language that gives its users plenty of power. Enough power and freedom that if not tamed, could become very dangerous. Unlike some other "newer" programming languages, C++ has the ability to manipulate the lowest levels of the system: hardware and the operating system. The authors took this notion into consideration and wrote the book in such a way that proper programming techniques and methodologies are "forced" from the beginning. Programming in C++ also requires a different mind-set as well: objects, classes, inheritance, polymorphism, etc... These are topics best understood by example. The standard template library (STL) is the best way to show the users how the most powerful techniques in C++ are being utilized. Starting with the String and the Vector classes, the authors walk a very fine line of teaching the novice users about the ins and outs of the language and others how to best take advantage of the available libraries that are provided with the language.

To new readers of the language this approach might seem a bit difficult to grasp, but the fact of the matter is that C++ is not an easy programming language to learn. If you are serious about learning C++, what better to learn the language than learning the right way from the start? It might seem a bit overwhelmed at first, but that's ok. There is a glossary of introduced terms at the end of each chapter, along with a summary of topics covered. At the beginning of each section (part) of the book, the authors give an overall summary what's to come, and why these topics are covered when they are. The same goes for the beginning of each chapter: a summary of what's to come begins each chapter before the material is covered in detail. The authors realize that the approach might seem a bit unorthodox, and take extra care in making sure the readers are not overwhelmed with information. For people with C++ experience, you will appreciate this method of teaching a lot more. The readers are exposed to "important" C++ terms and phrases from the beginning instead of waiting until the last couple of chapters of the book.

Other than the format change, and updated material to comply with the latest ANSI C++ standard, this book has updated examples the source code for which can be downloaded from the book's web site. There is C programming coverage in this book, which is very good. The programming style is C and C++ are inherently different (procedural and object-orientation), and talking about C would simply confuse the readers. The book's focus from the beginning to the end is how to best utilize and write programs in the C++ programming language: how to become an efficient C++ programmer.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning the C++ programming language. If you have used C++ before, this book is still a valuable addition to your library, as it covers C++ with efficiency and proper programming style in mind.




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
I own the rest, this is the best.


So what if most other books on HTML are four times as thick as this one? This covers EVERYTHING that they do, only more clearly and for less money. I own just about all of the well known HTML guides and I've come to believe that other publishers are simply employing a marketing tactic by making their books super fat and giving them religious sounding names because they know that newcomers to any given field think that a bigger book must be more complete. Don't be fooled, HTML is not nuclear physics--it doesn't require a God-sounding title or nine-hundred pages to explain! Whether you need a tutorial or reference guide that covers everything from designing properly functioning HTML Web pages to how to go about registering them with search engines -- it's all in this awesome book by Ms Castro.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Final Fantasy VIII Official Strategy Guide
Publisher: Bradygames
Authors: David Cassady
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great overall Guide worth buying


In depth guide with all the things you need to know to do everything in the entire game!