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Murach's HTML5 and CSS3
Murach's HTML5 and CSS3
by Zak Ruvalcaba
Edition: Paperback
Price: $34.10
76 used & new from $25.00

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for new material as well as an execellent review of older versions, April 15, 2012
This is the second book that I have reviewed that was published by Murach. I thought the first one was great and jumped at the chance to review this one. I love the way this publisher organizes their books. Every two pages in their books is designed to have all the detail about a topic on the left hand page and everything that a developer would need for reference material is on the right hand page. This is a fantastic approach that I have not seen before in technical books. It is the best of both worlds, from a learning and reference point of view. If a user wants to read up on a topic or just look up a topic for reference, they go to the same place.

Another reason I chose this book was because of the topics. I am a self taught web developer and never took a class or read a book on HTML. Whenever I needed help on a topic I would just Google it. Everything I have learned about HTML is because I have had a need to know it for whatever project I was working on at the time. I did have a class in CSS but I never really used it after the class. I like to review technical books like these because it forces me to become more proficient on a subject.

I was hoping that this book would fill in the gaps I had in my knowledge of HTML as well as expose me to the new features of version 5. As I suspected, there was a great deal of HTML, both pre version 5 and the new features of version 5 that I was not aware even existed. This book was a gold mine of information on HTML. Even simple topics that I thought I knew pretty well, like tables, were proven to be incomplete by this book.

All I had heard of HTML 5 was that it had some new features to handle video. It has that and a whole lot more. There are loads of new features and this book discusses them all in detail, with outstanding examples. The book also gives links to free downloadable tools to try out the examples. My biggest disappointment was discovering all the new features such as tags for calendars for example, only to find out that most of the browsers don't support them yet. I can only hope that future versions of the browsers will support these new features.

The book went into great detail about CSS, both previous versions and the new features of version 3. Admittedly this is the weakest part of my game. I have always found ways around using CSS. This book now gives me the perfect reference to use them going forward with my projects. The book shows how to use all the aspects of CSS with examples of code and displaying the final look in a browser.

I recommend this book to any web developer like myself who is not an expert in either HTML or CSS and who has questions that need to be answered.


Murach's C# 2008
Murach's C# 2008
by Joel Murach
Edition: Paperback
Price: $33.87
83 used & new from $0.01

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the format of the book, March 8, 2010
This review is from: Murach's C# 2008 (Paperback)
Compared to most .Net developers, I am a relative novice. I don't develop in .Net full time. I'm a Java developer by day and do some consulting in .Net on nights and weekends. My experiences with .Net so far have been some basic ASP.Net web sites with SQL Server as the back end database. Most of my experience has been with Visual Studio 2005. Because I'm not a fulltime .Net developer, I have to force myself to stay as current as I can with the newer technologies. It is for this reason that I wanted to read and review this book. I use C# as my language of choice but I am by no means an expert on the subject. I try to stay current on the state of .Net by going to my local Denver Visual Studio User Group's meetings and as many of the free Microsoft presentations as I can. As I have done this I have heard mentioned, certain topics that I have never heard of and know must be new and I have read about in order to learn about them. I have one other book in the Murach's series on ASP.Net 2.0 but I used it for reference but never really read it cover to cover as I did with this book.

The first thing I want to say about this book is about the way it is organized. Nearly every two pages is designed to have all the detail about a topic on the left hand page and everything that a developer would need for reference material is on the right hand page. This is a fantastic approach that I have not seen before in a technical book. It is the best of both worlds from and learning and reference point of view. If I want to read up on a topic or just look up an area as a reference, I go to the same place.

The second point that I want to emphasis about this book is that it deals with C# from a Visual Studio point of view. To me any .Net programming language is inseparable from Visual Studio. The first C# book I read as part of a course I took dealt on with the C# language itself and did not mention Visual Studio at all. You cannot discuss one without the other in my opinion. I have never met anyone who develops code in C# or VB.Net that does not use Visual Studio to write the code.

Since my undergraduate days at school I have always felt there were two kinds of technical authors. Those who try and inform the reader about the topic of their book and those who try and impress their readers with their programming expertise and knowledge. Happily this author is one of the former. He sticks to the basics of every topic he discusses in the book. He provides simple examples for each topic -- advanced enough to illustrate the topic being discussed but not too complicated to confuse and frustrate the reader. You can even download the code from the publishers website. He even provides further programming exercises at the end of each chapter so the book could be used to teach a class in C#.

The book focuses on C# from a Windows application development, rather than an ASP.Net web development, point of view. This was good and bad for me. I have not done any Windows development in the past so these examples were new to me but I would have preferred some ASP.Net examples as well. I did discover that Windows forms were very similar to web forms. They both have similar properties and events associated with them.

I got out of the book everything I was hoping to get. All the previously unknown topics to me (i.e. Partial Classes, Delegates, Indexers, Anonymous Methods, and how to use class libraries in multiple project) as well as refresher to some topics I was familiar with (i.e. ADO.Net, LINQ and Object Oriented Programming). I got a great deal more than expected out of the book in terms of discovering previously unknown features to me about Visual Studio 2008. (i.e. Class View window, Dataset Design window, Query Builder window) These was a very pleasant bonuses for me.

I think this book is perfectly designed for an experienced programmer or someone relatively new to C# and .Net. I highly recommend downloading and installing the free version of the Microsoft tools before starting this book. As the author points out, you don't need the full blown versions of Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008 to get the most out of this book. The free versions of Visual C# Developer 2008 and SQL Server 2008 Express will work perfectly with this book. He even points out and explains where things will work differently in the different version of the tools.

I think this book is perfectly designed for an experienced programmer or someone relatively new to C# and .Net. I highly recommend this book.


LINQ Programming
LINQ Programming
by Joseph Mayo
Edition: Paperback
Price: $32.51
53 used & new from $4.91

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Explaination Of LINQ Technology, April 20, 2009
This review is from: LINQ Programming (Paperback)
Compared to most .Net developers I am a relative novice. I don't develop in .Net full time. I'm a Java developer by day and do some consulting in .Net on nights and weekends. My experiences with .Net so far have been some basic ASP.Net web sites with SQL Server as the back end database. Most of my experience has been with Visual Studio 2008. I wanted to review this book to assist me in coming up to speed in LINQ and Visual Studio 2008. I started this will little or no exposure to LINQ. I just knew that it was a new programming tool from Microsoft to make accessing databases easier for the .Net developer. My goal from reading this book was to walk away with basic knowledge of using LINQ. Now having read the book and done the exercises that are included in it, I can say that I do have a basic understanding of how to use LINQ. I liked the fact that the author, Joe Mayo, chose to include exercises for the reader to do along with reading his book. I'm of the school that learns by doing, not by simply reading about new technologies, so this was very helpful for me in terms of understanding the concepts the author was discussing.

I got through all of the exercises except one that I had trouble with. I emailed the author about my troubles and he responded the same day and informed me that I needed to install Visual Studio 2008 service pack two to get the new functionality that I need for the exercise. I thought it was very nice of him to get back to me so quickly! I did have some trouble due to my lack of experience with some of the more advanced features of the C# programming language, (partial classes and partial methods, Lambda expressions etc). None of these issues were show stoppers in getting through the material in the book.

I was very impressed with the LINQ technology. You can just drag and drop a table from your database onto the page in Visual Studio and it builds a great deal of code for you. It builds the code that you will use to insert and update your data in that table. Very impressive! Microsoft has come a long way in terms of making a developer's job easier.

I had a really hard time with the syntax that LINQ uses. I'm an old Oracle developer and it took me a while to get used to this SQL server way of writing queries, but LINQ queries look entirely different than what I'm used to and it is not intuitive to me.

I'm used to:
SELECT first_name
FROM Users WHERE last_name = `Jones'

The same query in LINQ is something like:
FirstNames =
FROM names in Users
WHERE last_name = `Jones'
SELECT first_name

I'm having a really hard time with this new syntax but I will get used to it as I get more experience and it has nothing to do with the book or the author, it has to do with the technology of LINQ.

I thought the book was well written and well organized. It's obvious to me the Mr. Mayo has a great deal of knowledge and experience with LINQ and .Net development in general and it shows in his book. I think this is a good book for experienced .Net developers. I think I would have gotten more out of the book if I had a little more .Net programming experience. This is not a book for a beginner in .Net, Visual Studio 2008, or Database development. There are other beginner level books more specific to those topics where beginners should go.
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