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9
4.2 out of 5 stars
Java Precisely
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on 28 March 2010
I approached this book because I needed to write a Fortran program for estimating a particular logistic regression model. I know Fortran 77 fairly well but I decided that it was time to switch to 95. Imagine my joy when I saw that the book explains Fortran 95 using the estimation of a logistic regression as the main example. However, I found it quite difficult to understand the nuts and bolts of Fortran 95 because of the many new concepts and definitions thrown at me before seeing a real example.

The book content is very relevant for a computational statistician: it takes the reader from not knowing Fortran 95 to writing a very complete and robust program for estimating a logistic model. It includes an extremely good explanation of how to create dlls callable from R, Splus, and SAS. It even explains how to create state of the art COMs (I haven't read this chapter carefully yet). The theory and math for the examples used are given with references and each sections has a set of problems. The code presented is provided through the web site.

The book assumes a prior knowledge of Fortran 77 or a similar language. The concepts are explained fairly clearly. The approach to coding is very rigorous and takes care of memory management, error handling and style issues. However, the book introduces many concepts without giving "hello world" type examples. So, when the first examples (I mean something that you can compile and run) are given, one is presented with quite complex programs, with all sorts of error handling procedures, portable statements, complex data structures, hidden data, etc. which are very hard to understand without having digested the basic concepts first. I found myself sifting through the examples looking for the lines of code that I needed to understand the basic functioning of the program and its structure. I believe that I would have understood better if I had been given the bare program/module/subroutines structures first and walked through the refinements little by little.

I gave only 3 stars to this book mainly out of the frustration it created in me but the excellent content and the care that the authors have put in writing it would deserve 5 stars. Had the book had more introductory examples, it would have been the perfect guide for any statistician who wants to use Fortran 95 in his work.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2005
This is perhaps Shrigley's best book so far. A huge compendium of previous work and new pieces, it has a farbric spine and a ribbon bookmark with 'smile - david shrigley loves you' written on it! A truly gorgeous book - over two hundred pages of Shrigley genius. Ideal as an intro to his work; I got a copy from Amazon for a friend and was so impressed that I've come online to order another one for myself right away!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2002
Java is a complex language with many big, big books on the market. Java Precisely is refreshing in how it combines brevity (just over 100 pages) and depth of information. The other Java book I have is Dietel & Dietel's with though good, can be hard to read due to its size. Java Precisely reads almost as a specification of the language and allows the reader to understand the important principles of the language. Simple but very important concepts like the scope of variables, parameters and fields within a Class are concisely presented. Sestoft has obviously wanted to get away from the 'learn Java by looking at examples' school of thought, such as Dietel anfd Dietel, and is more interested in teaching Java by allowing the reader to understand its important concepts. The concise language he uses has the benefit of brevity, but most pages have to be read a few times to fully understand the concepts he is presenting. The benefit of this is that the reader knows whether or not that he/she has properly understood the text.
Even though thin, the book is a bit larger than a mousepad allowing sufficient information to be presented on each page, with concepts being illstrated by relevant, short pieces of code - 10 to 20 lines.
At just over ten pounds it is a very good investment for those new to Java, with its brief chapters providing a thorough grounding in the language's important concepts.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 2009
Since brevity is the soul of wit ... I will be brief (Shakespeare). What is the use of 1000 pages if it can be said in 140. I wonder how we have fared before this essential and refreshingly brief book that says it all.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2013
With some previous knowledge of Java I found this book a superb way of covering the entire Java 5 language with absolutely no superfluity. Basically as a quick reference this book doesn't really have an equal.

If I could have only one Java reference book this would likely be it. Small and absolutely to the point.

It is 150 pages of no-bull coverage of the entire language.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2009
Good easy read and lots of good advice and tips. As far as proposal books go i really enjoyed this.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2013
I bought this as a present for my husband on the basis that David Shrigley was one of the finalists for the 2013 Turner Prize. I wish I had not believed one reviewer who recommended it highly. I glanced through the book and I have to say that I have seen more humour and art on the walls of public loos! I can only hope that my husband finds something of value in it.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2013
I'm a senior BID manager for a major global company and I recommended this book to my Business Development / BID management team-members.
I've ordered several 'standard' works about BID management / proposal / tender - writing etc. but this is the one that jumps out due to its compelling VISION - to set new standards for creating a truely outstanding proposal, miles away from the competition.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Writing a response to a Request for Proposal (RFP) may seem just like any other writing project, unless you know how technical and demanding the process can be. Successful proposals require a deliberate focused effort, especially when winning or losing a bid can mean corporate success or financial doom. Authors David G. Pugh and Terry R. Bacon do a solid job of presenting the challenges and processes involved in drafting winning proposals. They explain what happens before and after a proposal is submitted and even provide excerpts from winning proposals, timetables, review questions and team task assignments. The material is so solid that you'll wish for more war stories, but that omission does not detract from this valuable book. We highly recommend it and find it very useful for people and teams who want to write proposals that bring home the Bacon (and Pugh).
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