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Introducing Regular Expressions
Introducing Regular Expressions
by Michael Fitzgerald
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grab it, read it, learn it, 9 Sept. 2012
Basically, if you have never ever used regular expressions before, this book is for you. It will guide you through the most basic and most common patterns used within regular expressions world. There are lots of examples and lots of tools presented inside the book.

It goes like this. Michael starts with setting reader a high target by introducing complex example just at the beginning. But this is just a means of setting finish line. Throughout the book he will show you how to reach this target by starting from most common, very basic examples and then by gradually increasing the complexity of presented expressions.

There are few tools presented that can make your life easier. In various flavors (web based, standalone) for various systems (Windows, Linux, Mac). This is a benefit, because by trying all of them (you will be forced to do it if you want to follow examples) you will be able to find one that fits you best.

One drawback of the book. There are no clear statements which expressions work for particular syntax (e.g. Perl, Java, Ruby, etc.). This may be a little stopper if you try given expression in slightly different environment than one presented in a book.

If you are looking for comprehensive list of various expressions in the context of various syntaxes take a look here instead: Regular Expressions Cookbook by Jan Goyvaerts and Steven Levithan.


Regular Expressions Cookbook
Regular Expressions Cookbook
by Jan Goyvaerts
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Small issues make it difficult for newcomers, 9 Sept. 2012
When you read the book, you can definitelly tell that authors have experience when it comes to different flavors of the regular expressions. When you go over the different aspects of regular expressions you can track the differences between the standards thanks to clear specification what is allowed and what's not in particular regular expressions convention. This is quite useful in case you work with different languages like Java, Perl, Python, etc. There are always small differences that can make a headache when all you need is a simple expression. Book starts with nice introduction into tools that will provide you with heavy support when it comes to regular expressions. It's a shame, though, it doesn't cover comprehensivelly Linux and Mac OS X. Both systems, comparing to Windows, have much more to do with regular expressions - I think. Linux and Mac OS X are the systems where you have an easy, out of the box, access to CLI and variety of languages. In fact, this part looks a little bit like an advertisement for a products developed by the authors. That's fine in the sense you should not expect authors to advertise products created by the competition. But still, without this part the whole book would be still complete.

I always strive to get an access to simple, comprehensive, and well explained content related to development. That's why I pretty much like cookbook style books. This one is such an example. I have found few examples that really cought my attention and were a surprise for me - even though I work with regular expression on day to day basis. However, there are two major issues with the book that may be stoppers for novice developers not familiar with the topic:
- lack of examples for download - if they were available, this would be a great benefit for newcomers. At least some basic examples how to use regular expressions in different languages would highly improve the perception of the content.
- typografic convention used throught the book - in more complex cases it is not possible to copy-paste the regular expressions right into editor. This is due to special characters used in the book to make it easier to read expressions. This can be really painful when you want to check particular recipe.

In my opinion, if you are new to regular expressions, take a look at somethig different. Look out for some sort of introduction to regular expressions instead. On the other hand, if you are working with regular expressions on day to day basis, if you mix various languages during development, this book might be quite handy (even though it is Windows oriented). Great benefit of it is that you get covered eight different standars of regular expressions.

Let me say politically correct - I leave the choice for your consideration.


Safe C++: How to avoid common mistakes
Safe C++: How to avoid common mistakes
by Vladimir Kushnir
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I have mixed feelings here ..., 9 Sept. 2012
Safe C++ is quite interesting book, however, after reading it I have mixed feelings. At some point it is targeted at begineers. If you don't know how to avoid memory related mistakes, how to recover from the run-time errors, or how to hunt bugs you don't know much about safe coding yet. In that case this book is definitelly for you. On the other hand, it requires quite good knowledge in C++ related area. I think, that knowing C++ well triggers some knowledge regarding topics covered in the book as well. Anyway, there are few nice topics there, and let me discuss them briefly.

Book itself is divided into three parts. First - describing what can be the source of issue, second - providing overview for some basic strategies that can save your time and effort, and third - telling you how to prepare the code for delivery. I think that last part is there just for the purpose of being there. It is short, condense and doesn't teach you how to make things right. First part tells some obvious things regarding issues you can encounter during development. If you are real begginer this will be a good source of the information for you. If you are experienced developer, feel free to skip it. Most interesting part of the book can be found in second part. Here you will find the essence of the book. You will go over the sections covering different types of issues and you will be told how to overcome them. Each section contains brief summary that makes it much easier to learn things.

One thing that stroke me during the lecture was the strong assumption of the author that you will write self estime code from the scratch. Which is not quite a use-case in real life. Of course, following the rules proposed by Vladimir will definitelly help you develop better and safer applications, but sometimes this is not possible to develop in isolation. You will depend on external libraries, you will have to access external data sources, you will deal with the inherited code nobody remembers already. In these cases simple rules are not enough. What I would like to find in this book are the tools and methods for tracking the issues, memory leaks, code analysis etc. Let me explain by few examples. For example, Vladimir suggests using dedicated scpp::vector class instead of std::vector. This sounds fine, but he makes very strong assumption that you will never cast to std::vector even though you inherit from it. This is very strong assumption taking into account that most of the people use std::vector and you will have to cast sooner or later. Another example is to use smart pointers to track the allocations. But what about things allocated inside some legacy code? How to track memory leaks there? The same reffers to the section covering the code being easier to debug. The code might be better for debugging but definitelly not easier to read for developer. I know that you always have to make a tradeoff, but still, I think there are better ways to make debugger friendly code comparing to #ifdef DEBUG based inner fields of classes.

Overlally, I think this book will be very interesting for beginners who have already learned C++ but they lack the real life experience. When it comes to experienced developers, I am pretty sure you know most of the solutions presented in the book already. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to survive in the industry.


Android Database Programming: 4
Android Database Programming: 4
Price: £17.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Prior experience is required, 31 Aug. 2012
This book is addressed to programmers who are supposed to get better understainding of how to use SQL and SQLite in Android applications. You will read few interesting things here, however, if you are not aware of SQLite, if you have never developed Android applications, and you have never worked with Apache Tomcat and Servlets you will be lost. That's a fact. In my opionion this book is addressed to people who already know SQL, have developed for Android and want to combine both topics. There are few drawbacks in the book (at least from my point of view). First of all, introduction to SQL is to shallow. If you are not aware of SQL at all, it will not help you to understand the ods and end of SQL. Another thing that really cough my attention where programming practices that couldn't be called proper ones. First one is related to the upgrade of databases in mobile application. I know this is just an example, but implying that you can remove all the data during upgrade is not a good pattern to follow. Another thing are the helper classes for the SQL access. In my opinion, teaching people to put everything in one place is not quite didactic.

I think this is a good sign that book like this appears on the market. It tries to synthesise various areas: SQLite, Servlets, SQL, Java and Androind in one place, however it seems to be too short and too condense to give 100% satisfaction to readers.


Programming iOS 5: Fundamentals of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Development
Programming iOS 5: Fundamentals of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Development
by Matt Neuburg
Edition: Paperback
Price: £38.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Updated to reflect recent changes in iOS, 4 May 2012
This book is simply a new release of "Programming iOS 4'. It contains lots of new information you won't find in previous release - mostly related to most recent changes in iOS 5. One of these features are story boards. Basically, whenever story boards are applicable, you will read how to apply them. ARC related memory management is another new feature, and, it is well described here. If you haven't used it yet you will learn how to work with ARC in both situations - when you develop old application and want to migrate to ARC and how to work with ARC in applications developed from the scratch. New concepts like @autoreleasepool blocks, weak references, retain cycles are also explained. Sections related to notifications, startup process and life time have improved. Comparing to previous edition, section "Swamped by Events" was rewritten and redesigned. In my opinion it is now easier to follow and easier to understand. The same refers to view controllers related part. Basically, the book targets recent XCode release and iOS 5 and addresses some composition/content related drawbacks you can find in previous release. Big plus goes for mentioning Instruments. However, this section is way too short. It covers only simple use-cases. Still, it's better than nothing.

When it comes to drawbacks. In my opinion there are two frameworks that are missing - CoreData and SQLite. You won't find anything about these in here. I think that book would be much better if it covered database storage related aspects. At least at introductory level.

If you own "Programming iOS 4' already, I'd skip this "upgrade". In case you haven't developed for iOS yet, this one is really good introduction to iOS development.


Head First C
Head First C
by David Griffiths
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.80

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive introduction to C, 26 April 2012
This review is from: Head First C (Paperback)
C is not an easy to learn language. It has lots of places where you can get lost if you are not familiar with low level programming. When it comes to Head First C, it tries to present material as simply as possible. I'd suggest it as 101 course on C.

There are really good explanations of concepts that are hard to follow for people who are new to C. Pointers and pointers to functions become really simple to follow after you read explanations. Good job when it comes to simple explanation of make. Very well introduction to development based on libraries. You will also find threads explanation quite useful. Basically, after reading the book you will be familiar with most common and basic concepts related to C. But, as I said, this is only an introduction.

There are few issues when it comes to this book. It is very much Unix oriented. It means that learning C from this book while using Windows might be slightly complex. Basically you will have to deal with Command Line Interface, Cygwin, etc. This can be quite unpleasant for Windows adepts.

Last thing I really missed are examples for download. I know that examples in the book are really simple but sometimes I'd like to have them downloaded instead of typing the code.


Traits of a Jackass Manager
Traits of a Jackass Manager
by Charles A Sennewald
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious - just about right, 24 April 2012
45 minutes and that's it. You know what flaws are ahead if you have just became a manager. What kind of icebergs are waiting for you to crash during your day to day work. And the fact is - everything depends on you and your attitude. This book is one of these every manager should read from time to time. It's not there to teach you the stuff. It is simply there to recall you some major issues that may interfere cooperation between you and your staff.

If you are employee, this book will simply make you smile and will tell you what your boss is doing wrong - just in case you didn't know it already :)

If you are a young employee, and have jackass manager as a boss, it will make you look for a new job right after finishing it :)


The Art of SEO (Theory in Practice)
The Art of SEO (Theory in Practice)
by Eric Enge
Edition: Paperback
Price: £33.50

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive book for anyone who is interested in SEO, 22 April 2012
I really enjoyed this book because it shows you different aspects of web search. The best in the book is that when you read it, you say - "I knew that already!", but funny thing is that you still haven't put this knowledge into practice. After reading this book I have gone through my web page HTML and changed few things. I have also tried to put myself in somebody's else shoes and think what they may think when they look for what I can offer :)

I suggest this book to anyone interested in SEO. Not necessarily to people who want to start they SEO based business. If you want to improve your site you will benefit for sure as well.


Mastering Phpmyadmin 3.4 for Effective MySQL Management
Mastering Phpmyadmin 3.4 for Effective MySQL Management
by Marc Delisle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £24.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really nice read - tutorial like, 3 April 2012
This book is really a good read. First off all, it will guide your through all the odds and ends of phpMyAdmin. In case you have never ever worked with this tool before, there is no better place to start.

Marc shows various aspects of phpMyAdmin basing his book on a tutorial like convention. All you have to do is to understand what he says, and follow his steps. This way, after reading the book, you will have your own copy of phpMyAdmin ready to go. As this book is an easy to follow by beginners it may be slightly boring for advanced phpMyAdmin admins who are looking for phpMyAdmin reference.

I am giving five here, even though I would expect more condensed content. However, this book is advertised (at the cover) as book for beginners. It is exactly as cover says - the book is an easy, gentle, and comprehensive introduction to phpMyAdmin.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 12, 2013 11:30 PM GMT


Think Complexity: Complexity Science and Computational Modeling
Think Complexity: Complexity Science and Computational Modeling
by Allen B. Downey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.52

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Challenging but rewarding, 3 April 2012
This one is not an easy one. Allen guides you through the various, complex, algorithms and data structures. This book is not for a beginners - you have to know Python already to solve exercises presented by author. The complexity of the book itself is also rather for slightly advanced developers. If you just start your journey with Python development it may be hard to follow.

What I liked, however, is the way Allen presents the material. He tries to show you different aspects of the development process and refers not only to computer science but to philosophy and mathematics as well. Even if you won't be able to solve all the presented puzzles it is still worth getting through the book.

Few remarks regarding what I really liked in the book. First of all, Allen provides you with lots of references. So, if you are interested in particular topic, you have plenty of sources to start with. Secondly, Allen provides you with references to Wikipedia very often. This is not regarded usually as a good source among "university like people", however I like this kind of approach a lot.


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