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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mastering Regular Expressions, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jeffrey E. F. Friedl
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
i wish all tech books were this good

I can't say enough good things about this book.
Regular expressions are such a powerful concept, but some of that power would be easy to miss if not guided correctly through the topic. Jeffrey Freidl does a great job of making a potentially very dry subject interesting, even while getting very involved in all the complexities that are inherent in such a powerful abstraction. He also does a good job of presenting both the general topic of regular expressions and the specific characteristics of the various tools available to process them.
This is a book that you will come back to many times. I actually read it as a precursor to learning Perl several years ago. Then just recently I revisited it while taking a class on compiler construction and found that it still had useful insights for me. If you're a committed programmer, this book should be on your shelf.
Also, the criticisms I've read in reviews here are pretty misguided. It is "chatty", because the author has a genuine enthusiasm for his subject. It is also not a "teach yourself regular expressions in 24 hours" kind of book. There are actually lots of cookbook style examples, but the main point of the book is to give you a solid enough understanding of the general topic that you don't need examples to craft your regexes. In this case, little patience as a reader will be much rewarded.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Excel 2000/Visual Basic for Applications Fundamentals
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Reed Jacobson
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great starter book for people unfamiliar with VBA Excel

This was my first book I used to learn the VB intricacies of Excel. Showed me step-by-step what is possible as far as developing a user application, with a VB fueled spreadsheet. One thing that I liked was code that removed all the users toolbars (makes the visual screen area maximized) and the upon closing, puts them all back. Had results in just about a week with some help from the Microsoft news groups (Excel related). Recommended as a starter for those unfamiliar with VB or Excel.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Official Final Fantasy VII Strategy Guide
Publisher: Bradygames
Authors: David Cassady
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
This book was never checked by the company

FF7 is great.. In this book, it gives you some miss information about Materia and where to find it. Sometimes it just tells you to "Go to the piggy thing" and you have no idea what the "Piggy thing" is! I think that they gave you a ton of information about most bosses. They do need some work on the two Sephiroths and the American Monsters. I think that they should really give the HP for the American Monsters and Sephiroths. On some of the enemys, they made typos. Where it said HP, it would say "Area" Mp, "Midgar."

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Building Web Services with Java : Making Sense of XML, SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI (2nd Edition) (Developer's Library)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Steve Graham, Doug Davis, Simeon Simeonov, Glen Daniels, Peter Brittenham, Yuichi Nakamura, Paul Fremantle, Dieter Koenig, Claudia Zentner
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent: tells why web services matter & how to build them

"Web Services" promise to do for interconnected business applications what the traditional web has done for information browsing. Business relationships will be formed and applications interconnected dynamically and automatically: for example, your computer system may arrange automatically to ship packages using a carrier with which you have never done business. Web Services define the standards that will facilitate such communication. In the meantime, before that ambitious vision becomes a reality, the building blocks of Web Services are already being used to connect systems within individual organizations. If you want to know what Web Services can do today, and what's likely to be possible in the future, this book is an excellent place to start.
There are quite a few books that tell you how to use one aspect or another of Web Services technology, but this one tells you why as well as how. The authors are experts in the field, and they write well. The book opens with a comprehensive and thought provoking introduction to the business and technology changes that have motivated the tremendous surge of interest in Web Services. In later sections, both novice and expert programmers will find lots of useful detail on getting started, on putting together the piece parts (XML, SOAP, etc.), and on building realistic sample applications. I have worked on Web Services technologies for nearly three years, and I learned a great deal.
Whether your interest is in programming Web Services, in using technologies like XML or SOAP, or just in understanding why Web Services are generating so much excitement, I highly recommend this book.