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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Martin Fowler, Kent Beck, John Brant, William Opdyke, Don Roberts
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
red light, green light


The most useful hint for me is the author's advocacy of the JUnit class for unit testing. (I haven't noticed any previous author's review elaborating on his or her experience with JUnit, so I will give some detail here.) I did download JUnit, and wrestled for a couple of hours to get the thing to do what the docs said it would do. Once successful, I set about modifying some of my Java code which had over time become brittle. Over the next weeks on a part time basis (that is, having the code design swapped into and out of my brain at irregular intervals) I was able to rewrite several important classes with a security that I had never before enjoyed. The author claims that incremental testing enables a freedom in the code modification process; I found that claim to be true. The interactive JUnit class displays a red bar if an error has been introduced during code modification, and it displays a green bar if all tests still perform as expected. I found that the red light, green light provided an unexpected, visceral motivation to test. As far as the refactorings themselves - well, I read some and agreed with them, but in practice on the keyboard I just zipped along with my own instinct. I didn't really want to take the time to know whether my proposed refactoring had already been cataloged. I am confident that the book, which is thorough, contains some golden nugget hints that I haven't yet encountered in my own programming experience. But I have not been attentive enough to read the book like I would a textbook.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Publisher: Basic Books
Authors: Douglas R. Hofstadter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Ultimately meaningless.


This book surely is a must-read for computer science students, especially undergraduates. GEB explains the most important research topic in 20th century mathematics - "self-reference." The explanation is succinct and his writing style is very attractive. I think the value of this book should be evaluated on his `theory of intelligence' based on self-reference, but the popularity of this book seems to stem from the fact that it explains the abstruse topic "self-reference" understandably. But be warned. If you are reading this book just for the understanding of Goedel's theorems or computabilty thoery (just as I once was) and you are a CS graduate, I'd like to recommend that you should read more rigorous mathematics books, such as Kleene's or Barwise's logic book, rather than this "general science" book. GEB does not give us a full or rigorous understanding of the subject just like Steven Hawking's "History of Time" does not give us a rigorous understanding of the theory of relativity.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: DSL for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: David Angell
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A review from "the other side"


I am not shopping for a DSL connection, I bought this book for a completely different reason. I work for a supplier of DSL equipment (both network side and CPE) and I recently had to argue for our solutions to an ILEC (not in the U.S./Canada) with whom we were trying to do business. What we in the business calls "access networks" were new to me, so in addition to a quick technical overview I needed to know how ILECs/CLECs/ISPs position themselves with their services; I needed to know how they planned to make their money. (Also we ex-techies need to become bean-counters of sorts...) DSL for Dummies actually provided that. It also gave me an explanation of the most common buzzwords and abbreviations so I could hold my own when talking to the real DSL nerds. I would have liked to see more what's going on on the other side of the DSLAM (the datanetwork to the ISP), that would have added the fifth star.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Maya Character Animation
Publisher: Sybex Books
Authors: Jaejin Choi
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best book for begineers


I've just starting to learn 3D character modeling using Maya. So I searched the net to get online tutorial but I'm not satisfied on their approach. Then I tried amazon.co.jp to search for the best book on the subject - I found Maya Character Animation.This is a great book - easy to learn with the author's approach. After I have finished quickstart tutorial, I'm pretty confident to start my own project. Thanks for your great work Mr. Choi.