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Steven Mandel

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One of the most powerful tools that a developer can use for validating data is the regular expression. A regular expression makes use of pattern matching to determine if an item fits within the definition of the pattern. Some validation that might take many lines of code to validate can be simply validated by building the correct pattern. However, many developers are put off by the feeling that regular expressions are too hard to master. Several months ago, I started reading a book called Regular Expression Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach by Nathan Good. It became quite clear to me as I began the first chapter that while the recipes were quite good, they really applied to solutions in the Unix world as opposed to the .NET universe. Wistfully I thought, wouldn't it be nice if Mr. Good came out with a book that targeted regular expressions for the .NET developer? ... (more)

Book Reviews

101 Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Applications Buy this book! I know you haven't even read the review yet, but take my word, if you are a VB.NET developer - particularly a beginning or intermediate developer - then you are going to want to have this book on your bookshelf. The book is divided into 16 chapters with 101 VB.NET applications grouped by topics. The majority of the book deals with VB.NET in a client/server environment, but there is some discussion of VB.NET in a Web environment as well. These topics cover a great deal of information, such as: Working with VB.NET Data acc... (more)

Book Review: Sams Teach Yourself ASP.NET 3.5

There are several authors of .NET books who not only know their material but are able to present the information in a practical manner. One such author is Scott Mitchell. This book is well written and is divided into four parts with a total of 24 chapters. While the level of the book is directed at beginners, it's a good refresher for more experienced developers who want to learn some of the new features available in ASP.NET 3.5. At the end of each chapter there are three valuable sections that the reader shouldn't skip. There is a Q&A section where clarifying questions are asked ... (more)

The Book of CSS3: A Developer's Guide to the Future of Web Design

It's quite clear from reading this book that Peter Gasston is very knowledgeable about CSS 3 and, as he points out in the preface, this book is a culmination of five years of work that he has spent writing about CSS3. There is a clear order to the chapters. The earlier chapters are well implemented and the items discussed there are used on a regular basis. The final chapters are more speculative in nature. The author takes a very methodical approach in the book. He covers numerous topics in a clear and well-thought-out manner. He provides several examples for each topic that is... (more)

Book Review: The CSS3 Anthology

The CSS3 Anthology by Rachel Andrews is subtitled instant CSS answers, how-to's, and examples. This subtitle clearly explains the goal of this book. The book consists of nine chapters. The first chapter is a quick review of CSS. The other chapters cover major topics such as text styling, image design elements, navigation, tabular data, forms and user interfaces, CSS positioning basics and CSS for layout. The topics in each chapter are laid out in the form of a question followed by one or more solutions and then a discussion explaining why that solution was offered. Here is an exa... (more)