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Steven Mandel

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There is an old saying that good things come in small packages. This saying definitely applies to this book, which focuses in on a set of functions that most people are not aware of that are available in SQL Server. To start off with we need to answer the following question: What are T-SQL Window functions? These functions have nothing to do with the Microsoft Windows API. They are in essence a way to create a window into your data as you process each line in a query. Their strength lies in the ease with which you can solve tricky queries. The authors also point out that these functions don't add any new functionality per se as you could create the queries the old way; however, in general the functions are much more efficient. One very neat capability of these functions is to allow you to include non-aggregated columns in an aggregated query, which is a big limitatio... (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: Beginning C# Object-Oriented Programming

Beginning C# Object-Oriented Programming is a well-written book that meets the stated goals of its author: "The target audience for this book is the beginning C# programmer who wants to gain a foundation in object-oriented programming along with C# language basics." This book works on a lot of different levels. It gives the beginner a good feel for the software development life cycle (sdlc). It goes from cradle to grave in discussing the application design and implementation. The book starts by laying out the foundation for a sample application called the office supply ordering ... (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)

Book Reviews

Making the Technical Sale I came upon this book under very odd circumstances, to say the least. I am a developer first and foremost, so the suggestion by my employer that I sit through a half-day seminar on the art of making technical sales was greeted with less than enthusiasm. Thankfully, the speaker turned out to be a fellow techie - none other than Rick Greenwald, author of several highly technical O'Reilly books about Oracle database technologies. Once I knew this, I was prepared to at least listen. Rick shared with us numerous tips and tricks about making technical sales, ... (more)