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  • Book review : Framework design guidelines

    Posted on October 9th, 2011 Thibaut 2 comments
    Framework design guidelines

    Co-written by two Microsoft employees at the time (Brad Abrams now working at Google), this book is actually a publication of Microsoft guidelines that were produced along the way during the development of the .NET framework. Targeted to a large audience – developers from all levels will learn from this book – you’ll learn how to design a high quality framework, which naming guidelines to apply, type and member design, how to design exceptions, guidelines on how/when to use common types and interfaces of the .NET framework, such as arrays, attributes, collections, serialization, etc. The book also explains the common design patterns of a framework and how to create a good API specification before coding your framework. Very clear and filled of comments of dozen of people participating in the development of the .NET framework, this book is an instant classic !

    Pros

    • Very clear and instructive
    • Lots of guidelines commented by people working on the .NET framework, providing valuable information on how/when to apply those guidelines, when to break the rules, …
    • Developers of every level will benefit from this book

    Cons

    • Nothing special, very good book in overall

    Conclusion

    Excellent book. A must-read for every .NET developer.

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  • Book review : CSS3 for web designers

    Posted on January 13th, 2011 Thibaut 108 comments
    CSS3 for web designers CSS3 for web designers is the second book from A Book Apart, a new publishing company specializing in writing brief books on various web topics. All those books are about 100 pages long, laser focused, covering only essential topics. This book, written by CSS expert Dan Cederholm will teach you the essential topics of CSS3 that can already be used today. Covered topics include a presentation of CSS3 and the core properties already implemented by the majority of web browsers (border-radius, text-shadow, opacity, RGBA, …), transitions, hover-effects crafting based on the development of a mini-website, transforms (rotate, skew and translate), multiple backgrounds (including techniques such as parallax scrolling), forms enrichment (kickass buttons in pure CSS, pulsating glow effects on field inputs, CSS gradients and keyframe animations) and finally links to some of the best CSS3 resources on the web are provided.

    Pros

    • Very brief book, making effective use of our time
    • Relevant decision to cover only a portion of CSS3, but in depth because it’s widely implemented by web browsers and thus usable today, instead of covering more topics that might even not be ratified by the W3C
    • Full color book

    Cons

    • Quality of the book itself (cover paper) is pretty poor. The thinness of the paper makes it a book that gets easily damaged
    • Currently available only from A Book Apart. Took me 3 weeks to get it from NYC to Belgium

    Conclusion

    Very interesting introduction to CSS3. Gives you what’s needed to know to improve the experience of your websites or web applications starting from today.

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  • Book review : HTML5 for web designers

    Posted on January 11th, 2011 Thibaut 181 comments

    HTML5 for web designers

    HTML5 for web designers is the first book from A Book Apart, a new publishing company specializing in writing brief books on various web topics. All those books are about 100 pages long, laser focused, covering only essential topics. This book, written by Jeremy Keith (author of DOM Scripting, that I reviewed here), will guide you through the hot new stuff that HTML5 offers and how to harness its power from now on. Covered topics include a brief history on HTML markup, the design of HTML5, rich media (canvas, audio & video tags and the different options, …), the new features of web forms (new types of inputs such as calendar, sliders, …), semantics (microformats, new HTML5 tags such as header, footer and nav, content models, outlining, scoped styles, …) and finally how to use HTML5 today with an introduction of the different tools and libraries to help you out in this task.

    Pros

    • Great idea to write brief and laser focused books. This is a change from the traditional bibles of hundreds (thousands sometimes) of pages taking decades to digest
    • Very interesting introduction to HTML5, covering essential topics and explaining how to use them already based on current browser support
    • Full color book

    Cons

    • Quality of the book itself (cover paper) is pretty poor. The thinness of the paper makes it a book that gets easily damaged
    • Currently available only from A Book Apart. Took me 3 weeks to get it from NYC to Belgium

    Conclusion

    Very interesting book for web developers and designers planning to learn HTML5. Be aware that, due to its very small size, this book is rather an introduction than a course. A good starting point before digging further into HTML5. Would be great if the quality of the paper and distribution channels could be improved.

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  • Book review : Learning WCF

    Posted on July 19th, 2010 Thibaut No comments
    Learning WCF

    For future challenges, I’ll have to learn WCF in deep, so I decided to start with this book. Next one will be Lowy’s Programming WCF services book, which covers WCF even more in depth. But let’s talk about the book I’ve just read (written by Michele Leroux Bustamante, Chief Architect of IDesign and colleague of Juval Lowy). I found it was a perfect book to start with WCF : introduction to SOA and its tenets, teaching of the key concepts of WCF such as contracts, bindings, hosting, instancing & concurrency, reliability, security and exceptions & faults. And to help you master these concepts, each chapter contains several labs where you can put into practice what you’ve just learnt. A very effective approach. Just note that this book doesn’t cover peer-to-peer protocols (which is done in Lowy’s book).

    Pros

    • Great book, covers a lot of ground of WCF
    • The labs really help in mastering all the concepts

    Cons

    • No cons for me. Just keep in mind that this book doesn’t cover peer-to-peer protocols

    Conclusion

    I recommend this book which will give you a strong knowledge of WCF on which you can build upon with Lowy’s book if you want to go even further.

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  • [FR] Livre : Visibilité sur le web

    Posted on January 30th, 2010 Thibaut 4 comments
    Visibilité sur le web Visibilité sur le Web (dans sa version anglaise Search Engine Visibility) est un ouvrage de Shari Thurow, reconnue mondialement comme une experte du SEO. Au travers de celui-ci, elle nous enseigne les bonnes pratiques à suivre pour optimiser le référencement naturel d’un site web. Les sujets couverts vont du fonctionnement des robots d’indexation des moteurs de recherche à l’optimisation des pages web, en passant par l’optimisation des images, des fichiers multimédia, etc. Bon nombre de mythes sont également discutés et démystifiés. Pour finir, un chapitre traîte des mauvaises pratiques et les pièges à éviter dans le cadre d’une campagne de référencement.

    Les +

    • Un livre écrit par une personne de référence dans le domaine
    • Très instructif et très bien construit
    • Couvre bon nombre de sujets du SEO

    Les -

    • Pas un inconvénient mais plutôt une remarque : ce livre ne rentre pas profondément dans les détails techniques (pas de chapitres traitant d’alternatives d’implémentation, absence de bouts de code)

    Conclusion

    Un très bon livre qui constitue une excellente entrée en la matière. Cependant, le domaine du SEO étant très vaste, d’autres lectures plus techniques seront nécessaires à ceux désirant approfondir le sujet.

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  • Javascript - précis & concis

    Posted on July 13th, 2009 Thibaut 1 comment
    Javascript - précis & concis Javascript - précis & concis (in french) is a little, yet very interesting book for the beginner as well as for the expert in javascript. This multi-purpose book enables you to discover or improve your javascript knowledge in a fast and effective way. Covered chapters include the following :

    • Introduction to Javascript (syntax, instructions, object oriented javascript, regular expressions, …)
    • Client-side Javascript (the Document and Window objects)
    • The DOM
    • DHTML
    • Event handling
    • Dealing with security issues
    • A reference of the Javascript API

    Pros

    • A small book enabling you to cover the main parts of Javascript in a fast way
    • Very concise but well explained
    • Useful for the beginner (intro to Javascript) as well as for the expert (API reference)
    • Variety of the topics, giving you a nice global knowledge
    • A reference of the Javascript API, which is very useful for further consultation
    • The kind of book I like to read now : concise, fast and great added value. Because technologies are a vast and ever changing domain, we don’t always have time to read bricks of 2.000 pages

    Cons

    • Might not be easy for the new comers (shows code but won’t explain to them how to create the HTML document to contain it, doesn’t define some abbreviations such as API, …). Ok for the beginners having basic Javascript notions
    • Some errors of translation (some Javascript functions or reserved keywords are translated into french)
    • Don’t expect from each chapter to dig deep as this is a small book (but not really a con in itself)

    Conclusion

    Definitely an interesting book from which anyone will learn. Serves as a training book as well as a reference but of course won’t replace a bigger, more complete book, but who will also take much more time to read…

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