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ws__ (Hamburg, Germany)

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Financial Market Complexity
Financial Market Complexity
by Neil F. Johnson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 114.13
17 used & new from CDN$ 63.17

5.0 out of 5 stars Lucid, dense and sound econophysics book, June 1 2004
This book is written in a very dense fashion and should be compared to a math or physics text and obviously not to the advertised get rich quick books.
The style is very clear and very dense. The introduction says more about the financial market as many long texts. Also the definitions are precise and do contain content. Alone this introduction is worthwhile for anybody in the business of specifying a financial software system. It saves literally weeks of work.
As a next step a very dense overview of the "standard" finance theory is presented (first order Markov...). The authors even succeed to explain the Black Scholes option-pricing model in a few pages. I am very thankful for this.
The main impetus of the authors is to apply complexity theory to financial markets and get in return a good and existing example of a complex system. They look deeply into the limits of the independent and identical distributed probability function assumption. Also higher order correlations, the effect of competing and partly collaborating agents is discussed.
The text is accessible to most graduate students with a corresponding background in mathematics, physics ....

Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture
Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture
by Martin Fowler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 61.26
40 used & new from CDN$ 46.00

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Collection of Patterns for Modestly Large Systems, March 22 2004
Martin Fowler is a brand name for lucid ("UML distilled"), maturity enhancing ("Refactoring" for the practical side and the great "Analysis Patterns" for the modeling side) top notch books for software professionals. This book even has on its front cover a label telling us it is a "Martin Fowler Signature Book". This book was a disappointment. In the introduction Fowler claims much less. This book should be merely "useful". It is much better than that. It is good.
So what is the problem? The title is misleading. It is about patterns, but not really about enterprise applications. I am not in the subject of enterprise applications. I never ever have touched a program like SAP or a language like COBOL. But I encountered nearly every problem addressed in the patterns. Even the money class has corresponding problems in other fields: a Voltage has both a value and a unit. Also having complaints about the fact that 3 times 33% are less than 100% are always common.
What is this book about? It is basically about problems you have in moderately big applications. How do you connect a relational database with its structure and transactionality to a system, especially an object-oriented system (but not only)? And how do you connect to the user interface, especially a web interface. Also it contains a lot of useful small patterns at the end. As you can see: a lot of valuable stuff for many people. Yes and you get the deep judgments and fine humor of Martin Fowler too.
What is the main problem? This book is not really suited for actual reading. It contains an introductory part of a hundred and a reference part of four hundred pages. The introduction part is annoying to read. It is at the same time too simple (Some knowledge of relational databases should be a requirement for this book, and much more...) and too difficult (An extremely lot of forward references to patterns described later in this book). Also a lot of stuff is in the most trivial sense repeated within a few pages distance only. And it is repeated down to the wording of the individual sentences.
The reference part is a lot better. It gets better to read the further along you already read. The number of forward references gets less along the way. I liked especially the last part about base patterns. As their name already says they should have been much more to the beginning of the book.
This book contains an excellent book within it, just waiting to be "refactored" out of this collection of valuable thoughts. I firmly believe that Martin Fowler is well suited to do this refactoring job. I do sincerely hope that he does it for the next edition of the book. Most of the work is already invested and the result would be very valuable for many people. It is possible to write excellent and readable books about patterns as for example Buschmann et al in "Pattern Oriented Software Architecture" showed.

Effective XML: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your XML
Effective XML: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your XML
by Elliotte Rusty Harold
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 51.99
18 used & new from CDN$ 5.05

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Star PLUS, low fat book for the mature developer, March 1 2004
This book was extremely pleasant to read. The format of the book (essentially 50 essays related to XML) gave the author the possibility just to talk about the topics he was really interested in, to talk about. There is no stuff in the book, which he also had to say just for the sake of being complete.
The claim for this book is, that you already have to know quite a bit, before reading it. Well you have to know something, but knowledge is really not the point here. It is more something like software maturity. So if you are fond of maturity: this is your book.
Thanks to the author for that great present to us.

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: Pmbok Guide
A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: Pmbok Guide
by Project Management Institute
Edition: Paperback
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Classic, Feb. 11 2004
This book is certainly a must have for the management of BIG projects. It is extremely rich in a wide area of relevant details. It is extremely good as a reference. It is good, if your specific area has not an established project methodology.
On the other hand I do not like the book for reading and learning. It feels like reading a book on income taxes regulations, though a good one.

Code Complete
Code Complete
by Steve McConnell
Edition: Paperback
34 used & new from CDN$ 5.14

5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book on general programming advice, Jan. 13 2004
This review is from: Code Complete (Paperback)
This is a true must have. This is a true must read. It is already quite old but still fresh and up to date to our everyday problems.

The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
by Andrew Hunt
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 42.98
28 used & new from CDN$ 36.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book with a good advice a day for weeks, Jan. 13 2004
I really did like the book. It is an excellent book, a treasure chest of advice and excellent references to more reading. You can use it for reference and read it in almost any order and at any kinds of intervals.
But the field of general programming advice is so well equipped with excellent books that I can (unfortunately) only give four stars.

UDDI: Building Registry-based Web Services Solutions
UDDI: Building Registry-based Web Services Solutions
by Naresh Apte
Edition: Paperback
16 used & new from CDN$ 1.34

3.0 out of 5 stars Low-density book on UDDI, Jan. 13 2004
This book spends a tremendous amount of pages per idea. There is a lot of code in the main text (should be on a digital medium or at least the appendix). And this code is even repeated in .Net and Java.
It is a fast and swift read.
You get some examples.
You do find things you do not find in other books.
My best recommendation for UDDI is still the corresponding chapter in Eric Newcomer's Web Services book.
This book is part of the Hewlett-Packard Professional books series. Except for the cover design, this is (luckily) not noticeable at all. Well the company employs the authors.

Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (2nd Edition)
Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (2nd Edition)
by Stuart Russell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 135.24
16 used & new from CDN$ 49.97

5.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant four-week walk through the field, Jan. 12 2004
This is my first book in the field of AI and I really enjoyed reading it in a three-week vacation (four weeks would have been a little more relaxed and appropriate). I am not a computer scientist but could follow most of the book easily (Well I do have a strong mathematical background.). The book is not very formal, but still based on sound arguments. It has a tremendously wide range of subjects incorporated: both within AI and between disciplines as differently as Philosophy and Operations Research. Nearly every one of them is dealt with at an excellent level. Only the physics parts in the perception and robot chapters are a little mediocre in presentation quality. Anyhow they are pretty much at the end of the book.
Also I liked very much the extensive historical overviews. The book contains lots of reading recommendations to explore further fields. I would have liked solutions to selected problems.
The books print is laid out fine and with a lot of care. A two-column layout might be for the width of the book more appropriate. I read the international edition (2nd), which is paperback. This book is very heavy and it took quite a bit of ability to hold it reasonably comfortly over the many reading hours required.

Understanding Web Services: XML, WSDL, SOAP, and UDDI
Understanding Web Services: XML, WSDL, SOAP, and UDDI
by Eric Newcomer
Edition: Paperback
32 used & new from CDN$ 0.36

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview book on the data side of XML, Jan. 12 2004
This book is about the data side of XML as opposed to the document side. It is the first excellent (and mature) one I read so far. It gives a thorough introduction to all relevant subjects. Its chapters are often more helpful than an entire book devoted solely to the chapter topic. Especially helpful I found a lot of explanations for seemingly simple or trivial things that nobody else explained and I admittedly did not dare to ask.

Advanced Visual Basic 6: Power Techniques for Everyday Programs
Advanced Visual Basic 6: Power Techniques for Everyday Programs
by Matthew Curland
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 41.95
24 used & new from CDN$ 0.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Keyhole Surgery Approach to Windows and COM Programming, Aug. 4 2003
This book even surpasses the possibilities of McKinley's "Hardcore Visual Basic". You almost gain the power of C/C++ type Windows and COM programming.
This book is not easy to read. You do need a C level expertise on Windows' and COM's inner working. Though no ATL or MFC is required.
I did learn a lot of the apparently strange behavior of VB. It is now clearer to me. But should you really apply those grandiose tricks. (For proper clean up purposes you should not hit the stop button anymore.) The answer is the same as for optimization. Don't do it! But if I am really in need? Don't do it! ... After at least ten iterations including solid peer review you might try it. The author makes it pretty easy. The book has a CD with an excellent and well modularized library and lots of example code.
Is this book still relevant after the advent of VS.Net? I think so yes. It is an intellectual joy to read this book. (Why couldn't I read it 1996?) We and many other institutions still write a lot of code in VB 6. Anyhow this probably was my last book on VB 6.

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