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W Boudville (Terra, Sol 3)

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Social Media Mining with R
Social Media Mining with R
Price: CDN$ 5.83

4.0 out of 5 stars q, May 2 2014
In statistical analysis, R is now the de facto standard, at least at many universities. You can readily find texts explaining how to use R for general purposes. In contrast, the current book focuses on taking R for social media mining. Chapter 2 is a too brief walkthrough of the syntax of R. I recommend if you are indeed new to R to find a lengthier text explaining R itself.

Chapter 3 is where the book gets into the specifics of social data extraction. Using Twitter as a case study. Nicely at least thus far, you can get a free developer account. Don't know how long Twitter will allow this. But even if you have to pay, it may still be worthwhile. But the chapter shows how you can rapidly go some preliminary analyses, aided crucially by functions prebuilt in R.

Another chapter warns of the shortcomings of trying to quantify sentiment from such sources as a Twitter data feed. There are certain features unique to Twitter. The 140 character hard limit means that writers are forced to concentrate on the message. Less verbosity than in a blog or other type of web page. The text also introduces you to the concept [and indeed the necessity] of a lexicon. And of using Bayes classifiers. The book really just touches on a vast topic. But hopefully you get the gist of how R can do this.

Web Development with Jade
Web Development with Jade
by Sean Lang
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 27.35
6 used & new from CDN$ 27.34

4.0 out of 5 stars rapid learning, April 30 2014
Some readers will be frustrated by the perhaps awkward syntax of HTML. But what can you do? Just put up with all those wretched tags? Well, Jade presents itself as a more compact alternative. It lets you write without the tags, in a style akin almost to free form poetry, as alluded to early in the text. This is input in Jade, which spits out correctly written HTML.

You do not have to know the innards of Jade. The book talks briefly about how it works. You can probably skip that if you wish. And you have undoubtedly noticed the brevity of the narrative. A good sign that you can rapidly learn to use it. Less than a day to experienced coders.

There is even provision for simple logic in Jade templates. Ok a programmer using to procedural languages like C or Fortran would laugh at the functionality here. But all this sits on top of HTML, which is a declarative language. So the amount of logic Java furnishes should not be deprecated.

Learning Software Testing with Test Studio
Learning Software Testing with Test Studio
Price: CDN$ 18.14

4.0 out of 5 stars eas, March 10 2014
Software testing is one of these things that most programmers acknowledge as a necessary evil. Few programmers, and perhaps especially the new ones, regard this as interesting or challenging. But if you have been programming for some time, you should be aware of how important it is to test. And to build testing in as an inherent part of the development process. To this ends, Test Studio offers a framework to minimise some of the manual steps. Chapter 1 explains how Test Studio is compatible with data driven architecture and functional test automation. But it can also enhance manual testing.

However, the main thrust of the rest of the book is to go from manual testing to the automating of it. You can see how unit tests can be simply hooked up in Test Studio. The framework is like a debugger, but at a higher level. In similarity with a debugger, you can define what happens when a test breaks - does the framework continue or abort. How serious is a test failure? This is important, for it recognises that some unit tests could fail in benign ways. That a fail has a gradation of meanings.

For manual testing, some people have written tests in Microsoft Excel workbooks. Test Studio can import these very easily. Or, if you define tests in Test Studio, there is the means to export to Excel format.

There is also comprehensive reporting ability. And another type of testing. For performance. Where you want to measure certain quantities during a test run, or during a set of runs. The most common is simply the run time or the wall clock time. Care has also been taken to handle the important case of web server performance. Perhaps germane to your situation.

Building E-Commerce Solutions with WooCommerce
Building E-Commerce Solutions with WooCommerce
Price: CDN$ 10.64

3.0 out of 5 stars d, March 10 2014
Given that this book is about extending your WordPerfect website to being able to do transactions, the book falls short on a key point. In several places the narrative reminds the reader that laws could vary across the world. That the readership is global. Like the first chapter, which says in one place, "tax laws and calculations differ from country to country and region to region". So what is the problem? In chapter 4, which looks at payments, it says there is a Payment Cards Industry compliance. So "if you let your customers enter their credit card details directly on your website, you must be PCI compliant. If you're not, you're running an illegal business".

Say what?? Illegal is defined on a country basis. Is the author's statement really true in every country? Doubtful. The book could have been better written if the text had expanded on that quote. If only to describe the status of major countries with respect to whether you, the website owner, really needed to be PCI compliant.

The statement is also dubious because the text goes on to say that WooCommerce offers a paid service to let you "legally" let your website visitors type their credit card numbers when you are not PCI compliant. A cynical view is that the text is taking an alarmist tone to steer business towards WooCommerce.

Test-Driven Development with Mockito
Test-Driven Development with Mockito
Price: CDN$ 14.39

3.0 out of 5 stars somewhat overstates its case, March 9 2014
Overall, the book is a well done explanation of test driven development. It lets someone who has never done this see the value of incorporating many tests of classes or methods into the code base, while the latter is still being developed. The author contrasts this with the traditional waterfall method, where programmers write code and get this to the testers to find bugs. This is considered too coarse grained and slow. In TDD, the decision loop is far quicker.

So having a large array of unit tests is good. Along these lines, the book also advises on other aspects. Like when not to refactor, or when to stop refactoring. For example, if the code is broken in a certain area, you might not want to start or keep refactoring. Instead, fix the code first and verify using tests. Then refactor. In other words, refactor when all tests give green so that you start from a known good basis.

But the book's advice might be too extreme. In one section, it suggests "write code only to satisfy tests". You are cautioned not to take this too literally. When making a program from scratch, or an entirely new code section, being constrained by that can slow you down. It is best suited for when there is an existing code base and you are making relatively small extensions. In practice, few experienced programmers will be able or indeed should adhere to "write code only to satisfy tests". The book overstates its case.

Having said this, you should aspire to having as many unit tests as practical. And to automate the running of these. It can be a great comfort to simply run all the tests every day or so, to reassure that no known bugs have surfaced.

Learning Cloudera Impala
Learning Cloudera Impala
Price: CDN$ 10.64

4.0 out of 5 stars be, March 8 2014
As data has become Big Data, one key aspect has surfaced. The sheer volume of data precludes the easy copying of it or large parts of it between machines. Instead, you should operate on the machines/nodes where the data is already sitting. Enter Impala. The author provides a beginner's guide. We see that Impala is open source. But more importantly, it sits on top of Hadoop, running native. That is the biggest speedup compared to any alternative method that requires data movement.

Granted, the text explains certain restrictions. The crucial one is having lots of RAM because processing is done in memory. This avoids having the processing needing to often write to disk. The latter implies slower and the need for large disks.

Several of the book's examples involve standard SQL. No accident. Impala lets you leverage your expertise in SQL. So there are the familiar commands DROP TABLE, DESCRIBE, SELECT and so on.

To be sure, there are indeed HDFS specific commands and some examples walk you through those.

Overall, I would recommend that you already also know Hadoop and the Amazon Web Services. Given that Impala resides on top of Hadoop, it improves what you can get out of the book.

Network Analysis Using Wireshark Cookbook
Network Analysis Using Wireshark Cookbook
Price: CDN$ 16.49

4.0 out of 5 stars avoid low level analysis, Feb. 23 2014
Orzach offers you a nice detailed book of recipes dealing with many practical network issues. Where the network can be wired or wireless. For the latter, the book deals with WiFi networks which in practice for many of us are the most common form of Internet wireless networks anyway.

Wireshark handles much of the tedious low level stuff. Like mapping from a hostname to the underlying IP address and capturing packets that have this address in their source or destination fields. The chapter on Layer 2 filters is as low level as you can get. Note importantly that Wireshark can analyse traffic on both IPv4 and v6 networks. IPv6 is finally starting to become common and Wireshark is already there, with extensive functionality.

The book and Wireshark together free you from having to know the detailed formatting of a v4 or v6 packet. The book goes straight into the recipes without bogging you down in many diagrams of the packet formats. The latter is more typical of earlier texts on IP and TCP where there was no software like Wireshark. Back then, such knowledge of formatting was needed by the reader because it was up to you to essentially write a rudimentary version of Wireshark.

The book walks up the protocol stack, starting with Layer 2. For example, a later chapter has recipes on http and DNS. So just like the early chapter on Layer 2, you can focus on the issues of analysis and problem solving without having to know low level details.

Android NDK Game Development Cookbook
Android NDK Game Development Cookbook
Price: CDN$ 16.49

4.0 out of 5 stars div, Feb. 10 2014
Both authors are Russian, but the English in this text is excellent. I cannot tell from it that the authors have a different native language.

There is a slight awkwardness. Chapter 1 in one example refers to a diagram that was originally drawn in colour. So the narrative points to parts in red or blue. But the diagram is in black and white. Worse, the black labels are faded and hard to read. You should be able to safely ignore or overcome this.

The examples are quite diverse and non-trivial. For example, in audio, one example takes us into Ogg Vorbis, which is one of the standard ways to encode or deliver free audio streams. Personally, I use it a lot to hear free Internet radio stations. So it was nice to see an instance of how to code it.

Another example discusses setting up OpenGL 3.0 and 3.2 on Microsoft Windows. You must surely know that OpenGL is a comprehensive graphics library heavily used in desktop applications and gaming. Actually, when I said example, I should have said that an entire chapter is devoted to this crucial topic. Well it should be crucial to you, if you are writing mobile games. So much is judged by users on the graphics experience.

The final 2 chapters draw together all the earlier elements in the text by describing 2 example games. Nothing too complex, but each has enough different diverse parts to be interesting pedagogy.

Getting Started with Laravel 4
Getting Started with Laravel 4
Price: CDN$ 10.64

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars improved PHP, Feb. 2 2014
PHP has a well deserved reputation for producing or more accurately having lousy code written in it. As the book frankly explains, it grew up to be great for rapidity of learning and quick deployment of small code bases for web server programming. But the early authors of PHP perhaps never anticipated the increasing needs and complexity of web sites. The attraction of Laravel version 4 is that if you code PHP within it, you effectively use frameworks or patterns. Specifically Model View Controller [MVC]. It is not much of an exaggeration that MVC forms the core structure of many web sites.

The success of Ruby on Rails speaks to how useful programmers have found a language that enforces MVC. So the book testifies to a metagame of leapfrog, played across computer languages. You see that the coders of Laravel 4 have keyed off the success of Ruby on Rails and Python to make a feedback loop that goes back around to the earlier language of PHP and to improve it.

The first chapter is a veritable laundry list of enhancements that Laravel 4 immediately gives you. Read it closely. The details are expanded upon in the rest of the text.

Paranoid readers might also pay attention to chapter 4. It delves into how to use Laravel 4 to secure your webpages against attackers. Techniques well known in other languages like guarding against SQL injection in user text input fields can be easily implemented here. Attention has been paid to letting you bolt down your website in a robust and rapid manner.

Bonita Open Solution 5.x Essentials
Bonita Open Solution 5.x Essentials
Price: CDN$ 12.59

4.0 out of 5 stars easy workflow generation, Jan. 30 2014
Bonita means 'pretty' in Spanish and the back cover of this book refers to 'creating delightful [sic] web-based applications'. Well, ahem, I am not sure about whether the package can make pretty or delightful solutions but maybe you might differ. It sits within the overall context of Business Intelligence. The problem and promise of the latter phrase is that it is so open ended. It can mean infinitely complex and dare we say wise applications?

But be clear on this. Bonita really is about laying out a workflow logic, as opposed to being a deep level of Business Intelligence. Bonita does indeed have a nice user friendly GUI that as much as possible lets you easily lay out that workflow. In an intuitive manner. But there is no Business Intelligence or Artificial Intelligence involved. While you do not have to see the source code behind Bonita, it is not in those realms. The truly hard stuff is in your head. The logic of the workflow that you are instantiating in a visual manner via the steps in this book.

You probably and should already know the basics of Boolean logic. Bonita has easy ways for you to define logic gates - XOR and AND. So you can compound steps into far more intricate logic structures. And do this in a visual layout that lets you and perhaps more importantly, others, see the flow of the tasks. So that the dependencies are made visually explicit.

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