Archive for the ‘Book reviews’ Category

HTML5 Step by Step

Posted: April 7, 2013 in Book reviews
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html5-step-by-stepSo, back after a long time with a new book to review. This week, it’s HTML5 Step by Step. Some intro: I do not have a technical background, but due to my work’s nature I work a lot with HTML. That’s why this book was extremely useful to me.

The book starts with the very basics, such as why using HTML5 – this may sound extremely simple for someone familiar with programming, but in my case it allowed me to better understand the underlying “why’s” behind using HTML5, which were not quite clear before (that was really important for me, as I want to know why I’m using something and what’s the end product of it). But let’s move further into the book.

So…first step: understand how basic formatting is done in HTML5. That was pretty straightforward, as I was familiar with most of the stuff discussed. But in the second part we learn about Style Sheets – for someone who has done little work with HTML, this explains a lot about how certain things are done. I may have worked with image size or simple coloring, but many of the things discussed were kinda new to me. The book gets a bit more advanced as we move further on, and on part 3 we’re introduced to layout and navigation (oh yes, it also includes forms!), while on part 4 we discuss about Expression Web 4 (though I didn’t have the time to use it).

So, why did I like the book? Because it was more of a coursework e-book, together with the example files. I enjoyed reading it in 2 screens (read and work, read and work and again) and I found the whole process really intuitive. That being said, I am not sure if this book applies to intermediate or expert users since I found it of medium difficulty (remember, my level on HTML can be hardly considered as novice).


Disclaimer: I received a free ebook for review purposes.


I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program


Data Source Handbook

Posted: February 19, 2011 in Book reviews
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data source handbook by o'reilly mediaThere’s a simple word describing this book: toolbox. The Data Source Handbook is a great source of free APIs for a great number of different applications – with only one drawback: size.

The book starts by offering a simple categorization, that helps the reader find his way through the 57 different sources. Some of these can prove extremely useful (such as Flickr and Delicious), while the author is honest in mentioning specific drawbacks that some of the sources have. The links in the book are also a welcome addition (although I don’t really know if it could work well in any other way).

However, this book is definitely not for people with no programming skills. In my case (I have limited programming skills) it was a bit hard to get used to the book. Adding to this, the main drawback of this book is that it’s short, but this is normal, as it is not meant to include full descriptions.

Overall, this is a great toolbox for developers wishing to enhance their services. I enjoyed experimenting while reading the book (and learning as well, in order to improve my programming skills) and I’ll definitely keep on searching for related titles.

Disclaimer: I received a free ebook for review purposes.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Time for my second review! This week’s book is The Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun. To be honest, I haven’t read any other book from Berkun so far (though many people suggest Confessions of a Public Speaker), but it’s more than likely I’ll start from now on. And the reason is simple: after finishing the book I felt like the guy was in my head!

If you’re looking for a book to tell you how to innovate, then you have missed half of this book’s essence. Because there’s not a single path to innovation (although you’ll get your tips, I promise!) – that’s something you learn from the first chapters. What this book is about is the life of an innovator, the challenges he has to face, the rejection of ideas, and the lonely path to making something new and ground – breaking. Making a trip through history and great inventors, Berkun defines innovation as a long way and not as a single moment. While innovating you’ll fight, get rejected or even reach the bottom – and this book describes what to do in these cases. And even when you succeed, you have the innovator’s dilemma – are you truly open – minded to accept a new thing that may turn your innovation useless?

I enjoyed reading this book, I really did. If you ask me, it’s not going to help you innovate more – of course not. But, all in all, it helps you in creating an attitude towards innovation. I guess that, from now on, I’ll treat innovation in a different way.

Disclaimer: I received a free ebook for review purposes.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

by Dan Zarella and Alison Zarrella

Dan Zarella, Alison ZarellaWhen I started reading this book I had something different in mind. Coming from a marketing background and being a heavy social media user, I was looking for a book with great Facebook tips. This book does not do that; yet, it is a great book if you start working on Facebook marketing.

The Facebook Marketing Book, by Dan Zarella and Alison Zarella,  acts as the foundation for your Facebook marketing strategy. Everything, including Profiles, Pages, Groups, Events are described extensively and, although I am not a fan of that, I have to agree that they are extremely useful for an average social media user.

Then, you have the second part – now we move on to the kind of knowledge needed for a social media marketer, which is the part that interests me most. And here you have the book’s weak point. Some chapters are really interesting, yet are covered in so few pages. ROI and especially analytics are things that every marketer should know, and there’s no detail on that (let alone Facebook analytics and their integration to Google analytics, which is one of the most valuable things for marketers).

Summarizing: the book is a great starting point. It contains all the basic knowledge you need (you can understand it even if you’ve started using Facebook 2 weeks ago) plus some extra tips that will help you through your first steps into the world of Facebook. However, if you look for some pro knowledge, you will have to go online after you read this book and search for more. But that’s fair – you don’t expect to get full knowledge of a $50bn trend in less than 300 pages.

Disclosure: I received a free ebook for review purposes.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

by Dan Zarella and Alison Zarrella