The work starts out with an overview of the system log files, why examining them regularly is important, what challenges/attacks may be found, and some of the basic tools to utilize in this endeavor. Babbin, et.al., make extensive use of code examples, both as reproduction of system log files and perl/php code, to parse possible and real attacks. Security Log Management is wonderfully thorough for those who are ready to advance in the defense of their networks. Each chapter concludes with summaries, quick solutions, and FAQs. The authors also include public domain software (important for those of us with limited or no budgets) that can be utilized to guard the fort. Attacks, such as denial-of-service, firewall breaches, html browser attacks, malware, and more are given great overviews. Examples are presented in detail, however, be certain you have your "geek" glasses on!
In Chapter 1, "Ajax Basics" Perry explains the nuts and bolts of the components of an Ajax transaction. This chapter alone is enough to get an individual started with some very basic Ajax functionality in their web pages. Some of the hacks listed include detecting browser capability, posting data, receiving data, handling request errors, and generating user messages. Chapter 2, "Web Forms" applies the set of Ajax techniques to streamlining form usage for the user. In ordinary web applications, the loop from form to server to updating the form generally involves reloading the page or moving to a new web page. Using Ajax, a form can be created that can post data and refresh data without making that trip to the server. The convenience and time saved with using Ajax in this manner with web forms is one of the main contributors to its current popularity. Validation is the topic of Chapter 3, and here Perry covers a number of types of validations that can be done using Ajax. These include validating e-mail addresses, usernames, credit car numbers and security codes, and postal codes. Chapter 4 is entitled "Power Hacks for Web Developers" and has some of the most interesting applications in the book. Here, Perry shows off some of the possibilities of Ajax web applications, including an eclectic assortment of different hacks. There are a number of hacks that involve interactions with other web applications such as Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, or a Weather.com XML feed. In addition, there are hacks detailing how to use Ajax to create large bookmarklets, how to control browser history, and how to create an RSS feed reader.
Pine takes very little for granted in his approach to the subject, and starts with the basics. He starts with explaining how Ruby treats text, numbers, and variables and builds from there to talk about methods, arrays, iterators, and flow control. Each topic builds on the previous information in a very logical progression. With each chapter, Pine includes several code examples and provides sample programs illustrating key concepts. In addition, he provides multiple exercises to give the reader practice in trying out new skills and concepts.
This reflects one of the major drawbacks of the book; it can't seem to decide whether it is a book about programming or a book about Ruby. In many places in the text, Ruby takes a backseat to basic programming concepts. Pine could be writing about any programming language. In other places, however, such as the quick side trip into YAML, Pine goes into unneeded (and slightly confusing) detail. The book would have also benefited from the inclusion of many more resources for further reading, whether print or online, where the reader could develop his skills and learn more about programming and Ruby. Although I think the book mostly succeeds on its own terms, providing a basic introduction to programming concepts using the Ruby language, there are a number of other drawbacks. Each chapter is very short, and does not go far beyond the cursory in its explanation of concepts. There is also perhaps too much code included in the book. A great deal of space is devoted to repetitive blocks of code that do not add anything to the explanations. The book suffers from the lack of an index, which would certainly help someone new to programming to refer back to key points in the text. There is a somewhat detailed table of contents, but it is not always clear from the subheadings what is covered in each section.
Flash 8: Projects for Learning Animation and Creativity is not designed as resource for the development of ActionScript (the Flash programming language). A number of excellent ActionScript books are available that will supplement Flash 8: Projects for Learning Animation and Creativity . Neither will it serve as a replacement for instruction in overall interactive control design. It will, however, provide beginning and intermediate Flash writers increased knowledge and tools for their work.
Technology Electronic Reviews (TER) is an irregular electronic serial publication of the Library and Information Technology Association, a division of the American Library Association, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. The primary function of TER is to provide reviews of and pointers to a variety of print and electronic resources about information technology. Resources include books, articles, serials, discussion lists, training materials, bibliographies, and other items of interest to librarians and information technology professionals. The topics covered may include, but are not limited to, networking technologies and standards; hardware and software; operating systems; databases; specific programming languages; management tools and utilities; technical project management; training and personnel issues; library perspectives; and research and development.
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