Thursday, July 14, 2011

Review Day

There are no spoilers in these reviews.

XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0 Programmer's Reference by Michael Kay:
This is the definitive reference tome for XSLT and XPath. Though it is comprehensive, it's not good for learning, and will put you to sleep if you approach it in a cover-to-cover way. The information is definitely thorough and solid, although it seems like the author plugs his own open source libraries quite a lot -- I feel like there's no real need to plug your solution so much if it's the ONLY one out there that does the job. The book gets bonus points for being hardcover and over 1000 pages, because you get a flexor workout as you carry it around the house, intending to read it.

Final Grade: B

Source Code (PG-13):
This movie is like Groundhog Day mixed with 24: mumbo-jumbo pseudoscience allows researchers to relive the last 8 minutes before a bomb explodes on a train, in hopes of identifying the bomber and preventing another attack. It's good throw-away entertainment, but tries to be a little deeper than it actually is. I'd recommend it if you can stop puzzling out a movie once the credits roll -- otherwise the plot holes will drive you crazy.

Final Grade: B-

The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers by Robert C. Martin:
This book is not about showering. Instead, it's a set of anecdotes and war stories about Bob Martin's evolution as a programmer and the key tenets he thinks programmers should follow for computer science to be a true engineering field. It's an interesting read that's over quickly, and I'd recommend it at a 6 or 7 dollar price point for the Kindle, but the current price is over $17. I only picked it up because I was at that information conference last month and needed something besides networking to fill in the downtimes. Plus, I am a yuppy.

Final Grade: C+

Adjustment Bureau (PG-13):
I was surprisingly satisfied by this movie -- I figured it would be some kind of poor man's Inception, but it really stands apart and gets you caring about the protagonists. Be warned that it's less a sci-fi movie and more a romance with sci-fi elements.

Final Grade: A-

Pastafarian allowed to wear colander in driver's license picture
Woman: Hair search by TSA discriminatory
Dim burglars fall through Big Lots ceiling

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