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Seventeen pages into _TYXML_, I started feeling compelled to mark the errors so that they wouldn't distract me from the content; the side of my book is now bristling with Post-it notes. Errors include but are not limited to misspelled, misused, omitted, and repeated words; incorrect and incorrectly labeled examples; and bad HTML, XML, and good old English syntax. Amazingly, the book's credits include the names of _four_ copyeditors--presumably so that other publishing houses can avoid them.
Unfortunately, the layout is just as bad. Each page spread is supposed to represent a "task" and contains a fixed set of components: body text, Take Note, Cross-Reference, and Find it Online on the left side, with examples on the right. Not all "tasks" are appropriate for the allotted space, so concepts that would more easily be discussed together get broken up over several supposedly self-contained spreads. The information that's been relegated to the tinted "Take Note" boxes is sometimes essential but more often useless. The cross-references are well-intentioned, considering the strange organization of the book, but if you're totally new to XML and reading from start to finish, jumping around is likely to confuse you. The "Find it Online" links rarely have anything to do with the "task" at hand, and would be more appropriately massed together in an appendix. And while I somewhat agree with the reviewer who says that it's helpful to include chunks of the XML spec, most often I get the sense that these bits were included just to fill space.
The content overall seems to have been written and organized without an audience in mind. Some tasks contain sentences like, "As you know, (BR) just replaces a line break within a file being output." Yet an entire, excruciatingly detailed chapter is devoted to the generic tasks of downloading and installing XML-related software. So it's assumed that you know how to write HTML but have never installed a program on your own system? Similarly, basic information that's covered thoroughly in early chapters is repeated ad nauseam in later ones, taking up valuable space and causing linear readers to experience narcolepsy.
I could go on--it's a disaster of a book, and reading it has come to feel like rubbernecking at an accident--but the near-unanimity of the comments here makes further dissection unnecessary. Instead I'd like to close with a prayer for the poor people who have to process refund requests at IDG/Hungry Minds/Wiley...
1) The examples are obviously wrong. If the authors can't write 5 lines of correct code, they either haven't proofread their work or they don't know the subject.
2) The examples do not relate to the subject matter at hand. To cite one case, the text describes nesting elements, and the examples are all simple cases of mis-nested elements, with none of correctly nested ones. Another case an entire chapter talks about encoding XML lists but gives only HTML 4.0 examples; not an XML example in the entire chapter.
3) The text displays a dreadful lack of understanding of the material. To teach something you have to understand it. This text can't teach because the authors don't have even a rudamentary understanding of the material. If they did, the text would be clearer and correct, there would be some structure to the writing, and the examples would at least be close to correct.
Buy another XML book. You'll have to buy one anyway if you buy this book.
Yes, there are typos, that's the reason for three stars. But I honestly don't know how they could have made the concept of 'element production' (to give just one example) any clearer. There are little balloons with arrows that point to pre-highlighted text and then have a reference to the balloon number that explains it.
So now, two knowledgable authors have been trashed. I've lost most of my faith in the Amazon customer review system after visiting this page.
Bottom Line: If the reviewer says 'I was confused...' don't necessarily blame the author.
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This is one of the worst biographies I have ever read. Almost everything in here has a false note to it. Any Eddy fan knows that the love of his life was Jeanette MacDonald and that Ann Eddy only used him for his name and stature.
Aside from all the untruths in this book, the rest of it is all mish/mash and fodder. This book does a great injustice to a great singer and a fine actor.
If you want to get the real Nelson Eddy story...read "Sweethearts" by Sharon Rich. There you will get the real truth and I wonder why biographers continually support the myth that both Eddy and MacDonald were happily married to others. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Save your money folks....this book is not worth it, believe me!
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The book makes very ineffective use of special text arrangements like summaries and comments in the right-hand margin. Apparently, someone advised the authors that readers, even professional therapists, all have ADHD now, so that they cannot read straight text for more than 120 seconds, and text must be chopped up in chunks that can be given different looks and scattered around. The problem is that the material in the margins is not consistently a summary or anything else. To read the book, you have to keep shifting around from one little chunk to another, and you end up wishing the author would have organized the material.
In summary, the book seemed poorly written and not clinically useful.
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This certainly describes at least two of the three characters he depicts in The Mental Healers: Mesmer, Mary Baker Eddy, Freud (1930).
Sigmund Freud had an early opportunity to correct the egregious errors that occurred in this book, including Zweig's misunderstanding of one of Freud's case histories and some oversimplifications that Freud felt misrepresented his nature.
Mary Baker Eddy--who was safely dead and couldn't defend herself--didn't receive due correction until a few years ago - after 65 years of misrepresentation.
The publisher's commentary at the end of the 1998 German edition includes a detailed three-page corrective text on Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science. This is based on Eddy's own writings and scholarly research done in the past few years. Other printings on the market before this German edition, however, do not carry this text.
Although Eddy's main work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, had been available in German throughout German-speaking Europe for 20 years when Zweig wrote about Eddy, he never referred to her book and apparently never read it. It has now sold over 10 million copies worldwide in 17 languages--a fact that would be hard to explain if Eddy and Christian Science bore the least resemblance to Zweig's grotesque caricature.
Zweig specifically rejected an early biography by Sibyl Wilbur that was published by the Christian Science Publishing Society, because it was favorable to Eddy. He relied instead on a 1909 biography attributed to Georgine Milmine. This was based, in turn, on a 1907-08 series of articles in McClure's Magazine. Both were intended to discredit Eddy and Christian Science while she was still alive.
In the Milmine work, Zweig clearly found a character he could "love to hate," and he enhanced the caricature, imagining her motivations and misquoting her writings in German. Among the misrepresentations were:
1) that Eddy had plagiarized Phineas P. Quimby. This claim has been thoroughly researched in several biographies and legally dismissed.
2) that Eddy came from a poor family and was without education. Numerous historical records shows that she came from an educated, substantial farming family and that she received an extraordinary, albeit informal, classical education from an older brother who was a Dartmouth graduate and active in state politics.
3) that Eddy was mentally and physically infirm in her later years and had a stand-in who appeared in public for her. The findings of a panel of legal masters during the "Next Friends" lawsuit and her founding of The Christian Science Monitor in her eighty-seven year contradiction this.
That Zweig regretted his own "overzealousness" in portraying Eddy is related in Friderike Zweig's biography of her husband. His presentation of Eddy has, nonetheless, permeated Europe for over 70 years in its many translations. It continues to cited as a legitimate source, and is the basis for a widespread misunderstanding.
Readers are advised to look elsewhere for the facts.
Science and Health can be read on-line at spirituality.com. A recent definitive biography is by Dr. Gillian Gill, a professor from Yale University who is not a Christian Scientist, is available from amazon.com. This is a scholarly work of 713 pages. Zweig's is a ludicrous psychobiography of 150 pages, based solely on secondary sources.
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