Getting Started with IntelliJ IDEA Book Review

If you’re looking for a resource to help you navigate and understand the IntelliJ interface, and are looking for a good reference based on the topics you can see in the table of contents, you’ll find this book helpful. It’s very thorough, and also gives you some information for adapting to IntelliJ if you are coming from a different IDE. But the book will be more helpful to you if you’re looking for more information on the topics it covers in each chapter, as opposed to trying to read it straight through.

You can pick it up now if you’re interested at: http://www.packtpub.com/getting-started-with-intellij-idea/book

Great deal on technical books at PacktPub for a limited time(till January 3rd)!

$5 ebook Bonanza2
PackPub $5 Everything deal!

Awesome news for anyone looking to learn some new topics this holiday season! Pack Publishing is offering ALL of their e-books AND video tutorials for only $5 a piece!

For game development related topics, and for general computer/ technology tutorials/ books, they seem to have the most, and up to date content. If you’ve been thinking of learning LibGDX, Java, C#, Unity, HTML5, Web development, whatever, all the books are only $5!
Only until Jan 3rd, so hurry and pick out your favorite Christmas presents! 😀

You can pick them up here: http://bit.ly/1jdCr2W

Android Studio Application Development Book Review

I was able to get a chance to read from packt publishing, and wanted to share my review.

My overview is that it is useful for understanding the interface of Android studio, and learning the basics of how to use it.

The book explains the how to setup a project, configure Android studio, and steps you through how you would do common things that you would need to be able to do when setting up an app, changing the design, and compiling and debugging it. The book does not give you a complete tutorial of creating an application using Android Studio, but just how to actually use Android studio, and getting you comfortable/ understanding the interface. If you are new to Android development, this book will walk you through the interface, but will not teach you how to create different types of apps. If you are an existing developer using eclipse, this book will give you a head start on understanding the interface, and where to find things that you are used to using.

You can pick it up now if you’re interested at: http://goo.gl/DlNwaf

Mastering UDK Game Development Review

Good book to learn how to create non FPS game genre’s with UDK.

This book provides information specifically on how to start creating different types of games using the UDK, but it’s aimed at level designers, or at least someone who knows their way around using the UDK, but might not be comfortable using straight UnrealScript. A better title for the book might have been “How to create several unique game genere’s using UDK and Kismet: for intermediate users”, because for that, the book is actually pretty good.

The author walks you through everything, and you’ll be amazed at the stuff you can create with the UDK, if you’re an intermediate user, or even a beginner equipped with ‘Google’. You can then dream up ways to customize it, to make the games your own, and expand on them, and fill them out. My main complaint with the book is that although it does step you through everything nicely, there isn’t a lot of explanation about why you do stuff- you would have to go back and play more on your own to understand it better, or have hopefully already used the tools, and understand how they affect your game.

I would recommend this book for anyone who is interested in how to use UDK to setup a basic game of the genres listed in the ‘table of contents’, and who doesn’t want to delve into programming yet. But you’ll have an easier time if you have had some experience with UDK before.

You can pick it up from:
http://www.packtpub.com/mastering-udk-game-development/book

Selenium 2 Testing Tools Review

Great overview of Selenium 2, and how to get started running tests.

The author covers a good overview of what Selenium 2 is, which includes the differences between Selenium IDE, grid, RC and the WebDriver. It is basically a “cookbook”- with information on how to record tests, setup different tests, test new HTML5 features, test on different platforms, including mobile, and generally giving you the tools to create tests for a variety of situations.
If you are looking to get started with Selenium 2, and looking for a book that contains a good overview, and enough to get you setup, this is a great book. If you are looking to learn Java, this is not the book for you. Selenium is used to create automated tests of websites, so you can quickly test to make sure regular updates/changes haven’t broken your website.

You can pick it up from:
http://www.packtpub.com/selenium-2-testing-tools-beginners-guide/book

Sonar Code Quality Testing Essentials Review

If you are looking for a tool to aid with the QA of your projects this is a great book to get you setup and working with Sonar.

If you are new to Sonar, the book gets you started with an overview of how it is used, what it is capable of, and what makes Sonar valuable for project management. Once you understand what Sonar is capable of, the book then shows you how to install and set it up, so that you can begin using it. You will learn about all the different types of rule violations Sonar checks for, what type of reports you can generate, as well as how to configure Sonar for your coding rules.

If you are interested in trying to improve and track the quality of your code base, keep consistent coding rules followed, or are looking for more metrics to document the code complexity, quality, and potential problems, you’ll find lots of detailed information contained in this book.

You can pick it up from:
http://www.packtpub.com/sonar-code-quality-testing-essentials/book/book

AndEngine for Android Game Development Cookbook Review

I really enjoyed this book because it appears to be helpful both to game developers who want to start using the AndEngine, as well as people that might be new to game development in general. Every cookbook “recipe” is something that you will need to use eventually while programming games, but it’s laid out so if you are looking for a particular concept you can find it easily, or if you are a beginner to game development, you can read through the book from beginning to end, and get all the tools you will need to create pretty much any game, and get ideas on things that you can add, that you might have not otherwise thought of.

The author touches upon such a wealth of topics, from basic drawing, animated sprites, parallax backgrounds, box2d physics(with many examples), menu systems, and so much more, which makes this book valuable for the solutions that can be applied to other gaming frameworks you chose to use in the future.

The author even includes the source code for a fully professional quality game, and references which recipes were used to create each portion of it!

If you are interested in developing games using AndEngine, this is a great place to start. If you want a book that will stay a valuable reference in your library as you continue down the path of game development, get this book.

You can pick it up from:
http://www.packtpub.com/andengine-for-android-game-development-cookbook/book

Learning Adobe Muse Review

Learn to use Muse to create websites without learning HTML and CSS

If you have wanted to create websites, but would rather focus on design instead of needing to first learn HTML and CSS, Adobe Muse will get you there, and this book will teach you how to use it.

The book walks you through learning the interface and panels, but also uses goes through many examples, showing how you can create content, styling, and different effects in Muse.

The book is catered more towards beginners, showing you concepts that are valuable outside even using Muse, such as planning out the design of your site, wireframing before creating, and teaching you how to create websites efficiently. You will learn everything you need to learn to get a website online, adding text, images, styling, adding widgets, how to test your site for multiple browsers, and even ways to publish your final site online.

If you’re a designer, and interested in using Muse to speed up your workflow, or if you are a beginner who hasn’t created a website before, but interested in learning valuable tools without learning HTML and CSS up front, this is a great book to get you going.

You can pick up the book here:
http://www.packtpub.com/learning-adobe-muse/book

Learning Adobe Edge Animate Review

Learning-Adobe-Edge-Animate

Create rich HTML5 applications and websites by the end of the book!

The author seems to be both knowledgeable with using Flash, and HTML5, and explains the capabilities and limitations of Adobe Edge Animate, to publish HTML5 content, as compared to Flash. He also includes detailed information of what you can expect from Adobe Edge Animate vs. Flash, but does not require you to have ever used Flash.

The book covers the tools and the interface extensively, so you will become comfortable with the interface.
It also works through many examples that you will need when creating a website or animation, such as how to use different fonts (and the options available), importing vector and rasterized graphics, from other adobe products and in general, and creating animations and adding interactivity to your content.

The book gives you many tools that you can use to create websites based on HTML5 and CSS3, with complicated animations, and interactions that will work for modern and mobile browsers.

You can pick up the book here:
http://www.packtpub.com/learning-to-create-engaging-motion-rich-interactivity-with-adobe-edge/book

HTML5 Video How-to Review

HTML-video-how-to

Everything you would want to know about HTML5 video and more.

If you are interested in displaying HTML5 video on your website, and want to know all the intricacies and challenges, this is a great book to get you started.

The book covers converting your video to different HTML5 compliant codecs and formats, how to embed it on a webpage, and how to handle different current browser and mobile issues when displaying video. An added bonus is that you will also learn how to add custom skinned controls to your video, and how to tie it together with jquery for functionality.

If you’re looking for comprehensive information about adding HTML5 video to your site, how to make it work with different browsers and mobile systems, or even how to skin/theme the controls, this book includes it all.
You can pick up the book here:
http://www.packtpub.com/html5-encode-and-video/book