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Anthony Trudeau

I was approached recently by Syncfusion. They pitched their Succinctly series and requested that I write about one of the e-books in the series. I chose HTTP Succinctly. My familiarity with the topic gave me the perspective needed to determine if their series lives up to its name.

The Succinctly series was born out of a desire to provide concise education on technical topics for developers. The series includes e-books on data structures, HTTP, Git, Lightswitch, and various languages. Syncfusion claims that they can get you up and running on a technology in “about the time it takes to drink a few cups of coffee.”

This claim is not far off the mark. I read through the Kindle version of HTTP Succinctly quickly (it’s also available in PDF format). The writing is good quality and interesting. Each e-book in the series is written by an expert in the field, so I expect nothing less. The HTTP e-book is broken out into five chapters that are well organized and build logically from those preceding. I was pleased that the Kindle format included a properly formatted table of contents. Headings and paragraph layout are spot on; and images are displayed properly with the text. This is not a sloppy port that I see in so many e-books.

The e-book starts with a discussion on what resources are in the context of HTTP. That leads right into the topic and chapter on messages. This is by far the best, and what I’d consider the main chapter in the book. Don’t get me wrong the following chapters on connections, web architecture, and state and security are all critical to the discussion. It’s just that for me the messages chapter is the meat. I will give an honorable mention to the discussion on protocol layers in the connections chapter.

It’s rare for me to review something and not have a coherent complaint. I was set to complain about the lack of information on the other protocol layers before it dawned on me that it wouldn’t be fair. My complaint would’ve been foolish, because the author stuck to the rule about being concise. HTTP is just one of the layers. It makes me wonder how much time I’ve wasted reading filler material in scores of other programming books.

HTTP Succinctly does a great job of providing a foundational understanding of HTTP. It focuses nicely on what developers need to understand about the technology. It may not answer every question about HTTP, but you won’t stumble around searching the Internet after you read this e-book and you won’t waste a copious amount of time reading several hundred pages. I believe this e-book will demystify the HTTP protocol for the newcomer; and may clear up misconceptions for the experienced. I’m excited to read another e-book in the series.

I was compensated for this review. However, Syncfusion didn’t influence the topic, content, or my opinions in any way.

Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 1:49 PM reviews | Back to top

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