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18 computer books that haven't been written (yet) (third-bit.com)
132 points posted 1 day ago by pbx

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JW_00000 8 points 1 day ago *

Previous versions were written in 1997 and 2003; here's today's.

What is today's date?

Edit: The Last-Modified HTTP header seems to be July 21st, 2007.

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ajrw 3 points 1 day ago

I think it's safe to assume the page is up-to-date. Greg specifically referred to it this week during an interview regarding his and Andy Oram's new book 'Beautiful Code'.

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meijer 6 points 1 day ago

Opera is Open Source?

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sts 12 points 1 day ago *

No. Hopefully, he knows that and just made a mistake.

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martinbishop 0 points 1 day ago

He also seems to think that "most" other languages besides "C/C++" run on a VM, which just isn't true (I'd use the qualifier "some", perhaps, but not "most")

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barrybe 2 points 1 day ago *

Not to mention that he seems to think Lisp is a "newish idea in programming languages"

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derefr 3 points 19 hours ago *

The (ish) was, I suppose, meant to assert a sort of pause and lowering of the voice before it... the linguistic equivalent of a ;)

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wojtekk 1 point 11 hours ago

This guy needs his head examined, as he dreams that "...programs are stored as XML documents".

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a2800276 8 points 1 day ago

Very cool list, I'd probably end up buying at least half the titles if they existed.

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ceeam -7 points 1 day ago * [comment score below threshold] show comment
bluGill 10 points 1 day ago

Books are much easier to read in the bathtub. (Make sure you have a bathtub large enough, most homes have a tub too small for adults to actually take a bath)

Programming books are great for timeless things, or as a quick reference for a lot of data. I can look up the exacty syntax for a module in my copy of "python in a nutshell" faster than you can look it up online. Of course the downside is that book (or at least my copy) is out of date, but it was still worth purchasing because at the time I was using a lot of different python modules and looking each one up took extra time and valuable screen real estate.

For the latest and greatest, the web is better. However it isn't everything.

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jerf 9 points 1 day ago

I can look up the exacty syntax for a module in my copy of "python in a nutshell" faster than you can look it up online.

I doubt that.

           
            Python 2.5.1 (r251:54863, May  2 2007, 16:56:35)
[GCC 4.1.2 (Ubuntu 4.1.2-0ubuntu4)] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import shelve
>>> help(shelve)
           
          

I know what you're getting at and books are more fun to browse than any online file, but if books are faster to lookup random stuff (not counting stuff you bookmarked), you're generally not using your computer correctly.

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bluGill 1 point 1 day ago

I already have a screen full of information. The protocol specs that I'm implimenting, the source code that I'm editing, my email, that little clock in the corner. To open another window means I have to re-arrange things.

I'm not sure why you think I can spell shelve correctly, much less one of the longer more complex names.

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ceeam 3 points 1 day ago

You can buy a 20" 1600x1050 monitor for $250 now (or something like that).

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bluGill 2 points 23 hours ago

True. I've looked at them. However I travel a lot, and a large monitor is not compatible with travel. In the end most of the time I'm using my ultra-portable laptop, with no possiblity of plugging it it.

I use 3 monitors at work (when I'm not on the road) and I love it, but that solution isn't practiacal for most of my work. Come to think of it, a large part of my work involves being somewhere without any network access.

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redditcensoredme 2 points 16 hours ago *

A large stack of books is not compatible with travel. Get an electronic reader. Well, next year when the new flexible ones will have come out.

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bluGill 1 point 7 hours ago

It is all about trade offs.

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uaolw 2 points 15 hours ago *

Virtual Desktops.

I wouldn't trade my virtual desktops for my multi-monitor setup. Combined I have gobs of desktop space at my finger tips.

I'm also a fan of 1920x1200 laptops, so I don't suffer at all when traveling.

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Bogtha 2 points 1 day ago

I already have a screen full of information. The protocol specs that I'm implimenting, the source code that I'm editing, my email, that little clock in the corner. To open another window means I have to re-arrange things.

Most people use a window manager that allows windows to overlap and be minimised. You don't have to keep every window visible at all times you know.

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bluGill 1 point 1 day ago

True. However I have my windows arranged as best I can already, and I'm still covering some information I need. When I look something up in a book that is adding to my screen space.

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jerf 7 points 1 day ago

Ah, that rationale I can also get behind. I've often wished for a magic book-ification process that could take arbitrary PDFs and magically make books out of them, with no waiting, paper expense, etc.

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awj 2 points 1 day ago

I practically have it for now. My school gives me 500 pages of printing each semester and binding at a nearby copy center costs 2.50. As far as I can tell that is about the closest anyone can reasonably get for the price.

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uaolw 1 point 15 hours ago *

I have infinite free printing and binding at my employers expense. No document or tree is safe.

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Bogtha 2 points 1 day ago

When I look something up in a book that is adding to my screen space.

I don't follow you. When I need to look something up, I alt-tab to a full-screen browser window, look up whatever I need to, and then minimise the window. It's only taking up screen space when I want it to.

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pkhuong 1 point 1 day ago

Most people don't want to burden their memory with details that aren't directly relevant to the problem itself. Thus, they'd either have to have both the editor and the browser visible at the same time, or to keep tabbing all the time (short term memory isn't that capacious).

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Bogtha 1 point 1 day ago

If you need to look something up, then they are details that are directly relevant to the problem itself. Keeping it in your head for the time it takes to alt-tab back and write the code doesn't seem like much of a burden to me anyway. And for the more complex stuff, how is alt-tab significantly worse than picking up a book and paging through it?

Don't get me wrong, I love books. I've spent a significant amount of money on technical books. I read them all the time. But for reference material while I'm writing code, I don't see the advantage over online resources. Maybe if you're learning something and the entire topic is unfamiliar to you, sure, a book's better for that . But reference material is different.

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bluGill 1 point 1 day ago

I open the book, and leave it open. I can compare the spelling of the fucntion I'm looking at with what is on screen. (with my poor spelling I need all the help I can get - I can't keep the correct spelling of longer words in my memory)

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Bogtha 1 point 1 day ago

I open the book, and leave it open.

Most of the technical books I have won't stay open. I either have to lay them face down or put a bookmark in them. Either way, it's easier to alt-tab than to take my hands off the keyboard and pick the book up.

I can't keep the correct spelling of longer words in my memory

I don't believe this is typical of most developers. Sure, people that need to copy stuff down character-by-character will find a book more useful, but that's an unusual situation.

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bluGill 1 point 1 day ago

I like to work differently from you I guess. There is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is you seem to be arguing that my process is bad for some reason, instead of trying to understand it.

Maybe my process would work better for you, maybe not. It works for me. You need to find what works for you.

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Bogtha 2 points 1 day ago

What is wrong is you seem to be arguing that my process is bad for some reason, instead of trying to understand it.

This thread started out by you saying that you could look something up faster in a book than somebody else could look it up with the computer — i.e. you were speaking generally rather than what works best for you.

Feel free to argue that a system works best for you , but you were speaking in general earlier, so I was responding in general. I never tried to tell you that you were wrong for doing it the way that you do, I'm merely pointing out that you aren't typical, so your argument doesn't apply in general.

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Bogtha 3 points 1 day ago
           
            >>> import shelve
>>> help(shelve)
           
          

You can reduce this to:

           
            >>> help("shelve")
           
          

Note the quotes.

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jbstjohn 1 point 1 day ago

And if your computer is <gasp> off?

If you forgot what it's called?

If it's more specific, and it's not online (e.g. the content of most of GPU Programming Gems)?

Don't get me wrong, I'm amazed how the net has changed how easily we have access to so much information, but books can still be great.

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ceeam 2 points 1 day ago

I routinely take my PDA to the bathtub. It's great for reading prose and OK for reading technical texts (with diagrams and stuff).

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JohnMichael 9 points 1 day ago

Where can I find "The Architecture of Open Source Applications", say, in prose and in less than the equivalent of 1000 pages?

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ceeam 1 point 1 day ago

Which applications?

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JohnMichael 1 point 12 hours ago

As described in the article (replacing Opera with something actually open source).

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drosser 3 points 1 day ago

Most relevant (academic) research papers are unavailable to the general public, even on the net. I once accidentally posted an ACM paper here on Reddit, but didn't notice that I only I had access because the ACM web-site recognized my IP address was that of a paid subscriber.

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NilObject 8 points 1 day ago

You're right, for the most part everything is available on the web. However, I like books because:

  1. They can be read, highlighted, referenced away from the computer, or at the computer without taking up monitor space.
  2. It's rare to find a website that is as thorough about covering a subject fairly thoroughly . It's not that the sites don't exist, it's just that the majority of programming related sites have individual tutorials for single aspects, not for a complete subject.

So while if I only need a little bit of assistance on a subject I can find it online, if I'm picking up something completely new I tend to look for a book for the above reasons. It's very valuable to me to have something I can work through that doesn't take up screen real estate.

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lbruno 3 points 1 day ago *

My teachers. Ok, not every single one of them. But most could make use of some of those titles.

I'll be side-teaching from the Software Carpentry some of my friends this year; mostly because my Software Engineering class is basically "Oh look! Agile! Say no to Waterfall!!1!".

Funny how no-one seems to know that Waterfall was an example of "how not to do it."

EDIT: Gotta also check out Advanced Software Carpentry.

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lbruno 1 point 1 day ago *

You can "buy" Software Carpentry. I mean download.

EDIT: That would be #4.

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chime 0 points 1 day ago *

(19) Proof of P != NP for Dummies

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almost 5 points 1 day ago

To complicated, I prefer my copy of "Solving NP-Complete Problems In Linear Time For Complete Idiots"

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andrewnorris 3 points 1 day ago

Personally, I'm amazed that no one has written Functional Programming in Scala for Java Programmers .

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martoo 2 points 1 day ago

C++ Template Metaprogramming for Dummies

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mooncoursing 2 points 1 day ago *

Programming Small Devices exists: it's called Small Memory Software: Patterns for Systems with Limited Memory

And New(ish) Ideas in Programming Languages + SICP = CTM, approximately :)

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newton_dave 2 points 1 day ago *

Isn't 10 called Lisp but w/ sexps?

Edit Possibly Smalltalk, too.

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jemptymethod 3 points 1 day ago *

re 14: doesn't it exist already? http://www.ibiblio.org/obp/thinkCSpy/

my number 19: The Web and the Metamorphosis of MVC

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