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What Kind of Books do You Want?

Cliff posted more than 12 years ago | from the bending-the-ear-of-a-publisher dept.

Technology 942

ctrimble asks: "I'm the acquisitions editor for a technical publishing company (not the one with the animals, but we have had six of our books reviewed favourably, here on Slashdot) and part of my job is to determine what books my company should publish. This consists, mainly, of me sitting in my apartment eating peanut butter sandwiches, reading Slashdot, and writing perl scripts that generate titles in a Madlibs type fashion: "Hacking Ruby for Midgets" (forthcoming in July). Unfortunately, there's a bit of an impedance mismatch between my methodology and filling the needs of the programming community. Market research is tough to do in tech books since you need to forcast about a year in advance. So, let me pose the question to you -- what kind of books do you want? What spots do you see as needing to be filled? For that matter, do you even want dead-tree books, or are eBooks and/or online documentation sufficient?"

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i am calling into work today... (-1, Offtopic)

millenium68 (550864) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962872)

because i caught mono

Haha, stop kissing dirty men (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962882)

I like books burning in a pile as a lesson to those who support the inferior race.

Re:i am calling into work today... (-1, Offtopic)

Phil McCrackin (556979) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962928)

dude! mono totally bites weenie! Hang in there and keep up the fp-ing!!!

Dead trees are nice (2, Interesting)

milkme123 (302350) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962874)

I love dead tree programming books. And O'Reilly is the only one who seems to deliver the kind of books i like. I don't want to reference a book on a secondary monitor. :/

no... (0, Funny)

Phexro (9814) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962880)

i'd be perfectly happy with 'hacking ruby for midgets'.

Yes, I want DEAD TREES! (1)

envelope (317893) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962886)

I much prefer reading off of dead trees, as opposed to the CRT.

Re:Yes, I want DEAD TREES! (3, Informative)

Snoopyh42 (555092) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962918)

Personally, I rather like reading books on my Palm Pilot. It's much smaller, I can hold 5-10 books at a time, and I never lose my place.

Good ones (3, Insightful)

drew_kime (303965) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962889)

Anything that's well written is better than anything that's not, no matter what languages they cover and what ones you're using. As long as you have a decent function reference for your language, the rest is all programming theory anyway.

important: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2962891)


I fuck shep.


books with lots of pron (0, Offtopic)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962895)

Add some porn to your tech books and you will have a #1 hit.

Re:books with lots of pron (5, Funny)

Chundra (189402) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962981)

I can just imagine what a doubly linked list would look like. I'm afraid. Very, very afraid.

pron (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2962898)

Personally, I would appreciate a volume of high-quality geek porn.

dead tree books (5, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962899)

For you comment on us wanting dead tree books, I vote yes. I like being able to make notes in the margins, highlight, etc., and taking a book places is usually easier than a laptop or pc.

On a side note, ancedotes are good. Most topics are usually pretty dry, so adding in a little humor can make the books more fun.


Re:dead tree books (3, Insightful)

Titusdot Groan (468949) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962964)

Don't forget muscle memory -- I can flip to within 2 or 3 pages of the section and page I want -- can't do that on a website or with an e-book, even with bookmarks or search engines.

Books about young, willing nymphets are good! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2962900)

Add one of these to your catalogue. Sales will triple in the following fiscal year. CU

Dead trees are the only way to go (2, Insightful)

trandles (135223) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962902)

There's something comforting in having an open book next to the keyboard. I'd love a book on programming for the upcoming KDE3 and/or a book on Qt3.

Definitely want dead tree books (2, Redundant)

wiredog (43288) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962903)

It's hard to write notes on the margins of an e-book. Hard to read one of those while eating, since I don't eat at my computer.

What kind? Zope, and other web application servers are an area of interest. Hmmm, sorry, can't think of any other interests that aren't met by the Books With The Animals On The Covers. Heck, I've got 5 of those within arms reach right now.

Re:Definitely want dead tree books (2, Insightful)

rde (17364) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962977)

I've got to add my voice to the dead-tree lobby; when chilling on the couch of an evening, I tend not to huddle up with my palm pilot. A chunky tome is just the thing.
As for content: there's only one thing worse than humourless books, it's books with badly-written, forced humour. Especially if the book is a reference book; something that seems quite funny the first time really gets on your tits when you've to flick through the chapter for the nth time. So no jokes in chapters on regular expressions, please.

Other than that: the real-life example is far too underutilised, in my experience. How I Configured Apache And Why My httpd.conf Looks Like This and Leaves These Options Out is a trifle unwieldy for a title, but it'd be a very handy book to have.

A short list: (5, Informative)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962906)

Programming KDE
Programming Gnome
Perl 6, it's not your father's Perl
Ruby, for exceptionally tall people
Linux kernel, line by line
Programming C#
Programming for Mono
AtheOS, line by line
Embedded systems in C

And so on and so on.

Dancin Santa

What book do I need? (5, Funny)

PoiBoy (525770) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962907)

Speaking both for myself and many other Slashdot readers, I really need the book An Idiot's Guide to Getting Laid Tonight.

Moderators: That is a joke.

Re:What book do I need? (5, Funny)

unformed (225214) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962947)

Moderators: That is a joke.

Right. For you it might just be a joke; What about the rest of us who would actually buy -and- use such a book?

Using OpenLDAP (5, Informative)

rapid prototype (551089) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962909)

a nice Linux book which covers administering OpenLDAP [openldap.org] would be great. and please, dead tree, dead tree. when the server is down, you need a dead tree to read. when the server is up, you don't need a book.


Books I want (5, Insightful)

schulzdogg (165637) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962911)

I would like something like a text book: 50 java problems. Each chapter a short problem that requires some java hacking to do, and then at the end each problem coded out. So you could hack through it and then read good reference code about a problem with which your are familiar.

I use java as an example, but I really would like it in all languages.

Re:Books I want (2, Interesting)

Jayson (2343) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962957)

Mod this up. This is a great idea for a book. The problems would need to expose the working of Java and not be some random problem. There are great problems posted on comp.lang.lisp often, but these are probably better siuted to Lisp and often involved some novel Lisp feature that makes the problem absurdly simple. Something like that for Java (or any other language) would be great. Any there any out there for other languages already?


Re:Books I want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2962980)

Microsoft Press had one for MFC [amazon.com] . It's actually pretty good. Out of print now, though.

Re:Books I want (-1)

Klerck (213193) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962962)

Even Spanish?

Sounds like this... (4, Informative)

ragnar (3268) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962986)

The Java Cookbook [oreilly.com] sounds like what you are looking for. I own it and really enjoy it.

Here ya' go (5, Informative)

devphil (51341) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962996)

Essential C++ by Herb Sutter.

The comp.lang.c++.moderated newsgroup ran a series of problems from the moderately thoughtful to the downright fugly, entitled "Guru of the Week" and contributed to by the best of the online C++ community. About 50 of the GotW article were then pulled into a book and published.

For C++ in general, get everything (right now, about 8 books) from the new "C++ In-Depth" series. Stroustrup is the series editor; Essential is one of the titles. The idea behind the series is to get away from the massive 1200-page MFC tomes meant solely to generate revenue for the publisher; all books in the In-Depth series must be less than 300 pages long (main body). Short, clear, and to the point.

Re:Books I want (1)

0WaitState (231806) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963012)

"Practical Java" by Peter Haggar does some of this. I find it almost as useful as the second Scott Meyer "Effective C++" book.

For the general problem, hacking, solution case, "Programming Pearls" (Richard Bennett?) is good.

Online books... (1)

sammy.lost-angel.com (316593) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962913)

I'm not sure if online "books" are a good reference. But take PHP's web site, it is TERRIFIC for finding information about programming. It is thorough, with examples of everything. I think a lot of languages could use resources like that on the web too, and it would be nice to have one central location for a series of languages. I know there are some decent sites out there, but I haven't found one that has really stuck out as being a really good programming reference site for "all my needs".

Re:Online books... (1)

Antipop (180137) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963008)

Yes! PHP's online manual is great. The function reference is the most useful online reference tool I've ever used. Everyone says "dead tree" or "online" why not both? I would gladly pay $5 more for a dead tree programming manual if it can with a CD of something similiar to php.net/manual.

A book by John Carmack! (2)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962914)

Or at least one with heavy input from him.

It doesn't matter *what* topic. Whatever he wants you to write about.

He can talk about hardware design.
Software design.
Cross platform design.
Graphics trends.
Project management.

I'd be interested.

Re:A book by John Carmack! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2962999)

You forgot:

hydrogen peroxide rocket design
hydrogen peroxide "rotary" engine design
usb/serial control
more on why win me
working with stainless steel
the goods and bads of tzm

Ebooks ! (1)

jpt.d (444929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962916)

I have only ever bought one thing from the animal publisher, and that was perl stuff. They are good books.

I also have an ebook from microsoft in chm format for MFC that has been quite helpful for my MFC class.

An oracle book in pdf format has been almost as useful too.

The kinds of books I would like are programming books that are similar to the animal books in how they are written. Maybe use plants (invision... a venus fly trap on the cover of a .Net book).

Give the option of buying the dead tree book or ebook. Always put the ebook in the dead tree book too.

yeah-right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2962919)

we have had six of our books reviewed favourably, here on Slashdot.
Uhm, links?
Why all the secrecy?
I don't see either co's name or one single link in the whole article, or the section marked "links" that appears next to it as a slashbox...
Support the AC initiative. Copy this message when posting insightfully or wittily as AC.

how-to books (4, Funny)

mr.ska (208224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962920)

I'd like a book on how to forecast the needs of the technology sector about a year in advance. ; )

Complete references (1)

c0d3r (156687) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962922)

Complete, dead tree, references work the
best with a quick paced tutorial.


jakarta books? (2, Insightful)

tongue (30814) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962923)

I don't know about anyone else, but I would really like to see a 1 or 2 volume set on the various components of the jakarta [apache.org] project and how they fit together, especially in a practical enterprise.

Dead Trees! Dead Trees! (1)

Foggy Tristan (220356) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962925)

Count me on the dead tree bandwagon. Electronic format has the convenience of portability...I don't need to worry about bringing the book with me when traveling, but printed matter is singificantly easier to pore through or skim through and actually read the material.

My preference would actually be, if a CD is included anyway, also include an electronic copy of the book.

Another Vote For Dead Trees (2)

SnatMandu (15204) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962927)

Dead trees are still the best read-only medium for text I've found. I stare at the screen enough, some nice non-backlit paper is a welcome change.

I buy about two book per year. Generally, I like books that offer a little theory. I've been programming for a while, and a book on "language X" isn't so interesting, while "Some Application with Language X" is nice because then I get to learn some theory while gaining an understanding of a the language.

OK here goes... :) (3, Insightful)

mrroot (543673) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962929)

1. Learning VB.Net for Java Programmers
2. Migrating from Linux to Windows .Net Server
3. basically anything on .Net

ebooks (3, Insightful)

HuskyDog (143220) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962930)

I think that it would be safe to say that most slashdot readers aren't interested in any sort of ebook unless they can at the very least read it under Linux. If you read /. lots you can't have failed to notice considerable 'disquiet' at the appearance of ebooks which restrict things like fair use and the right to first sale.

Speaking personally, I am more than happy to continue buying the occasional dead tree computer book, provided that it is really up to date (not easy with fast moving topics like Linux).

something to keep tabs on those jakarta people (2, Insightful)

demian031 (466963) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962931)

i use struts [http://jakarta.apache.org/struts/index.html] a lot and there isn't any good documentation out there.

there are a lot of exciting things going on with the jakarta people, we need more documentation on that stuff, including ant, jMeter, log4j, tomcat, etc...

this [http://www.rickhightower.com/JavaXPToolkit/] book does a pretty good job but we need more.

Groove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2962932)

How about a Groove book? http://www.grove.net

They have an awesome api, and it looks like MS may include it in a future OS.

What I really really want... (-1)

ReluctantBadger (550830) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962933)

"do you even want dead-tree books, or are eBooks and/or online documentation sufficient?" What I really want is to be locked in a sauna with Myleene from Hear'say, Jo from S Club 7 and Edele from B*witched. Can that be arranged?

More pictures less words (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2962934)

Anything with lots of Angelina Joli pictures, Natalie Portman, Christina Agulera, Britny Spears.

More skin, less crap. Use some sort of non-stick paper too.

THINNER books (5, Insightful)

Jetson (176002) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962935)

I'm getting tired of having to choose between a $75 book with 1200 pages and a $70 book with 1150 pages. Whatever happened to concise text? Doesn't anyone at the publisher actually try to carry these monsters around any more? Let's get back to basics and not have any more of these 2 kilogram wonders with 18 faces on the cover....

50 lb UNIX manual... (1)

shaldannon (752) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962963)

is an old cliche...so I don't think 1200 page books are exactly a new innovation...although O'Reilly seems to avoid it most of the time.

One topic of interest... (1)

nixadmin (553533) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962936)

I'd like to see some more clearly written, in-depth books on streaming media administration, particularly on-the-fly encoding and distribution using Windows 2000 Server as the platform. PS e-books suck! : )

Give me a dead tree book... (2, Funny)

flogger (524072) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962939)

Some of my best research is done while I'm on the john. I can sit and relax and go through a reference manual without any interuptions. My wife won't let me take a computer into the bathroom to do research.

why not both??? (1)

Zurk (37028) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962940)

i want books in both dead tree AND electronic format. why not bundle a nice CDROM with the book which gives it in an easy electronic reference ? im paying 50 bucks for the book...do me a favour and slip it in a $1 cdrom too.

Keep the books coming (2, Insightful)

jub (10089) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962943)

I love the dead tree editions. Online manuals (the PHP manual is the best example i've seen) are fantastic, but only when i'm sitting at the computer online.

There are lots of times when i just want to see some good examples of code use, and that can be really hard to find online.

plus, i don't have a network connection in the bathroom...

Bioinformatics (2, Interesting)

perlchimp (263475) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962944)

I would like to see some more in depth books about programming, bioinformatics and statistics. So far, the only books out there - that I know about - are pretty basic.

Technical Management Configuration (4, Interesting)

0WaitState (231806) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962948)

A book on how to configure management would be useful. By "configure management", I mean:

-describe typical management structures
-explore how decisions are made
-attempt to aggregate and parametrize hierarchical processes, such that one can start referring to them by their "Pattern"-name shorthand.
-discuss what the managed can and cannot do to influence these decision-making structures.

I want to see: (5, Funny)

Chundra (189402) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962952)

1. Teach yourself ANSI Common LISP in 24 hours.
2. The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Linux Kernel Internals.
3. Assembly language for Dummies
4. Giving yourself a Enterprise Java Enema.

What I want (3, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962954)

And I know it's not easy. First off, Dead Tree is good. sometimes just a break for the eyes, sometimes just the security of knowing it won't go down.

What I want is the Linux Application Guide. Basically, a book that says "Here are the major Word Processors. These are the key features of each. We suggest you decide based on whether you need to do this, that or the other." Ditto browsers, Desktops, mail clients, DVD players, Instant Messaging, p2p.

Basically, I use Linux. I use KDE because I tried it and I like it. pine because I tried it and liked it. Ditto Konq, Kword, mplayer, and others. They may or may not be the best there is. They're just the first I tried that was good enough. So... help me pick my applications.

I know you don't write the books... but I've been waiting for that book, and haven't heard anything about it. I know there are problems -- time frame, distro, etc. Just try to make it distro-independent, maybe list easy distros for each app. Also, it would need a brief bit about configuration. I'm thinking two to three pages per app plus a couple screen shots. Order of five to ten apps in less than a dozen categories.

Something I haven't seen yet (1)

allism (457899) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962955)

...is a book on how to convert a Windows user to a *nix user, and vice-versa. Not just how to convert the box, but everything someone would need to know to make the transition quick and easy (commands, if you use this app in Windows then you're gonna want to use this app, etc.). I think this would come in especially handy if you included info for sysadmins on how to convert networks.

Maybe I'm wrong and there's already a good book out there like this.

Hey, since I suggested this, do I have the intellectual property [slashdot.org] rights for the book? Woohoo! Royalties!

Oh, and... (-1, Offtopic)

allism (457899) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962983)

I really like dead trees.

Pocket code example books (5, Interesting)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962956)

What *I* want are "pocket" ie small books with clear-cut examples of useable code. I switch between Perl, C, C++, Java, etc all the time, and it get frustrating when you forget a certain syntax or way of doing something. Either ONE book with lots of basic syntax examples, or many small books for each language!

I know LOTS of CS students who would buy them.

Jakarta books, Extreme Programming (0)

rapid prototype (551089) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962959)

I would like to see a book on some of the Jakarta [apache.org] projects, specifically: Ant [apache.org] , Velocity [apache.org] , and Turbine [apache.org] .

also a book about JUnit [junit.org] , especially if you can tie it in with Ant, etc, using real examples of setting it all up.

and again, dead tree, please, until that whole 'digital paper' thing pans out.


Short, specific, inexpensive, and (5, Insightful)

SnapShot (171582) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962960)

Short, specific, inexpensive, and if it claims to teach me anything in 24 hours, 1 week, 1 month, or even in 10 easy steps I'm not going to buy it.

If it claims to be a "Bible". I'm not going to buy it.

If it has source code it had better come with a CD or a link to a well-designed and fast web site.

If it doesn't have source code, I'd rather save $5 and not get a CD instead of getting a CD with demo software that is already 6 monthes out-of-date by the time the book is published.

Also, any book that begins with a "history of the computer" introduction goes back on the shelf down at Borders.

Well... (1)

antisocial77 (74255) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962966)

1. A book on how not to smash the SCO box in the next room with an axe whenever I type in a command that is supposed to be there, that there is a man page for, yet the command comes up not found.

2. A book on why I suck at the Debian installs.

Also, dead trees please. I dun wanna get caught without an O'Reily refrence at some point because I'm a dumbash and forgot to replace/recharge the batteries on my palm. Books never run low on batteries.

Dead pixel books vs. Dead tree books (1)

crush (19364) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962968)

I personally still find dead tree books preferrable to any e-books that I've experienced. I think mostly it's to do with the fact that my largest monitors are only 17" and that just doesn't cut it for relaxed viewing with a full page displayed in a decent font.

I wonder if there are physiological limits to vision/comprehension that have pushed us toward the current sizes of books (apart from the fact that we can't see in infra-red and with greater acuity!). I remember reading about "saccades" which are apparently the chunks of text-lines that our brains like to take in at one go (revealed through studying people's eyeball movement: it happens in discrete jumps across the text instead of being a smooth word-to-word progression).

Also, if I'm buying an e-book I expect it to be significantly cheaper due to the fact that the distribution costs are lower and I can't use it on the bus, or at the coffee-shop (my laptop screen is even smaller and the battery goes down after 2.5 hours!)

Language-independant topic guides, and web texts (1)

vkg (158234) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962969)

I'd like to see texts which addressed specific topic areas (say, database programming) in a language-independant way. You could have a couple of languages in the book, and then allow users to contribute examples in the same structure as the book (i.e. same examples) on the web.

You could also host discussion boards structured the same way as the book so people can ask for help and submit updates as they appear.

How about a book on self study (5, Funny)

The Wookie (31006) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962970)

called Teach Yourself Teaching Yourself In 21 Days In 21 Days

Re:How about a book on self study (3, Funny)

b_pretender (105284) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963036)

Better make it:

Teach Yourself Teaching Yourself In 21 Days in 22 Days

That way I can actually learn something.

regardless of what the subject ... (5, Interesting)

blaine (16929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962973)

please, dear god, offer RING BOUND versions of your books! I really don't understand why this isn't a common thing, especially among technical references. Standard bindings do not hold up to the abuse that my books take, and are especially annoying if I am trying to work on a piece of code while keeping a reference book open at the same time. Ring bindings allow for books to lie flat on a desk, instead of flopping closed. To get the same effect from a normally bound book, you practically have to break the binding.

Just a thought. I'd probably own more books if they were just easier to use while doing actual work.

well (3, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962974)

Do you mean technical in general, or programming? The terms aren't necessarily synonymous. Wish you'd said which company you are, so we could get an idea of what kind of stuff you publish.

If you're just talking about programming, there are enough language tutorials around, maybe something on the difficulty level of an intro book, but on software engineering?

If you're talking about technical/scientific books in general there's a lot of classics that should be reprinted (like Buckminster Fuller's stuff, or Norbert Wiener's), but if you're talking along the lines of purely technical, computer-related books, you probably wouldn't be interested.

matlab (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2962975)

Recently been ordering books on Matlab.

thank you (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2962976)

If you can read this then you're reading at -1.
We'd like to thank you.

Troll Network Associates

If I may be so bold... (2)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962982)

What I'd most like to see is a book about general development in the KDE environment. It'd be great if the following were covered:

1. General orientation to the various KOffice suite
2. Programming with the latest version of Qt/KDE
3. Scripting for KOffice using Python
4. Using KParts components
5. A section on database access (Qt components, Rekall, etc.)
6. A KDevelop primer

That's it for now. Even if it was only in a cookbook format with a reference it'd be great. I like it dead tree with online errata/examples/discussions, etc.

The reason why I think this could help is because it would allow the possibility of migrating an office automated with another (you can probably guess which one) Office Suite over to alternatives that are more "free", or starting a new one knowing all the potential for automation later on.

Dead Tree Books Rule (3, Insightful)

geekd (14774) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962984)

I am an avid consumer of tech books. I buy about 1 a month or more, at $50+ a pop.

Whatever subject I am currently interested in gets my money. Lately it's been OpenGL and game programming (especially math). In the last 3 months I've purchased or recieved for X-mas (by request):

OpenGL Game Programming
Programming Linux Games
3D Math For Game Programmers
Physics For Game Programmers
Tk/TCL For Real Programmers
3D Game Engine Design
SSH (the O'Reilly one)
Game Programming Gems 2

and a few more.

So, what am I looking for?

It depends what I am interested in today. Right now I need a really good C++ STL reference book.

I also need a math primer. I haven't thought about math since my aborted attempt at college 12 years ago. While I did get an A in Calculus, that was 12 years ago and I remember nothing. The 3D Math book I mentioned above pretty much assumes you already know Calc.

It seems to me that there are alot of beginning programming books, especially about game design and C++, but few advanced books.

Also, there are few game AI books out there, but I see on Amazon that there are 2 promising titles to be released in the next few months.

One of my favorite programming books of all time is The Perl Cookbook. Now, I make my living programming Perl on Linux, and this book gets cracked open by me at least once a week. I've even seem comments in other people's code that said "If you don't understand this next bit, see the Cookbook page xxx". A Cookbook type thing for C++ would really be cool.

Alright. Lunchtime. Off to Fry's.


My request: cross-platform programming books (2)

Dominic_Mazzoni (125164) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962985)

  • Cross-platform programming using wxWindows
  • Switching between Unices (i.e. a quick reference on differences between Linux, *BSD, Solaris, ...)
  • Linux for Windows programmers
  • Windows for Linux programmers
  • Mac OS X for Linux programmers

Electronic vs. Paper (1)

IcebergSlim (450399) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962988)

I typically despise reading books in electronic format, unless it's for the explicit purpose of performing searches to locate specific content.

I spend all day at work in front of computers, and feel like my eyes need a rest by the end of the day (and during the day if I'm reading the book at work).

As for what content I'd like to see ---- That's difficult to say, except to express my general opinion that technical books should strive to be more example-oriented ) in the future. (I.e., a "hands-on" approach, as opposed to intangible theory / textbook like crap.

Finally, I really like technical books that include a CD with a fully searchable electronic version of the text (so that I don't have to schlep the book around with me all the time with my laptop).

spiral binding.. (2, Interesting)

Mr. Quick (35198) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962991)

although slightly off-topic, i would love a book that i could lie flat on my desk...

The book and the file (1)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962993)

I prefer to keep all of my documents as PDF files and the simply print the pages as I need to read them. I see printers as temporary display devices. That way, I can print something and just throw it out when I'm done reading it and still have an original copy on a hard disk drive for reference. I mostly just do this with data sheets and computer manuals.

A Serious Suggestion (1)

smugfunt (8972) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962994)

I would like to read "Programming For .Net and J2EE in Python". A step by step guide to writing enterprise software that runs on both frameworks, and therefore multiple platforms, unchanged. Or failing that, the equivalent book for java.

Lisp books needed! (3, Funny)

Jon Howard (247978) | more than 12 years ago | (#2962995)

I'm a Lisp programmer (Allegro CL [franz.com] mostly), so naturally I would like to see more books covering Lisp. I'd specifically like to see the following topics covered:

  • Network programming with Lisp for a wider variety of protocols
  • Advanced tuning with foreign functions/mixed language programming
  • Graphics and OpenGL programming with Lisp
  • Sound programming with Lisp
  • Game programming with Lisp
  • Databases in Lisp

I'd really like to find more practical Lisp examples on bookstore shelves.

Oh, and before I hear "Lisp can't do that", here's a short list of Lisp success stories:

  • Animation & Graphics [franz.com] (including Square USA and Naughty Dog Software)
  • Artificial Intelligence [franz.com] (including Kurzweil and Microsoft Research)
  • BioInformatics [franz.com] (including MDL Information Systems)
  • B2B & E-Commerce [franz.com] (including ITA Software [powers Orbitz])
  • Data Integ. & Mining [franz.com] (including Cadabra/GoTo Shopping)
  • EDA/Semiconductor [franz.com] (including AMD and American Microsystems, Inc.)
  • Expert Systems [franz.com] (including Univ. of Chicago Infolab and Signal Insurance)
  • Finance [franz.com] (including Price Waterhouse Coopers and Cognition Corporation)
  • Intelligent Agents [franz.com] (including Fujitsu Limited)
  • Knowledge Mgmt [franz.com] (including Design Power, Inc.)
  • Mechanical CAD [franz.com] (including Parametric Technologies Corp.)
  • Modeling & Simulation [franz.com] (including Boeing and Johnson Engineering)
  • Natural Lang. Proc. [franz.com] (including Sony CSL and Stanford University)
  • Optimization [franz.com] (including NASA and Space Telescope Institute)
  • Research [franz.com] (including Univ. of Southern California and University of Wyoming Applied AI Lab)
  • Risk Analysis [franz.com] (including Arthur D. Little, Inc.)
  • Scheduling [franz.com] (including Northwest Airlines and Ascent Technology, Inc.)
  • Telecom [franz.com] (including France Telecom R&D and British Telecom Labs)
  • Web Authoring [franz.com] (including The Performing Graphics Company and Schema GmbH)

Dead tree is fine [for now]; eText not ready (1)

jsled (11433) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963000)

Dead tree is alright, as eText-reading tech has quite a ways to go. I have an early Rocket eBook, and it's an quite wonderful thhing [if you can find one, get it ... well worth the $300 I paid for mine] ... it's great at dealing with simple text-heavy HTML docs [Advogato, Kuro5hin, /., Freshmeat, &c.] ... and it would probably do well with, say, a JavaDoc'd or Doxygen'd source tree.

It has failed me [slightly] on LaTeX2HTML'd documents ... it works and the content is there, but a more specific conversion process needs to occur to get all the navigation correct, which is really important for the limited-UI eBook.

I'd be really happy to d/l an electronic version of "Ruby for Midgets" if it was _reasonably_ priced ... and if it was well-formatted for the medium.

WRT other themes I'd like to see ... more on general best-practices in programming. I can easily pick up Ruby from reading code ... but a text on how to correctly and efficiently use -- coroutines for example -- would apply not just to Ruby but to other languages as well, including those that don't exist, yet... which helps against the one-year-in-advance problem.

I want a history book (2)

victim (30647) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963002)

I would like a history book. It should cover in detail...
  • The rise of free software.
  • The economic benefit gained by removing the software rent gatherers. Consider a rent gatherer to be a company which holds a protected place in the software economy and collects revenues vastly beyond its expenses by virtue of that position.
  • The evolution of some rent gatherers into productive companies and the whitering away of the rest.

But I expect it will take more than a year to write that...
I'm still working on providing material for chapter one.

Feel free to mod me down into oblivion. I'm just cranky and unproductive today.

Development Books (2, Interesting)

Aloekak (172669) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963003)

I'm being quite general, but I think there's really a lot of OS books out there. How to run your OS, Securing your OS, Being One With Your OS, etc.

I'm looking for more cutting edge development kind of books. XML-RPC, PHP, PHP-GTK and any other web/internet high level coding language.

Give me something new, something cutting edge, something that I can read/browse through, and will help me pick up new languages quickly and make me more efficient.

Teach yourself books- (2, Interesting)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963005)

Sort of the opposite of the dummies. Something that assumes you already have an idea about the subject, but dont know excatly how to go about doing it. Something the reverse of the normal teaching method. FOr instance, im trying to learn pearl right now. The thing is all the books start out at the very basic, and go to the complicated. I would like somehting that takes a complex example and breaks it down in a logical manner. Yes, i can do this on my own, but itd be nice to have it set up that way in a book.

ANd im quite happy with electonic verisons, as long as theyre vaguely palm friendly.

I see dead trees... (0)

murphyslawyer (534449) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963006)

Personally, I prefer dead tree books, because e-books make my eyes bug out after about 10 minutes. Personally, I find reading from a monitor to be a prescription for headaches, plus it ties up valuable CPU cycles. I think paying a little more for the paperback is far cheaper than having to go to the optometrist with eye strain.

As far as what I like in a programming book, my current favorite book is Jamsa's C/C++ Bible because is doesn't tell me how to program, just gives me simple descriptions, syntax and an example for just about every function in the language. That really appeals to me in that I can basically find the syntax for any function call from looking at the index, and not have to hunt around for it. I often wish that more programming books would contain syntax help, because that is mostly what I use the books for; clearing up rat's nest in my head of different langues.

hello (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2963007)

this is a "http://goatse.cx"-friendly post.

A small book on unix/linux administration. (2)

bingo_tailspin (530764) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963009)

I definately need the dead tree version. A small book on unix/linux admin would be nice. Just cover adding users, wrappers(firewall), ssh/sftp, bash, vim, apache, samba, and installing from source for newbies. Less than 10 chapters, less than $20.

what i'd like to see... (1)

riley (36484) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963010)

I've done a fair bit of kerberos programming, and the available documnetation leaves a lot to be desired. What I'd like to see are:

Running Kerberos
Programming Kerberos
Initgrating Kerberos 5 and MS Active Directory

What kind of books? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2963011)

Free books, of course!
Create book in pdf format, post on web site.
We'll handle the rest.

Definitely dead tree (2)

unformed (225214) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963013)

Ebooks just don't cut it. Having a dead tree book is way nicer. I can read it in class when the teacher is rambling on about something pointless. I can have it in my lap or on the side when I'm working on a project, and don't have to keep tabbing between windows. I don't have to worry about software compatibility, about having a computer that works, or whatever.

Regarding content, I don't want a book for idiots. The book that taught me C++ was: "C++ for Dummies - Quick Reference". It's not a typical "For Dummies" book, it assumes who can program, but need a refresher. For people who have already been programming (in -any- language) a book on syntax is more than enough.

Furthermore, a great addition would be a set of projects with increasing difficulty and source code.

Theory is great, but it doesn't teach you real-world problems. And most people can't think up basic projects to learn certain concepts. (For example, using the Josephus problem to teach circular linked lists).

That's just my 1.5 cents worth.

Another one (if I can be so bold) (1)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963020)

Linux-related x86 assembly programming.

The only reference material I've found on this is piecemeal stuff on websites or in a small chapter in an advanced Linux programming book, or that hybrid DOS/Linux one that's out there. I think it'd be great if a book about x86 assembly programming strictly for Linux was done, aimed at beginners.


referee (191944) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963021)

I'd love a new Samba book. There aren't any books on the market that deal with the latest implementation of Samba. None of the books describe in detail the Samba configuration tool SWAT. I'm hoping that a publisher will start work on this moving target.

off the top o' my head suggestion (1)

jlusk4 (2831) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963024)

Maybe I'm clueless, but I think the time is ripe for client-side Java to return, now that the plugin has matured.

How about a book on client-side enterprise Java using the plugin (applets) or Web Start?

Or a book on Struts (Jakarta)?

Or a book on well-engineered Javascript (as opposed to cute hacks)?

Or a book on delivering well-engineered web apps (objects/widgets that express themselves in html + javascript)?


How about QUALITY books for once? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2963026)

Addison Wesley is the only publisher that can be depended on to consistently offer quality titles (although they operate subsidiareies that publish tripe), and I would like to see their standards proliferate.

For those of us who fly often... (2)

thesolo (131008) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963027)

Dead-tree books are a necessity. I don't want my tech materials on a laptop, because I can't always run that. I can read a real book throughout the flight, while taking off or landing, while waiting for the flight to be taxied to the runway. It might not seem like a big deal, but if you fly enough, all that time adds up very quickly.

P.S. I would always rather dog-ear a book than make a bookmark on an Ebook, and resume reading there. Plus, I can read books when I go camping, a time when I don't bring any computers with me.

P.P.S. While we are on the subject: Geeks, think about how many trees were cut down to make all those nifty O'Reilly reference books. Take some time out of your day, and plant a tree. It helps.

dead trees (3, Insightful)

Cecil (37810) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963028)

I think that paper books are the way to go. Screen real-estate is always at a premium, especially when programming. And no one would want to clutter that with yet-another-window.

With that said, it's also useful to make the content available online if possible, as an abridged reference if nothing else. It's really handy for when you don't have the book handy and just want to look up "hey, how did they do that trick again?"

As for subjects I'd like to see? I prefer books that don't neccesarily focus on a single library (everything you ever needed to know about gtk!). While useful as reference manuals, the same thing is generally online. Focus instead on using some combination of libraries to come up with a useful working environment for whatever it is you're aiming for, be that quick apps, huge apps, games, or what have you.

I want hemp books! (5, Funny)

jordan_a (139457) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963029)

Personally I'd like to have hemp paper books. Hemp paper is of exceptional quality and a tonne of hemp will make much more paper then a tonne of dead trees.

That and I'd love to see some idiot try to smoke a book.

More Old CPU Manuals (0)

mobydill (218466) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963031)

Things like old 6502 and Z80 opcode manuals are pretty scarce. I know lots of aspiring young engineers could use them. Just an idea, because many of the useful ones are out of print and unavailable. I realize most of the info is available online, but there's really nothing like a nice hard copy.

J2EE books (3, Insightful)

ragnar (3268) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963032)

Personally, I would really like to see a J2EE book that isn't written like a doctoral thesis nor like a primer for manager's who don't code. The ideal J2EE book would have install guides for setting up Tomcat, Jboss and Postgresql. These are tools anyone can freely obtain and use. The books I've seen thus far have left me dizzy, not entirely sure how to apply the knowledge, and I've been programming in Java for over 7 years. Go figure?

The only eBooks I want... (1)

gtada (191158) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963035)

... are free. I can read a dead-tree book for hours, but trying to read off of a monitor is so tiring that it's usually a last resort. I agree with the other post that I like being able to put notes in the margins, highlight passages, etc. And IMHO I think there is something about having a tangible object that you can't replace.

However, eBooks are useful at times. If they include added chapters I'll download them. And I like being able to search eBooks. Sometimes it's faster than using the index or scanning through a hundred pages. So how about this: why not offer both? Bruce Eckel has many of his books available online as well (Thinking in Java, etc.). The online version usually has typo's corrected, and that's useful especially in a computer book.

Dead trees and Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2963037)

Dead trees are a *big* plus. All preceding comments suffice in that area.

Topics? Let's see, forecasting for the next year, I can see a need for something centered around CIL (that's the M$ reference).

My personal wish is to see a series on doing a number of technilogical things "from scratch" like building a PC (with many of the chioces for hardware and interfaces noted throughout), installing a free OS (installing _GNU/Linux_ as opposed to RedHat, SuSE, or Mandrake -- answering the question "if I don't want a standard distribution, how do I start from scratch ... maybe even "building your own OS distribution"), building an OS (like how the BSDs and Linux are built, what things they take into consideration...).

Here's an idee -- if ArsTechnica is for the semi-expert, how about [nearly-]identical subjects for the semi-st00pid?

I'll read E books (1)

Bobtree (105901) | more than 12 years ago | (#2963038)

when they are on E paper.

Until then, it's dead trees all the way. The *tactile* experience is the key to our dead-tree attachment. When you can have the same feel from an E book because it's in our preferred form factor, and the E-ness is a benefit instead of a pain, then they'll sell.
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