I’ve had a lot of exposure to different computer programming books, and I’ve learned to really like those published by O’Reilly Books. Their information is clear and concise without being loaded down with the useless fluff found in other publishers’ products. A majority of what I know about programming languages came from O’Reilly books.
As a matter of disclosure, I must admit that this glowing endorsement is not entirely unsolicited. O’Reilly just started a new “Win your wish list” promotion, where they ask book-starved geeks like me how we would spend $500 on their site. The rule is that to qualify, I have to post my wish list for the world to see.
So this post is my entry into the vast pool of geeks who’d each like $500 worth of computer books. I know that I become part of a viral promotion that will only cost them a few bucks, but I wouldn’t put out this effort if I didn’t genuinely feel their books are worthwhile.
My “wish list” is after the jump. In the likely event that my entry doesn’t get picked in the random drawing: If you have any of these books and you don’t need it any more, I’ll be glad to take it off your hands. 🙂
It looks like my list can be divided into two groups: web programming and Apple programming. The latter group could be further divided into books on developing for Macs and for iDevices (my word to collectively describe the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch).
In the web development category:
- HTML & CSS: The Good Parts
- CSS Cookbook, Third Edition
- PHP Cookbook, Second Edition
- MySQL Cookbook, Second Edition
- jQuery Cookbook
I look back to see that all but one entry is a “Cookbook”, and the other is kinda cookbook-ish. They fill a gap in the spectrum between beginner books and references. Rather than teach you how to put “Hello, world” on a screen, or describe every parameter of every function, these books illustrate the tricks and hacks that make real and useful things happen.
Before we get to the Apple books, I found a couple that might help us in media production:
These books can help us reaffirm what we’re doing right, correct what we’re doing wrong, and inspire new ideas on how to do impossible things easily.
To hack the Mac:
I’ve been working with AppleScript since the 90’s and could use a more up-to-date reference. The other book provides the necessary foundation for learning the language of Apple programming (Objective-C) and its development environment (Cocoa), whether it’s for the Mac or for iDevices. Speaking of iDevices, two books for iOS programming round out the wish list:
I expect a broad overview from the Missing Manual series, and the second book (published only a month ago) should supply more of the technical nitty-gritty.
So that’s my list. If I get lucky in the drawing, I’ll have to build a new book shelf. Otherwise, donations to the purplearth Starving Geeks book collection can be sent to PO Box 3455, La Crosse WI 54602.
If you’re a geek with different interests than mine, you can look at the full list for your own books.