Recently in Books Category

One more free Ruby on Rails book

| No Comments | No TrackBacks | ,

This book looks like one of the best Ruby on Rails book I've seen so far. It's probably more an introductionary one, but seems pretty solid. Hey Amazon marks it as [ILLUSTRATED] book :)

Anyway if Sitepoint lets you download it for free, why not. And if you prefer dead-tree copy, get $10 discount. The giveaway expires in 54 days.

Btw, don't you think Patrick Lenz should change his photo on this page? Come on Patrick, Ruby is all about fun.

[Via .Avery Blog]

65 free online math books

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks |

The Old New Thing Book

| No Comments | No TrackBacks |

From TSS.Net I found out that Raymond Chen, the man who can make Win32 programming exciting, published a book "The Old New Thing: Practical Development Throughout the Evolution of Windows". "The Old New Thing" is of course the name of his blog, described as "not actually a .NET blog". The book is to be available December 29. I want this book.

Why does Windows work the way it does? Why is Shut Down on the Start menu? And why is there a Start menu? Many of Windows' quirks have logical causes rooted in history. In The Old New Thing: Practical Development Throughout the Evolution of Windows, Raymond Chen, of Microsoft's Windows development team, reveals the "hidden Windows" developers and users need to understand. Chen helps readers understand Windows with behind-the-scenes explanations, technical information, and anecdotes. Topics include window and dialog management, performance optimization and why it can be so counterintuitive, an under-the-hood look at COM and the Visual C++ compiler, backwards compatibility, and little-known Windows program security holes.

TSS.Net also publishes two chapters:

Chapter One of The Old New Thing, titled "Initial Forays into User Interface Design," describes why Windows is the way it is. Chen answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the user interface, and tells the story and reasoning behind each tough decision and rule that the Windows team had to implement.

Download Chapter One: Initial Forays into User Interface Design

Chapter Three of Chen's book, titled "The Secret Life of GetWindowText," addresses the complexity of GetWindowText, giving the full story behind the documentation. Chen also explains the compromises made around GetWindowText, and ways to escape its rules.

Download Chapter Three: The Secret Life of GetWindowText

Chapter one is particularly cool:

  • Why do you have to click the Start button to shut down?
  • Why doesn’t Windows have an “expert mode”?
  • The default answer to every dialog box is Cancel
  • In order to demonstrate our superior intellect, we will now ask you a question you cannot answer
  • Why doesn’t Setup ask you if you want to keep newer versions of operating system files?
  • User interface design for vending machines
  • User interface design for interior door locks
  • The evolution of mascara in Windows UI

This is a book called "Working with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005" by Marc Young, Brian Johnson and Craig Skibo, which is an update of their "Inside Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003" book. Really great book explaining Visual Studio 2005 internals and ways to extend it. But you can't buy it. Weird huh? Instead you can download it as a benefit when registering your copy of Visual Studio 2005. Go to Help/Register Product menu item and once you done you should get an email with links how to download the book (along with bunch of other cool stuff like free icon collection) from the Visual Studio Benefit Portal.

New new dragon book

| 2 Comments | No TrackBacks | ,

Great news for compiler geeks - new edition of the famous dragon book is to be published November 15. Updated and revised version, now it's called "21st Century Compilers". So far there were "old dragon book" (aka green dragon book, "Principles of Compiler Design", 1977) and "new dragon book" (red dragon book, "Compilers: Principles, Techniques and Tools", 1986). The color of the new new dragon book is still in question. Blue?

I guess what will be on the book cover?

"XML Hacks" book review

| No Comments | No TrackBacks |

"XML Hacks" by Michael Fitzgerald is not a newly published book (July 2004), it just sometimes happens when your reading queue is implemented as a priority queue and you read not what you'd like to but what you have to. My overall final rating is . That's the first book in O'Reilly's Hacks Series I've read and basically I like this format. The book consists of 100 real-world XML "hacks" - quick and clever solutions for particlular practical XML-related problems.

What I like about the book. Surprisingly it's not only for Linux and Java guys. Processing XML with .NET and C# is covered well too. The whole chapter devoted to XSLT and another to RSS/Atom is just great idea. The variety of topics is amazing - just take a look at the table of contents. The hacks are written in article style - short, to the point and it's fun to read.

What I dislike. The target audience is too wide - from XML newbies to experts, so XML experts would find many "advanced" hacks like "Processing XML with SAX" too boring and newbies could find hacks like "From Wiki to XML Through SGML" too complicated. But for intermediate XML developers it should be just fine. Hack #98, "Processing XML with C#" demonstrates writing XML with ugly string concatenation just after describing XmlTextWriter, weird.

Head First books

| 1 Comment | 3 TrackBacks |

Hey, that's cool stuff - check it out. Apparently, O'Reilly have found new way to sell more books. It's a sort of modern version of the "X for complete idiots" series - actually they call it "Head First". The main idea as far as I understand is to set out material in a form of a story abundantly filled with fun weird (while in fact attention-grabbing) images (which are more memorable than words). Here is an official description:

If you've read a Head First book, you know what to expect--a visually-rich format designed for the way your brain works. Using the latest research in neurobiology, cognitive science, and learning theory, Head First Design Patterns will load patterns into your brain in a way that sticks. In a way that lets you put them to work immediately. In a way that makes you better at solving software design problems, and better at speaking the language of patterns with others on your team.
Hmmm, neurobiology... loads directly into my brain... I'm not sure if I like it actually. We need some brain-access security here!

Anyway that looks pretty interesting. There are only four books in "Head First" series published already - on servlets/JSP, Java, EJB and Design Patterns. All Java-oriented, but that last one:

is an universal of course, so I just ordered it. Check out sample chapters, especially this one - they are awesome.

PS. Oh, and I think Rory should sue O'Reilly for stealing his idea of presenting tech info along with weird images mixed with hand-written text.

Zoological Mythology and Cryptozoology

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks |

Just found - a collection of public domain ebooks on Zoological Mythology and Cryptozoology - Free download, lots of old lithographs. Amonst:
"Curious Creatures in Zoology", NY 1890;
"Mythical Monsters", London, 1886;
"Natural History Legend and Lore", London, 1895;
"Un-Natural History, or Myths of Ancient Science", Edinburgh, 1886.

Just interesting. And priceless for those looking for cool project names :)

Yasser Shohoud's great "Real World XML Web Services" book is available online at

[Via Yasser himself.]

In the related news: next generation of legendary books by Michael Kay are in print already and waiting for you in your favorite books shop.
Xpath 2.0 Programmer's Reference by Michael KayXslt 2.0: Programmer's Reference by Michael Kay

Here is related discussion in xsl-list.

Hey, just look at that:

Xpath 2.0 Programmer's Reference by Michael KayXslt 2.0: Programmer's Reference by Michael Kay

Michael Kay, author of the famous "XSLT : Programmer's Reference" book, developer of Saxon XSLT and XQuery processor and Editor of XSLT 2.0 spec, has announced his next generation books. He has splitted XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0, which sounds quite reasonable considering huge growth of XPath on the schema steroids. The books are not available yet (August 2004), but Amazon sells them already with big discounts.

Once back in 2000 I've been learning XSLT and XPath with first edition of the "XSLT : Programmer's Reference". Four years latter this book still on my table, I still use it (mostly as reference though). Ok, I just ordered those new books and let's wait August. Btw, does publishing the books means XSLT 2.0 Recommendation is coming? As XSLT 2.0 editor Michael definitely should know it better.

New XQuery book

| No Comments | No TrackBacks | ,

Michael Brundage's excellent XQuery reference book is finally available.
[Via Michael Rys]

XQuery : The XML Query LanguageDr. Rys is talking about just published (February 2004) "XQuery : The XML Query Language" book.

Michael Brundage is Technical Lead for XQuery processing at Microsoft and the recommendations are so weighty... I feel I want this book too.



Another reason to visit amazon

| No Comments | No TrackBacks |

Mike Gunderloy:

Coder to Developer - One of the books that is almost done, though you'll have to wait a few months to get a copy.


Coder to Developer: Tools and Strategies for Delivering Your Software
by Mike Gunderloy, Sybex (Publisher)
Book Description

Are you ready to take the leap from programmer to proficient developer? Based on the assumption that programmers need to grasp a broad set of core skills in order to develop high-quality software, "From Coder to Developer" teaches you these critical ground rules. Topics covered include project planning, source code control, error handling strategies, working with and managing teams, documenting the application, developing a build process, and delivering the product.

Hmmmm... Mike Gunderloy, "proficient developer", "high-quality software"... Yeah, I need this book.