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Erik Reppen
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The big advantage of books is that they have copyright dates on 'em. Sites and blogs very frequently don't bother to apply dates to their content or worse, they constantly set a very recent date to make all their material look fresh. Also, authored material tends to be more accountable for stuff like facts and poorly implemented plagiarism where some daft idiot's rewording of other material has made it completely incomprehensible or just wrong. Third, when I read a book, I know odds are pretty good that the author has at least been casually vetted by whether they actually have something resembling useful expertise on the subject. Granted if you're not a complete rookie on a given subject you'll be able to separate the BS from the good stuff pretty fast online but I tend to start with books when learning a new core set of technology for those reasons. I agree with Jeff on the smartest approach being to blog/write for the web first and THEN publish a book version. That way the material stays yours and the publisher becomes a partner rather than somebody who acts like they're doing you a favor. Unless you're behind the next young adult fiction sensation, writing as a general profession has become a fairly challenging way to make a living. I disagree on language-specific texts being less useful. If you already knew functional languages like scheme or F# you'd be in a good position to learn JavaScript in-depth but there's still a lot of nuance and goofiness to the language and the typical environments that it gets executed in such that more generalized patterns and practices frequently tend to be awkward fits at best (not that that's stopped a whole host of folks from attempting to ram circular pegs into square holes).
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2011 on Do Not Buy This Book at Coding Horror
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Jun 22, 2011