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Purely Programmers

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1hippietrail
Jul 26, 2006, 9:36am Top

I've been programming computers since 1980 when I was 12. I've used mainly BASIC, Z80 machine code, C, 68000 assembler, C++, and Perl. Since the Tech Wreck I haven't worked professionally as a software developer because I don't have a degree. Now I'm doing for first little projects using JavaScript and will probably have to finally learn SQL soon.

Can anybody recommend the best books on JavaScript and SQL? I would expect something by O'Reilly.

2mathilde First Message
Jul 26, 2006, 11:03am Top

hippietrail, did you want generic SQL or a specific flavour? it's not very standardized.

3mathilde
Jul 26, 2006, 11:04am Top

hippietrail, did you want generic SQL or a specific flavour? it's not very standardized.

4andyl First Message
Jul 26, 2006, 11:56am Top

Some of the problems with Javascript books is that they concentrate on doing DHTML stuff and don't adequately look at the ins-and-outs of the language. O'Reilly do do a book Javascript: The Definitive Guide but I don't have it so I cannot vouch for it being good but the contents seem OK.

5Floppy
Jul 26, 2006, 2:10pm Top

If it's an SQL reference you're after, I got the SQL Pocket Guide the other week, and while I've not got round to using it yet, it looks pretty good. It's a reference for all the major SQL variants, and seems pretty comprehensive...

6Floppy
Jul 26, 2006, 2:13pm Top

Oh, and I also wanted to say "hello" and "thanks!" to Tim Spalding, who has honoured us with his presence! As a programmer, I can tell you that you get much respect for bringing us LibraryThing, Tim :)

7hippietrail
Jul 27, 2006, 1:45am Top

Hi mathilde. Since I want to work on Wiki software I probably should look for a book that concentrates on mySql. I realize there's bad and good in those parts but that's what MediaWiki uses for now so that's where I need to start.

8amitkotwal First Message
Jul 27, 2006, 5:47am Top

Has anyone noticed that only one of the "Most commonly shared books" is a programming book? Just what does this say about us?

9Floppy
Jul 27, 2006, 7:18am Top

I think it proves the fact that most programmers are scifi+fantasy fans! I'm very pleased to see Snow Crash in there though, it's my favourite book ever, I think!

10grunin
Jul 28, 2006, 4:53pm Top

I don't see any programming books, unless you're counting Cryptonomicon :)

11turbosaab
Jul 29, 2006, 9:30pm Top

>> Has anyone noticed that only one of the "Most commonly shared books" is a programming book? Just what does this say about us?

LOTR & Harry Potter appear to be the most shared books in every group... they should make that list weighted by default.

12timspalding
Jul 30, 2006, 5:07am Top

The weighted is now showing Programming Perl with 13/45 members, but the sci-fi and fantasy is still quite high.

I think I need to change the algorithm a little, to be harder on the really popular stuff. These algorithms are actually quite hard to write. To do it the right way would require a good deal of statistics—in a group of X members, with an average of Y books, what would the expected number of copies of Programming Perl be?

Anyone done anything like that, or have a book suggestion?

13khrister
Jul 30, 2006, 4:13pm Top

The simplest weighting I can think of is:

(Number of title X in group / size of group) / (Number of title X in total / total number of users)

14grunin
Jul 30, 2006, 9:45pm Top

I'm with khrister on this. It makes the question "what makes this particular group of people different from a random group?", which is a good idea.

15turbosaab
Jul 31, 2006, 10:36pm Top

Tim, just wanted to take the opportunity to say I love the site and I think the programming is top-notch. You've really packed a lot of features into this baby already, can't wait to see what else you come up with.

16Jasper First Message
Jul 31, 2006, 11:02pm Top

re: SQL Manual - SQL for Smarties by Joe Celkio

Does anyone in the group NOT have Cryptonomicon?

Regards,
Jasper.

17timspalding
Aug 1, 2006, 3:33am Top

Me! And I HATED Snow Crash...

18Jasper
Aug 1, 2006, 1:31pm Top

Ya I didn't care much for Snow Crash either. However, Cryptonomicon and the Baroque Cycle are terrific. Satisfying to both my inner geek and my inner historian.

19djmook
Aug 1, 2006, 6:51pm Top

It's suprising to me that the Learning Perl book is the only programming reference book in the top shared books. I would have thought that maybe a Brian W. Kernighan book or maybe one of the new Ruby books or something else.

hmmm....

Jasper: I don't have the crptonimicon.

20Floppy
Aug 1, 2006, 7:29pm Top

I went the other way with Neal Stephenson; I loved Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon, but really really struggled to get through the Baroque Cycle. I found it really tough going, without any real payoff. I made it in the end, but it took some real dedication :)

21Jasper
Aug 1, 2006, 11:50pm Top

Who knows how to edit the group profile? Is andy the only one who can? We need a picture and I move that the camel from the cover of Programming Perl would be ideal for this crowd.

22timspalding
Aug 2, 2006, 1:42am Top

I dunno. The camel is rather Perl-specific. I'm a Perl hacker myself—lately doing PHP, obviously—but some people might object. It would be like putting a big crucifix as the icon of a "religions" group.

23andyl
Aug 2, 2006, 4:06am Top

I agree with Tim. I didn't initially attach a picture because I'm not very visually oriented. If anyone has some language neutral image they want to use I will use that.

24ringman
Aug 2, 2006, 11:11am Top

Ive created a separate topic for discussing a picture. If you've arrived here by the your groups page you may not have seen it. There is a link to the group profile page at the top of the page.

25crowderb
Aug 12, 2006, 1:06pm Top

Back to programmer-ish books, I ran across Stevey's Ten Great Books and Ten Challenges posts, which list 20 books he recommends reading. Any thoughts? Other must-read books?

I've read part of Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (it's nice that they have it online, and hmm, I wonder why the touchstone isn't working...), the first few chapters of The Mythical Man-Month (the cloud quote is great :)), and (as of last night) the first 100 pages of Donald Knuth's Digital Typography.

Has anyone read Knuth's The Art of Computer Programming series? If so, what did you think of it?

26felius
Aug 13, 2006, 8:19am Top

I've read some of the bits of TAOCP that are available online, and a handful of Knuth's papers. I find his writing style to be conversational and very smooth reading - the problem I have is the maths. My maths background is just not sufficient for me to take it in, mostly, and it's generally not the type of material where you can skip over all the maths.

I'm at an age now where I'm starting to reevaluate some of the decisions I made when I was younger, and I'm thinking it's really time I went back and learned my maths properly. If only I can find the time! ;)

27dominus
Aug 13, 2006, 1:51pm Top

Coincidentally, I was reading volume II of The Art of Computer Programming yesterday, specifically the section about floating-point arithmetic algorithms. I think the thing to know about TAOCP is that you should be willing to skim and to skip. In some ways it's several books combined into one. For example, in the discussion of exponentiation, there's a long section analyzing the expected average performance of a particular exponentiation algorithm. While this is interesting reading if you want to concentrate on the mathematical details, or you want to see how to perform a detailed analysis of the running time of an algorithm, if what you're after is to understand exponentiation algorithms, it's just a giant digression.

So you need to have some idea, each time you pick up the book, of what you're planning to read it for, and then you can skip over the sections that might prevent you from understanding the parts you wanted to understand.

28andyl
Edited: Dec 21, 2006, 4:05am Top

I have the boxed set of The Art Of Computer Programming sitting on my desk. It is well worth reading but there is a lot of stuff in there, at a low level and it isn't of immediate use to a practicioner.

My worthwhile list would be The Practice Of Programming, Martin Fowler's Refactoring, The Pragmatic Programmer and Feathers's Working Effectively With Legacy Code.

It looks as though some of those touchstones haven't worked.

29szarka
Aug 18, 2006, 12:34am Top

I finally got around to The Mythical Man-Month this summer and enjoyed it immensely. I also firmly believe in re-reading The UNIX Programming Environment every couple of years.

30serbook
Dec 6, 2006, 11:50pm Top

Hi I have been in electronics and programming for 19 years. Mainly embedded C.
Trying now to do som J2me. Started reading a book called" Wireless Java Programming with j2me" by Yu Feng and Dr. Jun Zhu.

31ggarchar
Dec 20, 2006, 11:16pm Top

MySQL Crash Course by Ben Forta is the best I've found so far.

32andyl
Dec 21, 2006, 4:03am Top

I think any book about software and programming in particular that has "Crash Course" in the title is showing a delightful sense of irony.

33bookgeekmatt
Dec 21, 2006, 4:53am Top

>serbook For J2me I can also recommend Beginning J2ME: From Novice to Professional. I've got the 3rd edition and found it to be excellent.

34serbook
Jan 2, 2007, 10:56pm Top

Thanks! will have a look

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