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Beyond doubt Herbert Schildt's way of presentation is unique

Shaji Kalidasan
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 30, 2003
Posts: 9
Break your barriers, Fear, Uncertainly & Doubt (FUD). Herbert Schildt is a genius. I have been reading his book Java The Complete Reference right from the very beginning. I keep on purchasing new editions of his book. His unique way of addressing is intuitive. Right now I have his Seventh Edition.

So his Cookbook is worth a buy. Herbert Schildt, Top-selling programming author with more than 3.5 million books sold worldwide will certainly reveal the world's best kept secrets. Every page will be a new learning experience. Trust me.

Anyway I am not here to get a free copy of his book. He has burned the midnight oil and I must pay the price for it. I will certainly buy the book from Amazon.com or from a local store.

Many thanks to JavaRanch for letting me know about this very special edition of Herbert Schildt's Cookbook.

With Gratitude,
Shaji Kalidasan
Herb Schildt
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 239
Wow! Thank you for your very kind words!


For my latest books on Java, including my Java Programming Cookbook, see HerbSchildt.com
Rohan Dhruva
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 08, 2007
Posts: 183
Shaji, I 100% agree with you. However, I wish I could keep up and buy each new Complete Reference book of Herb's that comes out .. It gets too expensive, considering that old books are sold by weight, and new books are bought at cover price

Herb, how about cajoling your publishers worldwide to have a book-buy-back facility where we could return the older edition, and get the newer one for a subsidized rate ? *daydreams*


Rohan B. Dhruva
SCJP 1.5
Herb Schildt
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 239
Hi Rohan,

Actually, you make an interesting point. Right now, publishing is undergoing a transformation in two ways.

First, as just about everyone knows, the Web changed publishing because on the Web, much information is free for the taking. Of course, Web-based resources often suffer from a lack of cohesion, organization, and completeness. Nevertheless, when you need a specific answer fast, the Web is a good place to find it. It is not so good, though, when you want a comprehesive, consistent presentation of a topic, such as when you are trying to learn a language such as Java. This is where books come in.

The second transformation is just beginning. It is predicated on the anticipated widespread use of dedicated electronic book viewers, into which complete books are downloaded. Instead of having to pay for the paper, shipping, warehousing, and so on, you will only need to pay for the informational content.

One version of an electronic book viewer is the new Amazon Kindle. I must admit that I find the thought of downloading a couple of hundred books into a hand-held device quite attractive. The advantage of such a device is that one could use the Web for specific questions, such as you find here on JavaRanch, but still have complete books available. Although electronic book viewers are somewhat expensive right now, I would expect the price to drop at some point.

Thoughts? I am curious as to what others think of the hand-held electronic book viewer concept.
Rohan Dhruva
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 08, 2007
Posts: 183
Hi,

Very insightful post.
As you say, information on web lacks cohesion - it is all there, but effort has to be undertaken to collect and further use it !

Regarding electronic readers - I don't think I'll ever get used to the idea. Nothing beats the feeling of curling up in the bed, and feeling the pages of the book rustle ! Of course that's just me; also I'm saying this without trying.. The Kindle is not available in my country (India) yet.

That said, I still wish there were a cheaper way to buy paper books .. Something like a buy-back option i suggested above
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8764
    
    5
First off,

Welcome Herb!

As far as a book buy-back idea goes, I gotta tell you that publishers are having a hard enough time as it is. I'd like to offer you a couple of perspectives about hard, physical books, as opposed to pdfs or eBooks:

1 - They are relatively cheap "pixels". In other words, as opposed to taking up precious real estate on your monitor(s), a good book sits along side your monitors so you can see more at once.

2 - They save you lots of your precious time. To succeed as a professional, you have to realize that your time has a definite value, and your time is a limited resource. A good book should be well worth it's price in terms of how much of your precious time it saves.

hth,

Bert


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Rohan Dhruva
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 08, 2007
Posts: 183
Originally posted by Bert Bates:

As far as a book buy-back idea goes, I gotta tell you that publishers are having a hard enough time as it is.



Errr.. Why ? Imagine the number of books returned, the paper of which could be recycled and used by the same publisher ? (That's just one idea that came to me ..)
[ December 12, 2007: Message edited by: Rohan Dhruva ]
Nina Niskanen
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 03, 2007
Posts: 8
Originally posted by Herb Schildt:
Thoughts? I am curious as to what others think of the hand-held electronic book viewer concept.


I'm actually quite excited about the concept. I'm always lugging around a book of some sort and it would be great to be able to just lug this electronic gadget around instead and then be able to choose on the fly which book to read.

But I do think the price is currently way too high for the features. I'm also sceptical as to whether or not something like Kindle will actually work the same way here in the northern regions of Europe as it does in America. UK maybe, but Finland? Although I am interested in the idea of being able to download a new book I want wherever I am.

I guess I'm saying that I'm still hanging back from the cool crowd of early adopters to see the technology prove itself.


<a href="http://faq.javaranch.com/java/HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">How To Ask Questions On Java Ranch</a>
Herb Schildt
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 239
First, Hi Bert! Its nice to hear from you. Second, I agree with your points.

I would add the following additional benefit that a book provides: fast, random access. What I really like about using a book is that I can flip back and forth between sections, using my fingers a placeholders.

I do think it is possible to use an electronic book viewer to achieve the same effect, but the UI will have to be engineered very carefully. I can image being able to use finger movements to turn pages, flip between sections, and so on. Has anyone seen a Kindle yet? Does it allow this sort of natural "random access" in the way that a paper book does?
Gosia Wittemann
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 02, 2007
Posts: 50
I agree that printed books are way cooler, than any electronic gimmicks, but especially programming books are very expensive. I also cannot afford getting a new edition every time a new Java version comes out, even though I'd love to.

I think I'd seriously consider getting something like a Kindle, if there were enough books available, and if I'd have a possibility to get cheaper updates of books I already have. I'd also like to have a possibility to print out parts of the books, because I sometimes need it too.
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 36501
    
  16
So, programming books are expensive? Very few computing books retail for as much as �50 (67� or US$100); when I used to do pathology it was quite an achievement finding a book for as little as �80. The larger books would cost over �200.
Gosia Wittemann
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 02, 2007
Posts: 50
Pathology books may be expensive, but fortunately they don't put a new version of the human body on the market every year
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8764
    
    5
Hi Rohan,

I'm not sure if this applies around the world, but in North America the cost of the paper to print a book is a tiny fraction of the price the consumer pays. I'm totally in favor of recycling, but unfortunately recycling would do very little to reduce costs to the consumer.
Sonny Gill
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 02, 2002
Posts: 1211

Going back to the original topic..
I am a self-taught programmer, and Java:The Complete Reference (2nd edition, I think, in year 2000) was my first Java book. It was a huge help in learning Java with no prior knowledge of it.
A big Thank You to Herbert


The future is here. It's just not evenly distributed yet. - William Gibson
Consultant @ Xebia. Sonny Gill Tweets
Rohan Dhruva
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 08, 2007
Posts: 183
Originally posted by Bert Bates:
Hi Rohan,

I'm not sure if this applies around the world, but in North America the cost of the paper to print a book is a tiny fraction of the price the consumer pays. I'm totally in favor of recycling, but unfortunately recycling would do very little to reduce costs to the consumer.


Oh, yes.. You have a point there .. Well, as I said, that buy-back scheme was just day-dreaming
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 36501
    
  16
Originally posted by Gosia Wittemann:
they don't put a new version of the human body on the market every year
No, but new disease entities and nomenclatures come out frequently. Not quite every year, but nearly.

Panseer Kaur
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 01, 2007
Posts: 44
I personally do prefer books, simply because sometimes you want to lay down, read it in a park or just take it someplace that it's easier to not bring a laptop. One thing I have found very useful in the last few months are DVD and video sites. I signed up at one a month or two ago and it's been really helpful, a lot of the time things can be explained a lot better with audio and video than through a book (meaning general concepts, how stuff works etc).

I don't know if that will catch on and be huge or not but the market is there I think.
Atulya Mahajan
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 16, 2007
Posts: 14
wow this is so cool to see Herb Shildt here! Hi Herb

And i too am a paper-ed book person. Electronic books just dont feel the same. Though the paper saving if everybody switched to electronic books would be an enormous help for the environment!
Paul Andrews
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 18, 2007
Posts: 1
Originally posted by Herb Schildt:
Has anyone seen a Kindle yet? Does it allow this sort of natural "random access" in the way that a paper book does?


First of all a disclaimer, I work at Amazon, but I'm not associated with the Kindle group.

I've got a Kindle (in fact I have 2, the 2nd one I bought for my son as a Christmas gift). I ordered it on the web site like any other customer, no special treatment here.

I'm actually very impressed with the way the Kindle works -- and no, it's not because I've drunk the koolaide. The electronic paper/ink is VERY easy to read. It is small enough to be equivalent to a paperback and has a similar look and feel. A paper book obviously allows you to flip randomly much easier, but you are limited to how many fingers you have. The Kindle automatically creates a bookmark of where you read, but lets you bookmark other parts of the book. You can also automatically jump right to the page you are looking for from a table of contents or index, which is nice.

One feature I like is if you are reading and want to lookup a word, it links right to a dictionary. I haven't tried it with a technical book yet, not sure how that would result.

I traveled to the UK recently and brought a bunch of books with me to read on my 12 hour flights to/from Seattle. I'm looking forward to going back next month with my Kindle. I'll download a few books beforehand but will test the downloading capability outside of the US when I get there. There IS a browser built into it, but it is experimental as this is not it's key function.

Not every book I want is available on it yet, but according to Amazon's web site there is about 80-90K titles available. Plus there are a bunch of free stuff at guttenberg.org and other sites.

Yes, it's expensive (I told you that I bought 2 of them), but not if you compare it to something like an iPod. Besides, I'm looking at saving a ton of $$$ because the ebooks are cheaper with most books being $9.99USD or less.

-Paul
 
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