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djberg96 (2603)

djberg96
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Journal of djberg96 (2603)

Monday October 25, 2004
08:38 PM

PDF's and PickAxe II

[ #21514 ]
I recently ordered the book + PDF bundle of Programming Ruby, 2nd ed. This is a great tutorial and reference.

But, what I really want to talk about is the PDF file. It has proved to be a great reference. The page numbers in the index are hyperlinked, so I usually just skip to the index and click the page number and it takes me right where I need to go.

I'd like to encourage all book authors to provide this. It's not only very convenient from a user's perspective, I think it's a good marketing tool. Some folks may not want to shell out $50 for a new book, so you offer them a PDF at half the price.

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  • that the PDF file will make it to the internet, negating the need for anyone to buy it...
    • It's not impossible, but I think the authors would have legal recourse if such an event were to occur. I suspect that social pressure from the programming community itself, rather than the threat of legal action, is what would prevent this from becoming a serious issue.

      Besides, there's nothing to prevent someone from scanning the Camel into their computer, generating a PDF from that, and then slapping it on the internet. Yet, it simply doesn't happen.

      • You can't be that naive, can't you?

        Search for "Perl Bookshelf" on the eDonkey or Fasttrack network. You will find all versions (1.0-4.0, each of them includes the camel book). You can find _every_ o'reilly book on the net, sometimes even before amazon delivers your pre-order.

        You can find an old version (1.0) online here: http://iis1.cps.unizar.es/Oreilly/perl/
        Its actually the first match in google if you search for "perl bookshelf".

        A newer version is here:
        http://www.hn.edu.cn/book/Perl/Perl%20Bookshelf%2
    • Actually, the PDF is custom generated for you, and has your name on every page. If you spread it around at least they can track down where it came from.