All I see in the computer section of bookstores today are FatBook
s -- each is over a thousand pages, and full of screen shots and such -- usually with a lousy index.
I long for the days when you could learn everything you needed from SkinnyBook
s, like K&R or for that matter, almost anything BrianKernighan
The rise and rise of GUIs probably has a lot to do with this. For example, here's an extract from page 1 of ManagingProjectsWithMake
: "The command $ make program
indicates that you want to "make" a version--usually the latest version-- of program
". Now imagine how many half-page images would be needed to illustrate the same sentence if the book were, instead, Managing
"1. Select Build --> Build from the menu."
Haha! Right. It could be done that way, but how likely would it be that it were? So, an interesting question is why the FatBook
s provide so many pictures when text like that above would do?
That's how I do it all the time. I think the pictures are there to pad out the book, justify a big price tag, and increase visibility when on bookstore shelves.
It's difficult to understand how anyone could learn much about programming
from a book packed with mouse event scripts. Or command lines for that matter.
Except that command line commands very often are short programs.
I've decided that LotsOfScreenShots
is definitely a bad thing. --KrisJohnson
for an example of an informative and influencial book that is also thin in spite of being about (in part) pictures.