Sorting through programming books

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Sorting through programming books

okt 29, 2010, 3:39am

It's looking like I'll have to move again, and I'm sorting through books I can get rid of. Programming books are the worst, because they're the only books I've got that seriously age. M68000 16/23-bit Microprocessor Programmer's Reference Manual (1984)? Despite my few assembly language references, I doubt it will ever come in handy. Pascal, my first college textbook on programming? Worthless--and I'm keeping the Pascal User Manual and Report. Programming and Problem Solving in Modula-2? Even more worthless, yet it's my only reference on a Wirthian language that never had its day in the limelight. Computer Science Logo Style? If I ever need Logo, I'm sure I can find some source. The 1997 Java Software Solutions? I've got two O'Reilly books on Java that are from this decade; I can give that a toss.

I guess I'm coming to why I really posted this message: I've got Standard C: A Reference, by P. J. Plauger (1996) and C: A Reference Manual by Guy L. Steele (1991). Is there any point in keeping either of them around, and if so, which? I've got man pages and the whole Internet out there, and in my excess of books, they've been packed away and I haven't felt a need to refer to them in years; but I ought to do more programming, and dealing with other's code often means dealing with C.

okt 29, 2010, 6:32am

I know how you feel - I have a tone of books which a) haven't been cracked in 15 years; b) aren't likely to be of interest to anyone else either. And my shelves are horribly overfilled...

I guess our best option is to list them on bookmooch, in case there is anyone out there who wants 'em.

Re the C books - if you haven't opened either in 5+years, it isn't likely to matter which one you keep (I don't have either and assume they are both sufficiently comprehensive).

okt 29, 2010, 9:14am

Well there is a more recent edition of C: A Reference Manual by Harbison & Steele. You are about 2 editions out of date in your copy. Yours is still reasonable but doesn't cover the various changes to the standard since 1991.

The Plauger is also a very good book, not quite as good as a modern Harbison & Steele.

aug 8, 2017, 10:01pm

This is an old message so it is too late to help but not enough people donate books to libraries. Sure, many old books are too old for everyone but things like the C: A Reference Manual sounds useful to many.

mei 25, 2020, 11:06am

Well, 10 years later, and I have finally started to sort through my old dev books. There seems no interest in them, but if anyone is still on here, in the UK, and would like them, let me know. Look in the Ditched collection in my library, tagged non-fiction (though a few may have gone before).

mei 27, 2020, 6:05pm

I recently ejected my ancient copy of Learning Python, since it targets a version of the language which will never be current again. I actually thought about chucking it into a Little Free Library but on thinking it through I figured I'd be doing nobody any favors that way. I would not want to be the beginner who picked up that book and got tangled up in trying to make python 2 work in a python 3 world.

Probably the only book I have actually recycled in my adult life, apart from a copy of a Joyce Carol Oates collection whose binding had split - I read it on a three-day train trip, tearing out the pages and chucking them out as I went.