Life is a Mystery

26 March 2008

Head first

I love O’Reilly on all kinds of levels.

First, I found as a budding technologist that their books are among the best reference books out there. No nonsense, no condescension. Just information clearly presented by people who know what they are writing about. See the perl bookshelf for an example.

Second, the publisher is a gem who works hard for open access and tries to work with his readers rather than suspect them of wrong doing.

Third, O’Reilly created a really fun magazine called Make (now joined by Craft).

And now, fourth, I discover that they have created a whole series of “head first” books that are instructive, not just reference. I spent six months teaching Alex javascript while we were in Austria and Head Start Javascript would have been the perfect companion. These books are designed for the smart person who wants to sit down and devotes some structured time to learning. While filled with humor, they still require hard work and the completion of excersizes. These are a lot like a book I used thirty (!) years ago to teach myself BASIC.

For the last year I’ve been teaching myself XHTML and CSS. Too bad I didn’t know about Head First HTML.

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Eric Celeste / Saint Paul, Minnesota / 651.323.2009 / efc@clst.org