2004, 2005 by Marc J. Rochkind. All rights reserved. Portions marked "Open Source" may be copied under license.


More Recommended Books

Books from my bookshelf. If you click through to Amazon to buy a book, I'll send 25% of the money I get to

The Art of UNIX Programming
Fascinating to read. Parts are a bit thin, and some of the principles have largely been ignored in the last 20 years or so (e.g., "Write simple parts connected by clean interfaces," "Clarity is better than cleverness"), but it still captures the essence of what the UNIX culture is all about. The book reminds me of what we loved about UNIX when I was at Bell Labs in the 1970s. For a different viewpoint, also fascinating to read, see The UNIX Haters Handbook.
IA-64 Linux Kernel: Design and Implementation
A description of a 64-bit kernel developed at HP, for those who want to understand Linux internals and the Itanium hardware architecture.
RedHat Linux Networking and System Administration
Very useful book if you're running RedHat Linux, although there's a Linux version of UNIX System Administration Handbook that you should look at as well.
Practical Cryptography
A sensational book, written by authorities in the field. You can actually read it for pleasure! The problem is, it convinces you that this is a really hard area to master, which is exactly the point the authors are trying to make.
The Standard C++ Library
The definitive reference, with a pretty good tutorial, too. Essential if you're serious about C++.
Python in a Nutshell
If you want to learn Python from a short, dense book rather than from a long-winded tutorial, this is the one. Whatever's not here you can easily pick up from the online docs.
Python and Tkinter Programming
Covers Tkinter, which is the GUI toolkit (from Tcl/Tk) that's usually used with Python. (But, if you're using Jython, you'll use AWT/Swing instead.)
Jython for Java Programmers
An excellent introduction to Jython that builds on your knowledge of Java. (If you don't already know Python, you'll want a book on that, too.)
The Java Programming Language, Third Edition
The best introductory and reference book. James Gosling, one of the three authors, is the creator of the language.
The Java Native Interface
The only book I know of on JNI, with lots of essential information that's hard to find in the online docs. Saved me hours of time when I was doing Jtux.
KDE 2/Qt Programming Bible
Good guide to Qt, which is a GUI toolkit widely available on Linux systems. I used it to write an example fully-graphicalweb browser that turned out to be too complicated to include in the book. (It lives on as Exercise 8.7.) Warning: They charge money if you use Qt for commercial software, and you can't start out using it for free and then go commercial, so make sure you're working off of the right license agreement. (Nothing wrong with charging money for software--I've been doing it for years!)
Professional PHP Programming
I don't know if this is still the best book (mine is the 1999 edition), but it's well-written, accurate, and complete, and it's what I use as my main PHP reference. (I'll use PHP and probably MySQL if this site needs any programming behind it someday.)
PHP Developer's Cookbook
Lots of terrific examples that save you time when you're trying to build a site.
Like  MySQL, which is far more popular, PostgreSQL is free and has a weird name. Unlike MySQL, it's a real DBMS, not a toy. This book seemed to be the best of the few available when I bought it, and I still like it. Too bad all the inexpensive hosting outfits support MySQL instead.
OpenOffice.org 1.0 Resource Kit
Sounds like software (which it includes), but its really a book on what everybody calls Open Office, an amazingly functional substitute for Microsoft Office, at a fraction of the price. (Zero is a fraction, right?) Wished I had used this instead of Word for the book. (On most platforms, Open Office is at least to version 1.1, so don't use the older software that comes with the book unless you have to.)
PalmOS Programming Bible
Pretty good book on PalmOS, which is really fun and easy to program. You can now get a free toolkit that works with GCC--no need to buy expensive compilers or SDKs from Palm or other parties.
Hip Pocket Guide to HTML XXX
The XXX is 3.2, 4, or 4.01. A small comb-bound book that's superbly well organized--the index to tags is inside the front and back covers. It's the reference I use 99% of the time. I like the 3.2 book best because that version of HTML is the most widely supported.
Raggett on HTML 4
Dave Raggett, one of the author's, is the lead architect of HTML 4. This is the book to get if you really want to understand HTML. Nearly all other books just explain how to use it.