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c1phr
Apr 17, 2011, 09:33 PM
I apologize if this in the wrong place, but I'm planning on buying the Jquery reference book from O'reilly and I'm curious what you guys think on the ebook vs. paper issue for programming references.

Probably gonna get it from Google Books, so I can read it on my computers, my phone and eventually, an iPad. Price is no issue (whole dollar or so difference).



jiminaus
Apr 17, 2011, 09:39 PM
I hadn't bought a physical book in a long time. I always by e-books. They're much more easily searchable than physical books, I can cross-reference with a click on a hyperlink, I don't have to wait or pay for shipped (which to Australia can be more than the cost of the book), and I don't have to find a place to physically store it.

The only issue would be if you need to access the book side-by-side with your work. This isn't a problem for me because I have 2 large screens. If you only have one smallish screen, then this may be an issue. Unless you have an iPad and can view the book on the iPad while you work. ;)

c1phr
Apr 17, 2011, 10:12 PM
The only issue would be if you need to access the book side-by-side with your work. This isn't a problem for me because I have 2 large screens. If you only have one smallish screen, then this may be an issue. Unless you have an iPad and can view the book on the iPad while you work. ;)

This was one thing I thought of, but the bulk of my work is done with my MBP tethered to an external monitor, so I have the space for it. I eventually plan on getting an iPad (though by the time I have the money, it will likely be an iPad 3) so I figure that would be awesome to be able to keep all my programming books together at all times.

I'm open to as many opinions as possible, and I appreciate the comments!

KarlJay
Apr 17, 2011, 10:34 PM
If there's any advantage to paper books, it's that you can take it places anywhere and don't need a computer. I had a job where I took books with me and would read when it was slow.

This is not much of an advantage, esp with iPads and other readers.

All my reading right now is eBooks! Easier to have several books open to cross-reference stuff too.

chrono1081
Apr 17, 2011, 10:48 PM
For my programming books I use ebooks for being able to search, and access them from my various machines. Its also easier to have them on my screen beside where I am coding.

c1phr
Apr 17, 2011, 11:17 PM
If there's any advantage to paper books, it's that you can take it places anywhere and don't need a computer. I had a job where I took books with me and would read when it was slow.

This is not much of an advantage, esp with iPads and other readers.

All my reading right now is eBooks! Easier to have several books open to cross-reference stuff too.

Yea, for the most part, I'm rarely in a situation like that, but I had considered that. I'm looking at this option: I'm willing to test this first with programming books, which I generally don't read away from a computer anyway. Then I'll decide if I want to move to ebooks exclusively.

For my programming books I use ebooks for being able to search, and access them from my various machines. Its also easier to have them on my screen beside where I am coding.

That was a major reason the ebook option appealed to me, easily portable and searchable.

notjustjay
Apr 18, 2011, 12:17 AM
Call me old fashioned, but there's something about paper that I still prefer over eBooks in many situations. One advantage is you can glance at large portions of the document at the same time (by flipping around and skimming) and you can even separate a printed document and compare things side by side if needed. You can also highlight, underline, and take notes on the page.

I find myself using both on a day to day basis (well, not eBooks per se, but PDF versions of documents). I'll print out a software design document, for example, which describes in detail the stuff I'm programming or working on, for the reasons I mentioned above -- it's very handy to be able to circle something or jot down notes. On the other hand, there are a few reference documents I use on a regular basis and I like to pull up the PDF and search for specific terms.

wlh99
Apr 18, 2011, 12:45 AM
For me, the ideal would be to have both. I often reference documentation while coding, and having a searchable version on a second monitor is unmatched for efficiency. I couldn't imagine programming in Cocoa without it. But if I am reading a tutorial and following along, I have a very hard time doing that without a physical book.

I have only a couple books (not programming books) that I have bought for the iPad, and find them absolutely impossible to read as well, so it might just be me. For me a physical book is mandatory in some instances. I can't for sure say why though, as the ebook seems better.