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[OCLUG-Tech] survey: how do you see the value of linux books these days?

  • Subject: [OCLUG-Tech] survey: how do you see the value of linux books these days?
  • From: "Robert P. J. Day" <rpjday [ at ] crashcourse [ dot ] ca>
  • Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2013 06:49:17 -0500
  a general question for the masses -- what value do you see in
linux books these days?

  as a regular editor/proofreader/technical reviewer for a couple
prominent computer book publishers, i'm occasionally asked to
review a *proposal* for a new book, to judge whether it fills
a niche, whether it sets itself apart from its competitors,
the chances of it being successful, etc, etc.

  these days, it's tough to decide the probable success of
linux books given the wealth of online info only a few clicks
away. in particular [slight marketing plug here], given that
i want to market red hat admin training in the new year, i'm
getting most of my info from red hat's online documentation
here, which is really high-quality:


i just can't see buying a red hat admin book anymore, regardless
of how well it's written, unless it has a novel approach of some

  if people on this list still buy books, how do you judge whether
something's worth purchasing? what do you look for? at a minimum,
it seems to me that a book needs to have the following properties:

 * available in e-form
 * home page with:
   * downloadable source code and examples
   * constantly updated list of errata

i'm sure there's more but that seems like a bare minimum these