I’ve recently been on a major book buying spree (Amazon.com must *love* me).  I’ve run through O’Reilly, Apress, and Addision-Wesley books like they are going out of style.
 
On thing that I am noticing is that new books are not as ‘time resistent’ as older books.  Granted, the books that I am buying are about specific products/versions, so they tend to be very specific, but still, my favorite books are older books. 
 
Take for example one of the best books about programming I’ve *ever* read, Oh! Pascal.  Why do I like this book so much?  Because at the end of each chapter, the author includes a section on using the debugger.  Most programming books barely even *mention* debuggers.  My feelings are that to be a good developer, one must be able to *live* in the debugger. 
 
Another book that has crossed my path recently, but was written a while ago is Writing Compilers and Interpreters.  My buddy, Rick, turned me onto this book.  I am an Application Developer by nature, and tend to rely on pre-written code to do as much work for me as possible.  Unfortunately, I’ve been running across the need to understand more than just application code.  I needed to understand how to write a parser.  Yes, it’s basic, but it is something I’ve never done before, and there are *very* few books that talk about it.  So, I asked Rick about where he learned to write parsers.  This book was his recommendation.  Even though it was written in 1996, it’s still a *great* book.  Thanks Rick!
 
Back to reading!
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2 thoughts on “Oldies, but goodies (they don’t write’em like they used to)…

  1. I’m glad you liked the compiler book.  It’s a much easier book to ‘digest’ than the dragon book.

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