it seems the technical publishing industry has finally given up. it's at the point now where they'll publish anyfuckingthing by anyfuckingbody. although there are many high-quality titles available (you can find a few here), compared to the colossal shit-load of garbage that's out there it's like they're fucking anomalies. there are just so many problems...of which the majority seem to converge on the fact that most publishers are more interested in making a tidy profit at your (and sometimes the authors) expense, rather than offering quality technical material. they're not even subtle about it anymore. even my favorite publisher addison-wesley has managed to publish some of the most god-awful pieces of shit ever written.
let's take a further look...
the complete fucking moron's guide to breaking my builds
ok, this shit has just got to stop. if you're in the book store and any book title that follows the following pattern:
learn (or teach yourself) [insert moronic tech-skill flavor of month] in [insert a ridiculously quick time period]or
the complete [insert derogatory adjective] idiot's guide to [again, insert flashy tech-skill of the month]or
[and once more, insert flashy-tech skill of the month] for dummiesstarts to arouse your curiosity, please...PLEASE...PLEASE...FOR THE LOVE OF GOD...GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE NOW!! just by putting your hand on the spine of one of these fuckers you're guaranteed to loose about 120 IQ points, drool uncontrollably, shit your pants, and start babbling like a lunatic at an insane asylum. these kinds of titles are not helping anybody. i hear you say, "well, they might be good for the hobbiest, enthusiast, or other non-professional." Well...you would be right, however, i'm not quite talking about that (or any of the people microsoft felt compelled to offer a toddler line to.) what i'm talking about is the dipshit who was doing just fine as whatever for 19 years, and then decides, "i'm sick of this shit...i'm gonna be programmer!" after a quick trip to the bookstore our hero arms himself with several of the aforementioned titles and WHAM...21 days go by and now armed with his newfangled knowledge this fool is ready to lead your next mission-critical project... or at least start applying for jobs that have the words enterprise or architect in their titles.
this is a problem. i've never heard shit like this going on in other professions. when was the last time you were meandering through the bookstore and you spied learn vascular surgery in 24 hours? the whole concept is just so fucking misleading, plain and simple. it's like they're pandering to all those people who are so fucking insecure that they don't give themselves enough credit to actually learn something from a book whose reading level isn't so goddamned dumbed down that a fucking 8 month old chimpanzee could read it. i'm also convinced that to get one of these abominations published, you have to include tips, fast-facts, do's and dont's and enough sidebar material to the point where it's so fucking disruptive you can't even finish the page. and of course, you need to end every chapter with classic lines like this:
"attaboy!! you see, you can do it!! programming real-time, concurrent, multi-threaded, asynchronous medical life-support systems really is easy!!"
i just wished they made these books with considerably softer paper. that way i can use them to wipe my ass with and then when i've used up the whole book, i can wrap it up and fedex it over to which ever publisher was responsible...
WROX bashing from novice to pro
what can i say about these fuckers that hasn't already been said? these guys have been the whipping-boy of the industry forever. in fact, they became such a fucking disaster that a couple of years ago they went belly-up. at one point and time they produced some nice titles that were single authored. i remember a time whenever you looked in the bookstore you would see that fucking face of ivor horton, relentlessly stalking you around the computer section in the various guises of c, c++, and java books for beginners. (does anybody know if that guy is even alive??) somewhere though, they just went totally fucking bonkers. they started shafting their authors, releasing material on questionable subject matter, stopped editing their titles all together, and god knows what else. what i really want to know was who was the fucking genius that decided every one of these blood-red pulsating tomes of horror MUST HAVE 70+ authors? yeah, what a brillant idea! we'll take 80 authors with 80 completely different writing styles and with vastly different levels of expertise, and throw all this shit without any editing or proofing into one book! nobody has said anything, but i am absolutely convinced that somewhere there has to be a wrox java title that actually has a chapter from a c# book that was put into it by accident and nobody noticed. this is the level of incompetency i'm talking about here folks.
in addition to the above, i really wouldn't be doing wrox justice if i didn't bring up their cover concept. who had the balls for that idea? let's take what could be collectively the world's largest group of ugliest bastards on the planet (software developers), and fucking plaster the cover with a nice ridiculously large , no-holes barred, blown up head-shot. unreal! after awhile though, one face just wasn't enough. they started posting team shots! some of these pictures are so bad, after seeing one or two of these cursed titles, my fiance almost turned lesbian. (and that would've really pissed me off.)
it's only a matter of time before we see: "VH1 behind the idiocy: the wrox author team"
a preview of bullshit 2.0 BETA
here's another one of the biggest industry scams. the subject of the book doesn't technically exist yet, but that hasn't stopped them from publishing a book about it and CHARGING your ass for it! you know there might be a problem when you see something on the cover along the lines of "blah, blah, blah, has not been finalized, blah, blah, blah, this is just a preview, blah, blah, blah, we are not responsible." some publishers get so crap-happy over this shit, i remember seeing some book that had NT 5.0 in the title. everyone of these little fuckers should have a large outlined box on the back of the book that says something along the lines of "before you spend your hard-earned cash, you should also check out some of the available FREE resources. [show listing of various free recources] if you find you still need hand-holding and nurturing, then by all means, waste your money on me!"
these books are also responsible for encouraging one of the most insidious and moronic mind-games of all times in the software industry...the "you're falling behind your peers in knowledge and skill, and you need to catch up!" this basically translates into, "you must buy this shit, because if you don't, you'll be obosolete!" BULLSHIT! don't buy into this diarhea inducing garbage for a second. resist the urge to feel rushed into buying this shit so you can be ready. trust me...old stuff, new stuff...it's all going to be around for quite sometime.
publishing industry diarhea UNLEASHED
outside of the above, there are so many, many more disgusting publishing industry shananigans. how many times have you read something like, "the sample code is provided on the CD", only to find that this particular title has NO cd! big fucking surprise there... or how many collective hours has the entire software industry fucking wasted just trying to get the "sample" code to compile?? there is also the "nth edition phenomenon." this where 6 months after the 1st edition is released, the newer, better, faster, stronger, second edition comes out. to get the 50 or so pages of the new content (out of usually 500-1000 pages) you're charged FULL PRICE. there is also the "follow the leader" gag too. this is where one publisher has a book on technology X, so now every other publisher has to have a book on technology X too. in the blind rush to get their book out to market, they will release drivel-infested garbage like you've never seen.
seriously folks....when will it end??