Library Books

Coming off of a nice family dinner very satiated, so I’m in a good position to do an update. I upgraded to WordPress 2.0 a while ago, but this is my first post since. Quite nice, from the admin side of things. 🙂 It’s even got a WYSIWYG editor, and a nice dialogue for inserting images. The file upload has been merged into the write post section, which makes good sense, but it’s still pretty limiting. As far as I’m concerned, good image handling is WordPress’ greatest weakness. I’d like to upload my image and not care about resizing it before I upload it, or link to it with a certain style, etc. I just want to do it and have it work. Maybe, I’ll look into some PHP sometime soon…. (probably not). Oh, almost forgot to mention, they finally got a real preview! Wow. Bout time. 🙂

So, I’ve been taking advantage of the lovely public library, recently. A while back, I wrote a “purchase recommendation” to the Vancouver Public Library, for The Official Gnome 2 Developer’s Guide. My argument must have been compelling, because they emailed a while later me saying they had the book on hold for me. Sweet! Unfortunately, this was over the holidays, and I was kind of occupied with other things, so I didn’t get much chance to read the book. It seemed quite good, though – definitely another C workout. (I’m not so sure about GObjects, tho. I’ll likely be using the C++ wrapper for most stuff.) Normally, I would have just extended my borrow-time, but someone else also had the book on request! I now await my time til the book is returned. They also have an ebook resource, so if you have a VPL card, you can read the book online. But if you go to check it out, be sure to click on “Electronic Resources” from the main page – the link from the book’s catalogue page doesn’t work.

When I returned my book, I picked up an XML book, but I haven’t read much of that to comment on, yet.

Holding true to my recent declaration of doing something new with my blog, I recently got a CSS book from the local library. Now, a good CSS book is really hard to come by, at the library, because CSS is a relatively new thing. The big library, downtown, has some decent looking CSS books, but they’re deemed “popular,” so you can only take them out for 1 week at a time. And each day late is a buck! Ouch… Anyways, I don’t have enough spare time in a typical week to burrow through one of those, so I haven’t picked one up, yet. But I noticed CSS Web Design For Dummies at my local library, and I’ve been reading that for the last couple of weeks.

I’ve never read a more Microsoft centric reference. The author even recommends Visual Studio for websites! What the…! At the beginning of the book, it’s made very clear that it will mostly consider IE. It’s stated that the “Browser wars are over” and “IE won.” It also has a useless chapter (which I skipped) on IE transitions! Ew…. Almost all of the script was done in VBScript… Hey, if you’re already using VisualStudio, I guess you might as well…. So it wasn’t doing a good job of impressing me, but I kept in mind that it was a For Dummies book, and most people reading it would probably be quite happy with the conclusions drawn. And perhaps, some of them, would even like the IE transitions. My expectations were extremely low, but I figured I’d be able to glean something. In truth, I’ve never formally learned CSS or read any book on CSS, so there were lots of holes to fill in my knowledge. But I’m almost done reading the book, and foresee many holes remaining. That’s not to say I haven’t learned anything. I have. And I’m glad I read it. But I would not recommend buying it. Borrowing it from the library is fine, though! 🙂


  1. For “dummies”, and they recommend Visual Studio!? I would think to be able to use Visual Studio means they’re no dummies.

    Browser wars were over a few years ago. Except now a new war has begun! 😀

    ps: Dez and I have been abusing the Public library for a while now, borrowing dozens after dozens of DVDs and CDs. It’s much better than renting movies, I think. There’s a whole lot more selection, with the only downside being having to wait a bit for popular movies. But hey, it’s free. 🙂

  2. Speaking of “…for dummies”, I saw an *authorized* “Winning for dummies” slot machine in Vegas. I guess they ran out of ideas.

    Don’t bother with the Fast Read section, those books suck. If you sort the search result by Publish Date, the new books (2005) and the good ones (O’Reilly, Wrox) are never under “Fast Read”. They are never on the shelf, and you can only submit a request. The book24x7 site is awesome, but I often end up buying the book because it’s too difficult to read online.

    -The VPL service abuser

  3. Alex: Yeah, we regularly get videos/DVDs from the local library; it’s great! Huge selection of a lot of good movies I’ve never seen – the ones that escaped me for all these years. 🙂 And you can’t beat the price!

    Shirley: I like to just go and browse. I don’t usually look for books on catalogue, because I’m never sure what I want. But I like spending an hour or two browsing and seeing if any books intrigue me. 🙂 I only just found out about the ebook resources! Truly awesome.

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