View Full Version : Coding Books

06-06-2008, 06:17 PM
Since it's the summer and I've got a lot more time on my hands, I'd like to know what are some great coding books to read.

I'd like a php one (I know php somewhat but I'm sure there's a lot more to know),

javascript (I don't know any js),

possibly jquery,

maybe flash (although this is already quite a big load),

and if you think it's worthwhile, a css3 one.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks!


06-06-2008, 07:57 PM
If you mean books of the paper variety; I would steer clear. Much easier to use some of the online tutorials where you can copy and paste the examples and play with them ton get a better understanding of them.

tizag.com is quite good for beginning, if slightly limited for advanced applications.

Also, you could search CF for posts that realte to the specifics of the 'project' you want to do.


06-06-2008, 08:33 PM
I disagree.

Although the online tutorials and information is invaluable and obviously much more continuously updated than a paper book, and a great reference, when learning HTML and CSS there was nothing like a paper book on the desk in front of me. I think somehow the care and time invested in created something printed made me slow down, take my time and actually LEARN the code, rather than hopping and skipping around the internet to find quick hacks that didn't teach me a thing. The moment of epiphany came when I actually typed in a whole HTML page by hand--the act of doing that made me understand how it all worked and fit together. Internet tutorials encourage a lot of cutting and pasting which, in my experience, doesn't teach much.

That said, I'll allow that different people learn different ways.

As far as books recommendations themselves, I'm not ashamed to say I've really learned a lot from the "...For Dummies" series. When it comes time to learn more web languages and applications I'll look for a book in that series.

06-06-2008, 08:37 PM
Thanks for the reply.

I do a lot of that already -- I guess I just thought a paper book would be a more reputable source, especially when there are so many horribly coded examples on the web (which I began using when I first started a new language but then found, much later, that there are easier, and more correct, ways of doing the same thing). But if people think it's not worth it then I guess I'll just continue doing what I'm doing...

*sorry msuffern didn't see your post. That's an interesting way to look at it and you could be right that it may help you "learn" more -- maybe ill take a look at the dummies series at some point.


06-06-2008, 08:43 PM
Don't use just any old tutorial, there are some really stupid one's out there.

Search CF for 'tutorial' and 'tutorials' (separately) and see what others are recommeded by old hands around here.

One's I would suggest include: (not necessarily tutorials but, very useful nonetheless)

AListApart - different useful things
Zen Garden - css amazement
w3schools.com - where else to learn about the www and html etc
validator.w3.org - test your code for validity.

There is one series of books that are good.

O'Reilly - though that may just be a series for perl.


06-06-2008, 09:27 PM
I also suggest purchasing a book or two. I like books from Wrox Publishing or O'Reilly, but they are a little more dry than the Dummies books I would say. There is a new line called New Riders, and they have some pretty good books more on design and not programming, but they are excellent books.

Books are good because they force you to get away from the computer. Even if you learn by doing, learning more of the context and the definitions makes for invaluable information. I like to read a chapter or two, and then sit at the computer and work through the content again. This way its double reinforcement. Also pacing yourself is a very important thing to do. Some books even do "Learn in 30 days" or something, but the important thing is not to try and do too much at once. Take notes in a book, bookmark important pages, and keep them handy. It can be much easier to look up things in a book than online, especially if you know you saw it somewhere in that book.

I love the internet for learning more specific and detailed topics, but not for large overviews and in-depth looks into a large topic. Its great if you want to figure out how to connect to a database with PHP, but not good if you want to learn how to develop a CMS.

I'd pick PHP because it is so useful to learn.

Len Whistler
06-07-2008, 06:51 PM


I also recommend a book, much easier to read than a computer screen. I reference mine all the time even for basic syntax which I sometimes forget.


06-07-2008, 08:01 PM
The SAMS Teach Yourself ..... in 24 Hours Series from Sams Publishing taught me javascript and Visual Basic very well. Just don't actually think that you'll learn it in 24 hours, you'll obviously have to take the time to digest each of the 24 chapters.

06-08-2008, 04:58 PM
Thanks for all the replies...will definitely check out all these books.


06-10-2008, 07:00 PM
I have never gone wrong with a book by SAMS or Wrox. As far as the learn online vs. learn from a book, I think it depends on the kind of learner you are and whether you are trying to learn in order to fight fires or understand fundamentals. I like books to learn fundamentals and I think Web resources are more often suitable for fighting fires. I'm sure there are many opinions on the subject - just my $.02.