Programming, Books, and Broken Links

Effective Tcl-Tk ProgrammingSome programming languages such as Assembler, C, Java, and Tcl/Tk have literally been in existence for decades.  Before the digital era gave us eBooks, websites, and online tutorials, hardcopy or “paper” literature was the exclusive means for learning a programming language.

I was reviewing some of the paperback books in our library and discovered that many of the links referenced or mentioned in some of the books are no longer active or “broken” although the books themselves are still in print and available for purchase.

Keep this in mind if you or someone you know is considering the purchase of a book on a given programming language.  The “source files” may not be available for download or reference sites may no longer be active.

Unlike my own websites that advise me on broken links, the purchaser of paperback or hardcover books is left to discover the broken or dead links for themselves.  If you have a copy of the book, it should be fairly easy to find references to websites mentioned in the text and you can check them out before making your purchase.

Although many books will encourage you to type out the examples as they are presented, it is easy to become confused when the text attempts to advise you to insert a “snippet” of code at given location in a program.  If the code itself isn’t working, you are left to challenge the integrity of the author and the text or to challenge your debugging skills and your ability to type everything “EXACTLY” as shown.

This can be a great source of frustration and a very time-consuming exercise.  Choose your resources wisely.

Until Next Time!

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