I’m possession of some old programming books:
- Ajax (published 2006)
- PHP 5.2
- Python 1.5
I’m looking a disposing them, but before I do so is there any value in handing them on to someone learning to programme in theses languages or will it only confuse them as the languages have moved on? I’m not a programmer.
My opinion is they are not worth passing on. If they were more general focused (database design principles, hoiw to develop algorithms, basic structures) then they have value but since they are focused on specific languages that have really moved on I think they will do more harm than good.
Just look at the differences in Python between 2.x and 3.x making programs written in 2 not run in 3. I can’t even imagine the level of issues with looking at 1.5 vs 3.10 which is the current version.
I love books and hate throwing away even old ones, but unless it’s a well-known classic (for example, The C Programming Language by Kernighan and Ritchie), just toss it. I have a feeling most are learning these days from reference materials and tutorials on the web. I’ve run across any number of tech authors who confirm they aren’t getting rich on their books sales.
Since Python 2 died last year, you should be learning Python 3. And due to nuances, it will be extremely frustrating to learn Python with a 1.5 book.
Old Python: 5/2=2.5
New Python2: 5/2=2 (if you want float instead of integer: 5.0/2.0)
Or the very basic print command changed. And so on, many small nuances that will only lead to frustration, because no computer today has Python 1.
Same applies to PHP, JS,…
PS: if you really hate somebody, give them a decade old programming book and have fun listening to the stories of compiler/interpreter errors…
Thanks guys, this helps me throw books in the bin. I really really hate throwing books in the bin!
Publishers do it all the time.
I sympathize though.
“The Art of Computer Programming” by Knuth for me. Will keep it forever. Any other book on a specific program or language: not worth keeping. No emotional attachment, no value in keeping them. I like “real” books, but that category was the first I moved to eBook-only because of the “expiration date”.
2-3 year old books on specific languages/software are given away for next to nothing at (technical) book stores.
I’d keep the Ajax book. That’s kind of a special one since it was published right before jQuery and CoffeeScript started influencing Ajax patterns and eventually shaped ES 6. The code in the book essentially still works as a sort of lower level code primer.
I sold my Knuth set just before I retired. Didn’t think I would need them anymore and wanted to pass them on to someone they might benefit more.
I tried to donate my old computer books to the local library. They weren’t interested because they were already outdated. Just toss them.
When you said “OLD” programming books, I was thinking COBOL, not Python
You probably know this, but COBOL is still around. I recently retired as a programmer for a Java front-end running on Windows and a COBOL back-end running on UNIX.
I still have IBM programming manuals for the 650, however even I am not old enough to have ever programmed one. Of course I have the K&R C book (first edition, pre ANSI-C), the Lisp 1.5 book, and the Bell Labs Journal volume that covers the new-fangled UNIX. Not at home at the moment so can’t read off my library contents.
Ironically, COBAL has aged somewhat better than Python
(Not dissing Python. I write a lot of code in Python… and had to port a lot of code from 2 to 3)