Cheap hacking books


  • SockDev


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    And yes, it's not cheap as in “costs under a dollar” but it's still very good value for money. Most stuff about design patterns is complete shit, but this is not.



  • @dkf said in Cheap hacking books:

    And yes, it's not cheap as in “costs under a dollar” but it's still very good value for money. Most stuff about design patterns is complete shit, but this is not.

    1 star review:

    Covering the three most significant tenets of modern software engineering (Patterns, Java and UML), this book is full of promise, frustratingly however, it fails to deliver. The author has an uncanny knack of turning even the simplest patterns into intellectual exercises. In some cases, the design examples are esoteric and prior knowledge is assumed. The Java code is lightweight in the extreme and the accompanying CD-ROM provides little or no additional information. On a more positive note, the introduction to UML is clear and concise, providing an excellent platform from which to view the book's examples.



  • @RaceProUK Bought it. I'm feeling smarter already, just having these in a huge ebooks folder on my HD that I never open...

    Also, safer.

    0_1462655840133_upload-d53b0447-812b-4215-b201-9cef1152761e



  • @dkf said in Cheap hacking books:

    very good value for money

    At less than 600 pages it won't make a very good door stopper. I'm not sure what else you'd try to do with a book from 2002 that mentions Java and UML on the cover.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @cvi said in Cheap hacking books:

    I'm not sure what else you'd try to do with a book from 2002 that mentions Java and UML on the cover.

    Read it? It's a really good reference work for a part of computing that is usually really poorly understood. It doesn't bother with lots of rambling shit, but digs straight into the things that you actually need. Anyone who says “this is using Java and I can't learn from it until it is in C#” is just a big crybaby.



  • @dkf said in Cheap hacking books:

    Read it? It's a really good reference work for a part of computing that is usually really poorly understood. It doesn't bother with lots of rambling shit, but digs straight into the things that you actually need. Anyone who says “this is using Java and I can't learn from it until it is in C#C++” is just a big crybaby.

    Haven't read it. If you're serious about it being a good book, I'll take your word for it. If I ever stumble across it, I'll have a quick browse.

    For me, it ticks all the wrong boxes. Java seems a peculiar choice for this, it's fairly verbose and its insistence on everything being OOP forces the patterns to look and be implemented in ways that I would imagine isn't natural for other languages. UML ... not a much of experience with it, but the few times I've come across it, it's not been very helpful (this includes books -- arguably, the rest of said books wasn't of too high quality either). 2002 was a while ago, too. Not necessarily a terrible thing, but doesn't really speak in favor of the book either.

    Well, anyway, that's how I'd evaluate the book if I came across it in the wild. Without a recommendation, I wouldn't touch it.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @cvi said in Cheap hacking books:

    For me, it ticks all the wrong boxes.

    Well, Java is because that was prevalent for this sort of thing back when it was written, and this book is perhaps the best use of UML ever, in that it's just illustrative. Most of the patterns have stood the test of time pretty well (except for Singleton) since they're describing fundamental things about how software works if you don't want to go crazy. It doesn't describe all patterns (and doesn't try to do anything that insane) but it covers a lot of good ones. It should be applicable to most codebases, either as a way to tidy them up or as a way to understand what they already do.

    If you think that a book is bad just because it's more than a couple of years old, there's not much hope for you. 😜



  • @dkf said in Cheap hacking books:

    And yes, it's not cheap as in “costs under a dollar” but it's still very good value for money. Most stuff about design patterns is complete shit, but this is not.

    about 600 pages. You can do real damage to junior devs when they mention a pattern.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @DogsB said in Cheap hacking books:

    You can do real damage to junior devs when they mention a pattern.

    There's volume 2 as well. It's slightly thinner, but the combination should pack a good heft when you hit them over the head.



  • @dkf said in Cheap hacking books:

    If you think that a book is bad just because it's more than a couple of years old, there's not much hope for you. 😜

    Well, that rule mostly applies to programming books. There are exceptions (obviously), and there's not always a newer book available, but for the most part I would claim that this is sensible considering how fast things the field is developing and changing.

    For patterns, I have the GoF-book somewhere. How much am I missing? (Yes, I realize that that book is even older.)


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @cvi said in Cheap hacking books:

    for the most part I would claim that this is sensible considering how fast things the field is developing and changing.

    You're part of the problem. Certain dev types seem to re-invent the wheel every few years because they don't realize anyone ever invented it before.



  • @Yamikuronue said in Cheap hacking books:

    You're part of the problem. Certain dev types seem to re-invent the wheel every few years because they don't realize anyone ever invented it before.

    I won't say that you're wrong, because, yes, there is a lot of re-invention of wheels going on. However, before making the above statement, I did look into my bookshelf and briefly examined the contents. The books that I found:

    • C++ stuff. Unless it's a very special book, I'd be hesitant to get anything that's not C++11 or later. (I'm even hesitant to recommend the meta programming book that's actually really nice, but, being C++03, simply somewhat outdated).
    • OpenGL/DirectX. Modern OpenGL is not what it was in 2008, or 2010 or 2012. Newer DirectX:s are very different from the older ones. Hell, I'm looking for a good Vulkan reference, and that was released this year.
    • GPU Computing. See above.
    • General computer graphics. Hit and miss.
    • Numerical stuff. Lots of stuff I don't touch because it's outdated. (I'd love a Numerical Recipes for non-stone-age processors and systems, and with a license that doesn't suck. Alas, the internet has pretty much made NR obsolete.)

    I recently revisited some neural-networks stuff for which I had a book lying around. Turns out state-of-the-art moved on, and one of the problems that I ran into would have apparently been solved by using a more modern setup (different style of squashing function, from what I understand).

    There's also a couple of math and physics books in there, but I did exclude those in my statement above. 🙂

    (On a side note -- algorithms for vector machines from 1970 and forward do have some commonalities with those on modern GPUs, so if you want to look for reinvented wheels, compare work from the 1970s with modern algorithms.)


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @cvi said in Cheap hacking books:

    GPU Computing

    Yeah, I learned OpenCL a while ago. Now, nobody in their right mind would use that instead of CUDA, so what I learned is totally worthless.


  • Fake News

    @RaceProUK said in Cheap hacking books:

    So back on topic, why would this be related to cheap hacking?


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @cvi Sure, but this is a book on design patterns, also known as, ways to organize your software to make it more readable. The idea that none of it applies a short decade later, when we're still widely using languages in the same family, is sheer hubris.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Yamikuronue said in Cheap hacking books:

    ways to organize your software to make it more readable

    It's not just the readability per se. Patterns are mostly well understood (that's definitely true for the ones in the Grand books) and in particular, their consequences are known, as are the ways in which they are likely to be buggy. That helps a lot. It's also easier to spot abuse of the pattern because of that, and hence whether the original author was a dumbass.

    Different languages favour different patterns.



  • @Yamikuronue said in Cheap hacking books:

    Sure, but this is a book on design patterns, also known as, ways to organize your software to make it more readableways of describing the way you solved your problem.

    Nothing is more cancerous than the idea that you should seek to 'apply' design patterns.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Magus said in Cheap hacking books:

    Nothing is more cancerous than the idea that you should seek to 'apply' design patterns.

    Bah. A pattern says “if you have a problem shaped like XYZ, a solution that looks like ABC is reasonable, and has consequences PQR, and we give this the name ‘JKL’”. That's all it does. Because it is named, it is easier to think about. Because it describes when it should be used and what the consequences are, you can think better about not using it.

    But some people just like to hit everything in sight with the biggest hammer they can find. (Paging RaceProUK ;))


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