O’Reilly’s Top 25  

By Ryan Tomayko under First they ignore you.., F/OSS on 09. July 2005

While we’re talking about books, O’Reilly’s top 25 is interesting. I’m reproducing it here so as to preserve it in time:

  1. Mac OS X Tiger Pocket Guide
  2. Linux Pocket Guide
  3. Head First Design Patterns
  4. Head First Java
  5. Dreamweaver MX 2004: The Missing Manual
  6. Photoshop Elements 3: The Missing Manual
  7. Knoppix Hacks
  8. iMovie HD & iDVD 5: The Missing Manual
  9. Adobe Photoshop CS One-on-One
  10. Mac OS X Tiger for Unix Geeks
  11. SQL Pocket Guide
  12. iPhoto 5: The Missing Manual
  13. iPod and iTunes: The Missing Manual
  14. Learning Perl
  15. CSS Pocket Reference
  16. Learning Unix for Mac OS X Tiger
  17. Learning Python
  18. JavaScript: The Definitive Guide
  19. MAKE: Technology on Your Time Volume 02
  20. Learning Java
  21. The Art of Project Management
  22. Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide
  23. Windows XP Hacks
  24. Classic Shell Scripting
  25. Programming Perl

Okay, so, we can all agree that selling OS X manuals is a good idea. But take those away along with the design related books and what do you get:

  1. Linux Pocket Guide
  2. Head First Design Patterns
  3. Head First Java
  4. SQL Pocket Guide
  5. Learning Perl
  6. CSS Pocket Reference (I’m leaving this in because CSS is a developer’s friend too and most Java people still use table based design. :)
  7. Learning Python
  8. JavaScript: The Definitive Guide
  9. Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide
  10. Classic Shell Scripting
  11. Programming Perl

While Java has two books on top, the rest of the list shows that there’s no lack of support for LAMPish technologies and the new set of Rails books are likely to break through onto this list as well. So why doesn’t the analyst coverage break down similarly? Why aren’t popular magazines and online publications dedicating half of their content to this stuff?

And just for fun, let’s add the design related titles back in. How many design people do you know that are working primarily in JSP or ASP when they don’t absolutely have to? My experience is that designers stay as far away from the mess that is the current state of mainstream software development as possible. It’s not because they don’t understand as many developers like to assume, it’s because it’s a complete mess.

Attention software industry tool vendors, publications, and analyst groups: you’re not paying attention to your developers. Please shift your attention to the tools we’ve built and join us in doing something useful.

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