Books

World's worst industry publication ceases

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Sys-Con have finally put to rest what I’ve thought was an utterly horrible magazine, the ColdFusion Developer’s Journal. Between an utterly useless website that bombards you with 80% advertisements / 20% content, and a magazine with legally questionable practices (using blog articles without consent or payment), the ColdFusion industry is much better off without them.

Yes, the above is what one of the company’s sub-sites looks like. Yes, that is a pop-over advertisement for one of their magazines. Yes, that is an auto-play video advertisement. Yes, this is a really, really bad website, worthy of the next edition of Web Pages That Suck.

Amusingly, during the past year, when most of the really bad stuff came to light, a new magazine called the Fusion Authority Quarterly Update stepped up to the plate and utterly trounces anything SysCon has done in years. Good riddens to CFDJ, we’ve got FAQU now.

Why IT magazines are worthless (updated)

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Today the Harry McCracken, editor-in-chief of PC World magazine, resigned because he was unhappy with the company's new CEO pushing the magazine to be "nicer" to vendors who advertise in the magazine rather than being honest in their reviews & coverage. That pretty much sums up my feelings on the whole IT industry print media - it's all a circlefudge, everyone patting themselves on the back afraid to say anything that might upset the applecart, and I applaud Mr McCracken for standing up against it.

UPDATE: Well it turns out that maybe IDG, PC World's publisher, are trying to clean up their act because... (drum roll) they demoted the CEO and hired McCracken back again! Who'd a thunk?

Another great Rails book

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There's another great Rails book available that is up-to-date with the new v1.2 release, Rails Cookbook from O'Reilly. I'm hoping to get it soon and will let you know what I think.

New Information Architecture book is awesome

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I picked up a review copy (review forthcoming) of O'Reilly's new Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, 3rd edition, and so far it is a simply inspiring book. I'm only fifty-ish into its almost 500 pages but I've already started to brainstorm ideas for a huge improvement to the website at work, which I intend starting shortly after the holidays. Of all of the tech books I've read this is so far one of the best from a general knowledge point of view - the lessons to be learned in this book aren't just for web development, they're for anyone creating any sort of software. While I'm far from finishing it I already would have to count it as a must-read for anyone developing websites, both internal and public-facing, you won't be disappointed!

Agile Web Development 2nd edition out now

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The second edition of Agile Web Development with Rails is now available in its dead-tree version. Mine arrived yesterday, when will yours?

I've actually been reading this over the last few months via the in-development PDFs (through their early release program) and it is definitely a great book. The page count has gone up with this issue as both additional topics are added and existing ones have been fleshed out. Written to match Ruby on Rails v1.2, which isn't even out yet, there are quite a number of new features to explain and, from what I've seen so far, it is once again easy to follow. I guess my number of active books has just gone up again, its probably back to six at this point X-)

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