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On the book section

Posted by johnhattan, 31 January 2011 · 319 views

Poll: On the book section (13 member(s) have cast votes)

What do you think of the book section?

  1. Zoinks (7 votes [54%])

    Percentage of vote: 54%

  2. Jinkies (6 votes [47%])

    Percentage of vote: 47%

Vote Guests cannot vote
I'll be the first to say that Gamedev's old book section was a steaming pile. Most of the books were out of print. Many significant titles were missing. The search only worked sometimes. It was just a problem, and much of that problem came from the fact that it was almost never updated. The only person who added new books was me, and the only books I ever added were books that were on my desk and needed reviews.

Well, the new system goes a great distance to fix that.

First off, adding books is no longer a big mess. I can basically add an ISBN and gamedev will fill in most of the rest of the book (including the picture). Reviewing and featuring a book on the front page is no longer an overcomplicated multi-step process. Also, the system can automatically de-list books that are too old or have gone out of print.

Mind you, the purge process isn't perfect. Mainly because the concept of a "print run" in book parlance is going away. There are so many one-off publishers now that books can basically stay in print forever, as the "inventory" just consists of a PDF file sitting on their server somewhere, and a book only comes into existence after you press the "buy this book" button. So there'll still be a process of manually purging out books that have worn out their usefulness (like the five books on Flash MX 2004 that are still listed) as well as a process of "immortalizing" books that are OOP but are still significant and/or useful. But the list will be much more useful than it has been in the past.

So my plan for the books is the following:

1. I will review one book per week. It'll be a shorter review than in the past and it'll be based on whatever books are sent to me.
2. That book will be listed, reviewed, and posted as the featured review on the site. The current one is already up now.
3. Any other programming books that I receive via press-release will be listed and categorized but not reviewed or featured.

We'll see how this works in the future, but even without new listings and/or purges, it looks much better. The five "latest books" are actually recent titles. The top-selling books list actually reflect reality. The categories need to be re-done, but that'll happen with time.

So again, Gamedev is getting better. Stuff you've blown off as stale crap is getting less so. It'll take some time to get a good mass of new books as well as purging stuff nobody cares about. But it'll improve.

So if you haven't been around in a while, http://www.gamedev.net/books





Are the various Amazon links the only ones that can be used with the new site? I't would be nice to have links to the books on bn.com and overstock.com. Maybe even abebooks.com. Competition is a good thing imho ;)
I would say it'll only be Amazon, seeing as GDNet have a reference link thingy deal. They get cash for click-through purchases.
Is there a fast way to see which books are the last reviewed?

There is were a couple "Latest Books" without reviews, and the one with a review from you I just stumbled onto based on rating not when it was reviewed. It would be nice to have the reviews documented a little better.
I don't know what Zoinks or Jinkies are, so I picked one at random. Hopefully this won't cause you to do or not do something in response to community feedback.
How about adding books by Deitel&Deitel? Titles include C++ How to program and C How to Program

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