Thanks to liberal documentation licenses like the GNU Free Documentation License, initiatives by Creative Commons, and a variety of other efforts, the number of high quality online books/resources seems to be growing and maturing rather rapidly.
I wanted to take a moment to share a few of my favorite online resources (most of which are related to development) as well as get some of your recommendations for favorites that are worth looking into or bookmarking.
In no particular order:
Apple’s Reference Library - Lots of well organized, high quality APIs, core references, and context for developing on OS X with Cocoa, Carbon, etc. As I mentioned in a previous post, many of these are so good that I print and bind them for desktop use. If you develop for OS X, you can’t get around not using Apple’s developer docs. And the more familiar you are with them, the better.
How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python - A great intro to Python and to elementary computer science topics such as trees, queues, stacks, iteration, recursion, object oriented programming, etc. Definitely worth printing out and binding if you want to get going with Python or understand more about what computer science is all about (hint: it’s not about fixing people’s ad-ware infested Windows machines or setting up their printers for them.)
Thinking in C++ Vols 1 & 2 - In my opinion, a great way to wrap your mind around what can be such a daunting, esoteric language (at least at first). Even if you’ve been working in the language for a while, these are still great references to work through for a refresher.
Python Cookbook - A great collection of Python recipes that can often be adapted for your own uses. If you need to do it, the chances that someone else has needed to do it in the past, are pretty good.
Wikipedia - Need I say more?
On Lisp - One of Paul Graham’s works that’s now available for free. It’s a bit dated but so is Lisp, and as far as I know, Lisp hasn’t changed all that much in the past decade. As Graham and many others have pointed out over the years, Lisp is worth exploring if for nothing else than the enjoyable intellectual journey. It’s guaranteed to stretch your brain.
Project Gutenberg - A massive collection of free eBooks in a variety of formats. If you ever need the text of a classic such as Robinson Crusoe or something by Shakespeare, this is the place to come get it.
O’Reilly Network - In my mind, the definitive, highest quality, up to date hub for just about everything development-related that’s imaginable.
Clearly, I could go on forever and ever, but I’ll give you a chance to talk.
What are your favorite online books, resources, or archives that are available for free?