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[OT] Complaints about Spidering Hacks book

by Wassercrats
on Nov 17, 2003 at 05:37 UTC ( #307566=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I just bought the book. I only spent a few minutes looking through it, so I can't write a review, but what's up with the 2004 Copyright? From
The notice for visually perceptible copies should contain all the following three elements:

1. The symbol (the letter C in a circle), or the word "Copyright," or the abbreviation "Copr."; and

2. The year of first publication of the work. In the case of compilations or derivative works incorporating previously published material, the year date of first publication of the compilation or derivative work is sufficient. The year date may be omitted where a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work, with accompanying textual matter, if any, is reproduced in or on greeting cards, postcards, stationery, jewelry, dolls, toys, or any useful article; and

3. The name of the owner of copyright in the work, or an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation of the owner.

Also, the web address for "example files for a book" should be in a more obvious place than on the last page. Not all the scripts in the book are included in those online example files, and there is no CD. There is a script of over four pages that I'll have to type in myself, unless I missed some instructions on where to find the files. I'd be glad to send in proof of purchase for the privilege of being able to download the scripts or receive them through email. This is a throw-back to the 1980's, when I had to type in programs from computer magazines and books.

And there is no animal on the cover! Just some kind of old trowel!

20031117 Edit by jeffa: Changed title from 'Spidering Hacks '

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Re: [OT] Complaints about Spidering Hacks book
by hossman (Prior) on Nov 17, 2003 at 08:35 UTC
    1. a link to the book you are bitching about would have saved a lot of people a lot of confusion.
    2. Believe it or not, but I assume the majority of us don't own the book, nor are many of us either of the two people who wrote it, so not only can't we answer any of your questions with any certainty, we also can't magically guess what the URL listed in the back of the book is to look at it and possibly help you find the other examples you are looking for.
    3. After looking at some of the online "Sample Hacks" from the book, it appears that it is primarily a recipe book of re-usable code snippets, with very little text. As such, it doesn't seem like it would be prudent on their part to make all of the code examples from the book available online at a publicly accessible URL. (assuming they want to make some money).
    4. It doesn't have an animal on the cover because it is a "Hacks" book. All of the "Hacks" books have tools on the cover (which i just learned 28 seconds ago, by going to the book page to get info on it and clicking on the link).
      Some guidelines on what's meant by "Meditations" would have helped. If I was asking for help, I would have asked in "Seekers of Perl Wisdom."

      O'Reilly should have some way of providing the code to it's customers only.

      I don't care what kind of a book it is. I want an animal!

        Seemed like a reasonable meditation to me. I was able to figure out pretty easily that you were talking about an O'Reilly book named "Spidering Hacks".

        Have you tried emailing O'Reilly? Perhaps they would be happy to email you the code. (Side note: if I check the book out of a library, am I a customer?)

        If you stare at that battered scraper for long enough, I bet you could see an animal in it.

Re: [OT] Complaints about Spidering Hacks book
by Zaxo (Archbishop) on Nov 17, 2003 at 05:47 UTC

    What book are you talking about? Title, author(s), publisher, and isbn number would be good to know. A link to the publisher's webspace for the book would be even better.

    After Compline,

Re: [OT] Complaints about Spidering Hacks book
by Anonymous Monk on Nov 17, 2003 at 05:52 UTC

    And your Perl meditation is? Most books that come out within a few months of the new year are published as copyright for the new year. As for the example files, that seems a issue to raise in a review not a meditation. Lastly, many O'Reilly books do not have animals on the cover, what's your point?

      It's an O'Reilly book called Spidering Hacks. I didn't want to put such an incomplete review in the review section. If the names of the sections here were designed more for usability than cuteness, I probably would have been able to find a more appropriate section.

      I have O'Reilly's catalog, and except for the books in the hardware, humor and digital media sections, just about all have animals on the cover. I'd say about 95%. Mine should too. It makes me sick.

        RULE #1

        Use the chatterbox and talk to folks before you post something like this again. Ask questions. "Where should i post a node about X?" I am sure that you have been told "DON'T DO IT MAN!!!" and you would not have been downvoted so harshly.

        RULE #2

        Do not disrespect this site in a post. First off, this site was designed for usability. I use it all the time just fine and see nothing "cute" about any of it. Secondly, you didn't build this site, nor are you a member of pmdev. In my mind, you really haven't even earned the right to complain about this site yet ... but thankfully vroom runs this site and not me. ;)

        RULE #3

        Don't complain to us in a Meditation! Complete and post that review! I am sorry that you don't like the book, but why didn't you just wait until you completed your review and discuss this there. A good review needs pros and cons, this would be so much more appropriate there.

        RULE #4

        Do not title your post the name of a book, module, etc. You are level 4. You should know by now how the search mechanism works at this site. You should include the name of the book or module, but you should also include text that describes how the book or module relates to your post. The name by itself should be reserved for a Review or possibly even a Tutorial.

        RULE #5

        Don't let this get you down. We still love you. :)

        I do hope that you complete your review and post it accordingly. Your gripes are very valid, it's just the way in which you present them that could have been less negative and more constructive.


        (the triplet paradiddle with high-hat)
Re: [OT] Complaints about Spidering Hacks book
by WhiteBird (Hermit) on Nov 18, 2003 at 00:47 UTC
    This is a throw-back to the 1980's, when I had to type in programs from computer magazines and books.

    I remember those days. It can certainly be painful to have to type in a program or example before you can try it out. The only advantage I've ever found to the process is that by the time I'm done typing the program, I really have a better understanding of what the script is supposed to do. I'm a slow learner and the typing process somehow makes a connection between my fingers and my brain and I understand things better than when I just cut and paste. If I find I'm typing something that I don't understand, then I can go and look it up.

    Now if I could just get a handle on those annoying typos....

      I've experienced the opposite, even when typing in code that I've written myself. I tend to become robotic and refer to the paper I'm copying from, even when I should know what comes next. I might have gotten that habit from "those annoying typos" that I remember setting me back for hours when I used to copy programs for my old Commodore 64. I eventually became careful enough to average only one or two typos per program. Then one day I decided to split the copying between me and two friends who had no experience with that level of accuracy, and there were so many typos that I have to type everything over again!
Re: [OT] Complaints about Spidering Hacks book
by Anonymous Monk on Nov 20, 2003 at 13:02 UTC
    You actually use the code from the book verbatim? I have a drawer full of those stupid CDs, and have never fed most of them to my computer, ever. It's just a marketing gimmick.
      Spidering Hacks seems to have several scripts that I want, such as one that makes a webpage out of Internet Explorer favorites. I'm thinking of using that every time I add a favorite site that requires a user name or password, so I could store that information with the link. Unfortunately, you can't add logon information or other comments to IE favorites as you can with desktop shortcuts. I'll add a bit to that script, but it's probably good enough for my purposes.

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