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Where can I download copies of free, legal O'Reilly books in HTML form?

by bulrush (Scribe)
on Aug 23, 2014 at 12:50 UTC ( #1098405=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

bulrush has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

  • I'm not talking about illegal books. I'm talking about the legal books. I suspect they are out of print books.
  • Not PDF form, html form. O'Reilly offers them as PDFs here:
  • I'm looking for mainly Perl and Linux books. Also Ubuntu books. Like these here: I tried a website downloader but they blocked me.
  • Googling so far has gotten me no HTML format books that I'm looking for.
  • One reason I ask is I like HTML format which I can squeeze to a skinnier format, without the font shrinking automatically, and still be able to read it without scrolling left and right. The other reason is we sometimes lose internet access at work and I'd like to be able to study Perl during that time.
Perl 5.8.8 on Redhat Linux RHEL 5.5.56 (64-bit)
  • Comment on Where can I download copies of free, legal O'Reilly books in HTML form?

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Re: Where can I download copies of free, legal O'Reilly books in HTML form?
by davido (Cardinal) on Aug 23, 2014 at 16:33 UTC

    I'll point out that an affiliation with some open source group (Perl Mongers included) will usually get you a 50% discount on OReilly's ebooks. Once you've purchased that ebook, OReilly will allow you to download it in a variety of formats. HTML is generally not one of them though.

    OReilly often offers free trials of their Safari service. You might give Safari a try and see if it's a good fit. If not, you just cancel before there's a charge.

    Also, check eBay for used "Bookshelf" CD's (not copies, but originals, used). The Bookshelf CD's came with HTML format. As an example, an ebay search for "Oreilly Bookshelf" found me an auction that has an original "version 4.0" of the Perl Bookshelf for $5.00. This set contains six books.

    Even if you can't find a legal source for free HTML versions of out-of-print OReilly books, there are several legal "low cost", or "no cost for awhile" options: OS discounts, Safari trial, eBay, public library, even trade with friends.


Re: Where can I download copies of free, legal O'Reilly books in HTML form?
by zentara (Archbishop) on Aug 23, 2014 at 13:08 UTC
Re: Where can I download copies of free, legal O'Reilly books in HTML form?
by choroba (Cardinal) on Aug 23, 2014 at 13:08 UTC
    Please, remove the link to the "bookshelf". These are "illegal" books.
    لսႽ ᥲᥒ⚪⟊Ⴙᘓᖇ Ꮅᘓᖇ⎱ Ⴙᥲ𝇋ƙᘓᖇ
      Last year, I heard an interview with O'Reilly on the radio and he said that they don't care if people download their older books, as it helped to spread knowledge and the O'Reilly brand name. That is why they don't take legal action to block these sites. But, I speak from memory, and may be wrong.

      I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth.
      Old Perl Programmer Haiku ................... flash japh
        My memory only contains the bitter feeling after lots of downvotes I got as a newbie here after linking to the very same site. I also read somewhere O'Reilly tried to talk to the owners of the site, but without any effect (source forgotten).
        لսႽ ᥲᥒ⚪⟊Ⴙᘓᖇ Ꮅᘓᖇ⎱ Ⴙᥲ𝇋ƙᘓᖇ
        .ua is Ukraine. I doubt O'Reilly can take any legal action against sites there.
Re: Where can I download copies of free, legal O'Reilly books in HTML form?
by Laurent_R (Canon) on Aug 23, 2014 at 21:13 UTC
    Your Ukraine download site is clearly illegal, and it would certainly be best to remove the link.

    Having said that, I must admit that I did download the full shebang a number of years ago. And, later, I did buy about a dozen of those books in the collection that I found useful, because a dead-tree volume is very useful and practical when you are using the book very commonly. At least, I knew before buying it about the book content, and I knew it was going to be useful to me.

    I do not know about O'Reilly's official position on the subject, but I know for a fact that many publishing houses specialized in highly technical content now prefer to give access to free PDF or HTML versions of their publications (either officially by releasing publicly the content, or less clearly, by selling CD's that they know will be copied), because they've found that giving free access to electronic versions of their best publications actually enhances sales of paper versions of the same. Now, of course, each case is specific.

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