(Old) Technical books found… and gone

So yesterday I found these two titles accumulating dust in my shelf:

Ajax on Java

Flex on Java

http://a.co/7xSIxWB (no preview *)

I didn’t have the initial impulse of giving those away, as most people I’ve known who are constantly investing in learning would tend to keep a hold on acquired books. But in the case of a specific technology you’ve probably noticed the interesting fact that their raw academic value would decrease with time (see the law of diminishing returns in economics explained here).

But – what about their practical value, associated with the handy notes and the occasional cheatsheet included within? That one had me pondering for a little longer. Yes, I could end up revisiting Ajax someday, if ever, and try doing it with bare java servlets and javascript (JQuery?) but… the likeliness of that occurring is noticeably low.

Finally, I decided to simply post to my team’s slack announcements channel and someone working in UI for years now replied with a nice “I’m not a java guy, but those sound interesting, can I take them?”.
Some minutes later when he dropped by, the following short conversation took place:

(Me) – “… So you’re into learning java now?”
(Him) – “Not really; but I have to integrate sometimes with Java systems and I would like to understand that part better”.
(me) – “Well, you may guess things have moved a bit in Java after that, you know…”
(him) – “Yeah, I’m counting on that!”

We chatted for a little while and concluded that at any time, those books are good reading for getting perspective of whatever we’re studying today. Editorial work, research, and proofreading are often lacking in web material which is nowadays our main source of technology-specific knowledge.

Having the chance of reading a little bit about origins, purpose and implementation details of a given technology is always a plus, so I’m glad I could help someone approaching those technologies that helped to shape what Java is today.

* A note on Amazon Embed links: If there’s a Kindle version of the book, there’s an embed link (either available in the product page or Amazon can actually expand the link for you on some sites). That is the case of Ajax on Java; sadly not the case of Flex on Java (sorry Flex, you just didn’t make it that far)