Simon Willison’s Weblog

Free books

I like free books (who doesn’t?), so when a story on Slashdot asked for book recommendations I started a thread asking for links to free technical books available online. Here’s a list compiled from the thread:

Dive Into Python
Mark Pilgrim’s excellent book on Python, aimed at experienced programmers who wish to learn Python rather than complete newcomers to programming.
Linux From Scratch
Guide to building your own linux distribution.
Secure Programming for Linux and Unix HOWTO
Calls itself a HOWTO but it’s pretty much a full book on the topic of secure programming.
Rute User’s Tutorial and Exposition
GNU/Linux systems administration guide.
Free as in Freedom
Book on RMS and the reasons behind GNU and the Open Source movement.
Thinking In... series
Bruce Eckel’s superb series of programming books that focus on basic programming principles while providing a thorough overview of the language. The series includes Python, Java, C++ and C#.
Mastering EJB
Comprehensive guide to Enterprise Java Beans.
EJB Design Patterns
Companion to the above, concentrating on design patterns that can be applied to EJB.
Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
From MIT. Concentrates on fundamental concepts of computing.
Data Structures and Algorithms with Object-Oriented Design Patterns in ... series
Books describing data structures in object oriented languages, available for C++, Java and C#.
Numeric Recipes in ... series
Algorithm guides, available for C, Fortran 70 and Fortran 90.
Handbook of Applied Cryptography
Practical guide to modern cryptography.
The Art of Assembly Language Programming
Beginners guide to assembly with available versions covering Windows, Linux and DOS.
Object-Oriented System Development
In depth discussion of object-oriented approaches to developing software systems.
GNU Autoconf, Automake and Libtool
Guide to these essential tools for unix developers.
User Interface Design for Programmers
Joel Spolsky’s book on User Interface Design.

I have omitted several books that only provide partial tasters on their sites—see the Slashdot thread for a list that includes these. Two other useful lists of free books include the O’Reilly Open Books Project and Libros Recomendados On Line (in Spanish but links to English resources).

This is Free books by Simon Willison, posted on 19th June 2002.

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