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I'm biased toward reading dead tree books - last month I paid 99 cents for The Standard C Libary, so I take that into account.

What I also take into account is StackOverflow. There are a lot of programmers who don't even read a page of google search results.

I will also say that from my time on HN, the number of people who read dead-tree technical books versus the number who read ebook versions of technical books may be less than dead even. They're cheaper [new] and services like Safari provide entire libraries at reasonable prices. [I've commented elsewhere in this thread on how Seibel's book exemplifies the some of the Common Lisp community's tone deafness].

Well, I have personally contributed 1000 answers to Lisp questions on Stackoverflow.


I wasn't suggesting that Lisp programmers tend to page fault into learning. I apologize for not being clear.

What I was getting at is that StackOverflow shows that many programmers in general tend to page fault into learning whatever language they happen to be using. This is a behavior which StackOverflow is explicitly designed to facilitate. It is also designed to facilitate the behavior in ways that are better than traditional Usenet and its web-based descendants in the form of fora.

You might want to check the Stackoverflow FAQ. Stack Overflow is a question and answer site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

It is expected that people learn a programming language and when they have actual programming problems, then they come to Stackoverflow.com.

Recently I've listened to nearly all of the StackExchange and StackOverflow podcasts - as a tangent this includes the one's where they discuss updating the FAQ, the contents of the old FAQ why it was obsolete, what the new FAQ needed to accomplish, and of course the contents of the new FAQ as it evolved.

One of the reasons that I listened to all of those podcasts is that I found Spolsky's and Atwood's ideas [1] about online communities insightful and was able to relate them to my experience in other online communities. I recommend them to anyone who shares my interest.

[1] and those of their guests and other team members.

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