Sunday, February 11, 2007

For Dummies

I've always despised the "For Dummies" book series. It's not the idea... the few I've browsed in the bookstore (with suitable disguise in place) seem to be well-written and humorous. It's the damn title. If I buy the "Sewing for Dummies" book, and interpret language literally, the purchase has nothing to do with my novice status as a seamstress (seamster?) but conveys that I'm actually a dummy.

I must admit I bought one once - but it was appropriate: "Golf for Dummies". My golf game is worthy of the term (nothwithstanding my strict grammatical interpretation argument above).

Saw an interesting title on the shelf at the library today: "Beginning Java for Dummies". This begged the question: where is the "Advanced Java for Dummies" book? And does one exist? Can you get to the advanced tier of "Java developer" and be a dummy? Perhaps the library just doesn't carry it. It was, however, a college library (OK, not exactly a top-tier university).

I checked Amazon. No, there's no "Advanaced Java for Dummies". But there is a POJFD book (OK... take off on POJO.... plain old "Java for Dummies"). There's also "Java Programming for Dummies". Not sure what the difference is. If you're not programming with Java, what exactly are you doing with it? Hmmm.... Perhaps the "Java for Dummies" book describes how to order at Starbucks.

Aside=> My favorite Starbucks order: Alok's: "double tall, two splenda, breve cappacino".... I used to pick up coffee for him and the barista would always eye me and say... "Ah, for Alok?". As if to make sure that I wasn't actually ordering Alok's "usual" for myself. Fortunately, at the time, I had no clue what I was ordering.... it could have come with pork rinds as a garnish for all I knew.

A search for the terms java and dummies on Amazon yielded 412 results. There were only 14 results for ruby and dummies. Hmmm.... guess I figured out where the smart people are hangin' out. To be fair though, not all responses were relevant to the specific technology. The Ruby results included a few "dummies" books whose authors included someone with the name "Ruby". And I'm pretty sure "Ballet for Dummies" has nothing to do with Ruby. Not quite sure how that got into the mix. Didn't have the time to peruse the 412 Java results to weed out the chafe.

Found "Management for Dummies"... hmmm, maybe there is an argument for the validity of this series. (Thinking about managers from previous companies of course.... really.... wonder if any of them are still on my Christmas list?)

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