<generalization>Also remember that when you're sitting around by the pool reading in-depth about some new
concept, you're not so worried about grepping for some specific keyword.</generalization>
True, in theory, but I virtually never use technical books like that. My brain appears to be wired in such a way that reading about programming (from a technical details perspective) makes me fall asleep faster than a double whisky with Ny-Quil. There's just too much great literature out there to spend my time reading the Camel for fun. :-)
Why would you want an O'Reilly book at that point, searchable or not, if you had the web in front of
What I have in mind here is something like this. Say I'm sitting here, working on some kind of file manipulation script, and I need a way to quickly read the contents of a directory. I know there's something that does that... now what's it called again? "dir()?" no, that's not it... So now I can either grab my hard copy of the Camel, right there on the desk, and look in the index for "directory", which handily lists all the useful references ("readdir()! That's it!") or I can get out the web browser, go to perl.com, wait for that to load, try to find the doc search, enter directory...
In a lot of cases, when your concept is fuzzy enough, a book search is easier than a web search, especially with a book you're familiar with.
I think I'm arguing the other side now, actually. Anyway, the overall point is that both have their advantages and drawbacks, and stuff that O'Reilly publishes is most likely to be useful in multiple formats. I do hope they offer comprehensive package deals for all this stuff.
Now what we need is books that are written online, collaboratively, and always kept fresh and up-to-date. :-)
Not the real rusty
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