Springer and Scala


I need to learn the Scala programming language. Unfortunately the University of York’s library does not seem to have an electronic copy of “Programming in Scala” (Amazon link) but it did have an electronic copy of  Springer’s “A Beginner’s Guide to Scala” (Amazon link). But this is a very poor book, referring back to examples that don’t exist, offering a very confusing explanation as to what object-orientation is and, to cap it all, illustrating examples with pseudo code rather than Scala itself.

Of course, it’s not the worst example you’ll find from Springer – “Unleash the System on Chip using FPGAs…” is easily the worst book I have ever seen in print (see my review on Amazon here) – and, of course they also publish many useful books and conference proceedings and so on. But they appear to have close to a monopoly on many aspects of computer science publications and use that ruthlessly.

If it wasn’t for other factors I’d suggest the European Commission needs to take a close look at them. Hardly worth it in the UK’s case these days though.

Amazon getting their act together on Kindle quality?


Just received this email:

Hello,

We are happy to announce that an updated version of your past Kindle purchase of Making Embedded Systems: Design Patterns for Great Software by Elecia White is now available. The version you received had the following issues that have been corrected:

Significant editorial issues were present.

Before you update to the new version, check to see that all devices that you have used to read this book are connected to a network and that their Annotations Backup settings are turned on. This will ensure that your notes, highlights, bookmarks and furthest reading location are retained in the new version. For help with modifying settings, please visit http://www.amazon.co.uk/kindlesupport

You can get this new version by going to the Manage Your Kindle page at http://amazon.co.uk/mykupdate .Find the book in your Kindle Library and click on the “update available” link next to the book’s title. Within 5 minutes, any of your devices that have the eBook currently downloaded and have an active wireless connection will be updated automatically.

Alternatively, you can reply to this email with the word “Yes” in the first line of your response. Your e-mail response must come from the e-mail address associated with your Amazon account. We will update your book within 2 hours of receiving your email.

We thank you for your business with Amazon.
Sincerely,
Customer Service Department

I am away from my Kindle at the moment, so cannot verify how good the changes have been, but it is at least a positive sign. I still would not recommend using a Kindle for maths, science and computer science books though: this is just one update… and there are all the other, DRM-related, issues too.