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List of freely available programming books

Why o why did you guys delete all the answers to this question. All the free knowledge and effort put forth by people in this community over time was deleted. Saying it is off topic is no excuse - its ON TOPIC and it was an AWESOME question. What gives?

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closed as not constructive by Sathya, Yannis, slugster, Diago, Pops May 10 '12 at 13:47

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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And here come all the downvotes....meta = cannot ask a single thing without the negativity. –  JonH May 10 '12 at 12:05
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@JonH Perhaps if you didn't USE ALL CAPS... Also the question is neither on topic nor awesome, and you've provided no explanation why you think it is. –  Yannis May 10 '12 at 12:06
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Yannis Rizos - I used ALL CAPS because it is a bit disappointing to see stuff like that deleted. I did not see the "big list" until the establishment posted it. –  JonH May 10 '12 at 12:08
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@JonH How did you manage to miss it? It's the top voted answer on a question you think is AWESOME... Don't get me wrong, but when I think a question is AWESOME, I tend to read the top voted answer. –  Yannis May 10 '12 at 12:09
    
@YannisRizos - I didnt notice the tab was sorted by "Oldest" rather then by "Votes". –  JonH May 10 '12 at 12:10
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@JonH Fair enough, that happens. But please be a bit more thorough next time you decide to bring a question on Meta. Or don't complain about the downvotes you get for not being thorough... After all the downvote tooltip is "this question does not show any research effort". –  Yannis May 10 '12 at 12:13
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Yannis - Sorry I didn't know stating whether a question was good or not required "Research". Even if I were to sort it accordingly I still cannot edit the question which is a GREAT (yes CAPS) reason to post this question. Sorry I won't bow down to others - I say what I feel is right...this is about the "Community" right? –  JonH May 10 '12 at 12:22
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I know, I kind of suck with this, but...can we now delete it? –  Time Traveling Bobby May 10 '12 at 12:25
    
Kobobby - delete what? Content on the site? –  JonH May 10 '12 at 12:26
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@Kobobby You are like Congress, trying to ruin everything.. This is why we cannot have nice things. –  Cody Gray May 10 '12 at 12:26
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@TheEstablishment: Well, if you think U.S. Congress sucks, try our (Austrian) Parliament. Anyway, yes, I'm all for ruining that, I'm sick of seeing those questions being dragged in here and whined about again and again and again and again...I'm all for keeping, preserving and sharing information, but until there's a mechanism to do this in a controlled way, I'm all for hiding that stuff from the general audience, hence deletion. –  Time Traveling Bobby May 10 '12 at 12:37
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Agree with @Kobobby. As Won't says, this questions is garbage and link-rot incarnate. Why are we leaving it visible? The only thing to come of it is whining on meta. –  meagar May 10 '12 at 14:47
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@MrLister: I didn't see the signup sheet. Have you got it? Honestly, there is an even better list of free programming books which is regularly updated with new entries, and old entries that are dead quickly get scrubbed from the list. Its called Google. –  Won't May 11 '12 at 10:12

2 Answers 2

Why o why did you guys delete all the answers to this question

Urr, it seems you somehow managed to miss the first answer to the question, which is the combination of all of the book suggestions, grouped by subject, with links to the book; a bit more useful, no?

its ON TOPIC

No it wasn't. This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. See the FAQ for guidance on how to improve it.

it was an AWESOME question

Which is why it wasn't deleted.

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where is this epic list –  JonH May 10 '12 at 12:07
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A programming book is not on topic for stackoverflow? That is hillarious. –  JonH May 10 '12 at 12:07
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Posting a link of a book is a fact - it exists...why not allow people to use it. I didn't see any debating and if there is debating lock that specific answer. –  JonH May 10 '12 at 12:10
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@JonH: The problem with the question is that there is no answer to it. List questions are not appropriate for a QA site, as the A part of QA is missing. –  Matt May 10 '12 at 12:11
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If I need a C++ book and someone posts me a C++ book, to me that IS an answer...I wont argue it's not worth it. –  JonH May 10 '12 at 12:12
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@JonH "I need a C++ book" is not a question though. –  Flexo May 10 '12 at 12:12
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@JonH: Most of the tag wikis have a list of books that are relevant for that subject; e.g. the c wiki. Granted the c++ one doesn't seem to have one, but most comprehensive ones do. –  Matt May 10 '12 at 12:14
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@JonH And even to the extent that "I need a C++ book" is a question, it's a too-localized question. Most technology books that were relevant in 2008 are quaint pieces of history, now. –  Andrew Barber May 10 '12 at 16:04
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@AndrewBarber I dont know about you but "The C Programming Language" is still some solid material. Last time I checked that book was written in the 80's. Thats 20-25 years ago... –  JonH May 11 '12 at 18:26
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@JonH I was extremely careful to use the word "most". And by most, I mean about 99.999%. –  Andrew Barber May 11 '12 at 18:31
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@AndrewBarber - i can name 10 more right away if you'd like. –  JonH May 11 '12 at 18:39
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@JonH and I can show you tens of thousands of results on Amazon that don't apply. You will run out long before I do. Your ten... twenty... one-hundred "timeless" books will be squashed by the massive volume of books that are perfectly wonderful - but obsolete now. –  Andrew Barber May 11 '12 at 18:41
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...and that doesn't even get into the fact that this is all entirely subjective. –  Andrew Barber May 11 '12 at 18:42
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@AndrewBarber - your argument is not good enough. In fact, most of the free ones are some of the top notch books out there. I don't agree with you but I'm past this now. –  JonH May 11 '12 at 18:45

It appears that the deleted answers were actually merged into the primary "big list" answer.

The question was closed because it does not fit our guidelines, as laid out on the FAQ. Stack Overflow does not work for "big list" questions.

However, because as you noted, people have found this question useful, it has been granted "historical lock" status by one of our benevolent moderators. That allows the question to continue to exist on the site and for people to continue to benefit from the answers, but it prevents any new answers from being added and it deters people from using it as justification to ask new questions that are similar to it.

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Now that is a +1. Thank you for at least linking to it. –  JonH May 10 '12 at 12:07
    
But how can we "edit" this "big list"? –  JonH May 10 '12 at 12:09
    
@JonH The question is locked (I added that in a stealth update to my answer), so editing is no longer possible. This question is essentially frozen in time. But the other option is deletion, so a historical lock is probably what you want. The guidelines have changed since questions like this were allowed. We found out they don't work very well. –  Cody Gray May 10 '12 at 12:10
    
So establishment - question is I just got a link to a nice free jquery book how can I share it with the community? Isn't that the point of the site to help? –  JonH May 10 '12 at 12:11
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@JonH: Your profile page? Twitter? Somewhere else? The purpose of Stack Overflow is to provide answers to "professional and enthusiast programmers" regarding "practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that [they] face". Unfortunately, not all kinds of "help" work out equally well with our engine. "Big list" questions are being actively discouraged now, and in an attempt to ensure that our enforcement is fair and consistent, we've been cracking down on the older questions that have essentially been "grandfathered in". –  Cody Gray May 10 '12 at 12:14
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Some people are also posting this kind of stuff in the tag wikis now. You might check the c++ tag, or the jquery tag. –  Cody Gray May 10 '12 at 12:14
    
Not anymore, that's why it's a historical lock. @JonH –  slhck May 10 '12 at 12:15
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Sorry but closing / locking such questions to me is dreadful. Especially to those who have put for the effort or time. I'm glad I have enough rep to actually see what are so called "Deleted" answers. I'm sorry to those with lower rep who cannot see this great content because of some rules that were created. No offense but this feels like the government not minding their own business. We had a great system in place and all of a sudden we have "Congress" changing all the rules. –  JonH May 10 '12 at 12:20
    
@JonH: The question isn't deleted. Everyone can see it. Logout and click stackoverflow.com/questions/194812/… –  Matt May 10 '12 at 12:24
    
@Matt doesnt pink mean "deleted"? –  JonH May 10 '12 at 12:25
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@JonH: Yes, but the question itself has not been deleted. The deleted answers have been deleted because their contents have been transferred to the big answer at the top, which is more useful and usable to people visiting the question. There is no loss of information. –  Matt May 10 '12 at 12:27
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@Matt - Ok but it would be nice to be able to edit the list. Unfortunately you cannot. –  JonH May 10 '12 at 12:29
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"Benevolent" is a stretch =P –  casperOne May 10 '12 at 14:50
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I just read this comment thread, then banged my head up against a brick wall. That thing with the wall and my head caused less pain. ;) –  Andrew Barber May 10 '12 at 15:30
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Can we delete this now? The first links are to other lists FFS. –  casperOne May 10 '12 at 16:57

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