There are tons of Linux books available; is Linux from Scratch V 6.6 worth the time investment? That's what we're going to attempt to determine in this review. By the time we're done, you'll not only know whether it's a good book, but whether it's right for you at this stage of your programming career.
There are some accomplishments in this world that just give you a certain amount of geek street cred. Anyone can browse the web. Most of us can use a spreadsheet. Thousands of people can develop programs -- admittedly, with varying levels of skill, and quality of end product. The number of people who have made their own flavor of Linux, however, is a much smaller group. Some would argue it's an elite group of developers who are not just designing, but providing a valuable service to the open source community.
Of course, few of us are born elite. We acquire those skills with the help of many useful tools. Those tools can help us to become more than we are. Linux from Scratch V.6.6 aims to be one of those tools. The question is, should you take the time to read it or pass it on by in favor of another tool? Today we hope to answer that question, not just with a black and white answer but with one that makes sense for you at this stage of your development career.
We will look at this book for its clarity of instruction, its usefulness of information and the soundness of the recommendations. After that we talk about who this book may be geared toward, and who will struggle with this text. That way you can make an informed decision before you give it the old college try or pass it by.
Of course, there is one issue that would not matter in a perfect world, but often becomes a deciding factor in book selection. That factor is the cost of the book involved. In this case, however, cost is not a factor because the book is available for download. That means that your two biggest stumbling blocks -- your wallet and your laziness -- are simply not a factor here. That's good news all around.
Ease of Use
You may not consider this an important issue at first. After all, how hard can it be to use a book, right? As it turns out, with an ebook it can be surprisingly hard. An ebook can have text that is too small. It can have fonts that cause eye strain. It can be poorly indexed. Imagine looking for information that is listed on page 31 only to discover that it is really on page 34. Why? Because the indexing was for a page with different margins or spacing. These things make a big difference in the ease of use factor.
On the whole this book is relatively easy to use. The fonts are not so small that they cause eye strain, but also not so large that they cause you to be distracted by a lot of scrolling through text. The font is also very readable, if a little bit boring. Of course, to put that in perspective, when is the last time that the font of a book thrilled you? The level of readability is fairly high. Layout leaves a good amount of white space as well. Just be aware that you will use a lot of paper if you decide to print this back out. A word to the wise: if you get screen strain and canít view the book online, consider switching to a system of alternating screen and print reading. Unless, that is, you happen to own stock in your ink manufacturer's company.