Thursday, November 23, 2006

A rant at Schulich library

According to Webster dictionary, useful means:

1 capable of being put to use or account <useful suggestions for limiting the amount of food we eat> -- see PRACTICAL 1
2 capable of or suitable for being used for a particular purpose

suggested example: McGill Schulich library is NOT useful.

why did I say that?

I was expected to complete an Autosuggest component for my work using Ajax. But for two days I was banging my head against the monitor because the problem seems more complicated than I initially thought, and of course I'm no Javascript guru. I decided that I would take a tour at Schulich to find the appropriate book that can arm me and let me finish the work once and for all.

I founded the Javascript section and searched through all the book dated after 2003, in the glossary for Ajax, (since not many people understand Ajax probably until 2003).

You know what, there's only 3-5 books dated after 2003 out of around 30 books there, and NONE mentioned the word Ajax or XML throughout its content!

So all the students at McGill, if they want to become the next Javascript guru or become a web entrepreneur, like reddit, digg, or flickr, will be armed with pre-AJAX technology! I guess this will get them a job at... hmm... a web developer at... (You cannot believe how outdated the site is...)

It's interesting when I was walking around the CS section through.... it's filled with a lot of SE and C++ books that probably no one would read... or the "Introduction to Program Analysis" for those (may it imply 0) who are (probably is) interested~ I also came across the Gunnerson's A Programmer's Introduction to C#. 2 of them actually! One for the 1st edition and one for the 2nd edition, dated one year apart. I'm now real impressed with McGill's swift and bold adoption of technology! However, I doubt many read it, considering that no classes are offered in C# here.

And it must make Mr Gunnerson a rich man! That book was alright but didn't delve much into the .NET and i remembered in my intern days that I actually had to use the Andrew Troelsen's C# and the .NET Platform instead.

I wonder how much tuition money we actually spent in buying those books? Are they screened by a computer literate or just some brain-dead librarians? Had they ask one of the SOCS prog I'm sure the quality would be much higher.

Hopefully I wouldn't get kicked out from McGill for post this :P

1 comment:

gelisam said...

McGill's recent CS books are available through Mcgill's subscription to the Safari and Books24x7 online libraries. Those libraries do contain ajax books. Lots of them.

Furthermore, according to the library's online catalogue, Schulich does have a few books on ajax too, and at least one of them did not sound like it was chosen by a zombie librarian. The other did, thought.

Maybe you were simply unlucky and both ajax books were off the shelf that day, or maybe their catalogue lies, but in any case I really don't think that McGill's CS students lack access to up-to-date references. Case in point: they've ordered Rails books!