I bought a book on IPv6 from amazon.com recently, and received it today. (I actually bought two, but the second hasn’t shipped yet.) IPv6 is still fairly new technology, and the one book I have that mentions is doesn’t have enough details — If I’m going to be the IPv6 expert at work (which I suppose I already am – scary), I think I need to have a better knowledge than I currently do.
Anyway, I looked over this book, and the first thing I noticed was the typeface – it looked like the book was written on a typewriter. I quickly discovered that this was because I was looking at an appendix – an RFC describing some aspect of IPv6. RFCs (Request for Comments) are written by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and are used to decide on standards, like the “official” definitions of various network protocols and stuff like that. Four different RFCs relating to IPv6 were included in the book, and it looks like they took the RFC text directly from the web site with no reformatting. There are five other articles included as well, all of which are also freely available on the web. Once I got to the actual meat of the book (i.e. stuff the author actually wrote himself, I was very disappointed. There are only 80 pages of actual content in this 361-page book, for which I paid (OK, Sybase paid) $50 US. Actually, in the end, nobody will have paid for it, since I’m returning it.
It looks like the content itself is fairly useful, so I wouldn’t mind ripping out the first 80 pages, sending the rest back, and asking amazon.com to refund 78% of my purchase price (80 pages out of 361 is 78%). I doubt they’d go for that. I did write a review on amazon.com, giving the book only 2 stars out of 5. We’ll see if they post my review.
The other book I ordered is from O’Reilly Press, which has produced a lot of good computer books in the past, so I’m a little more hopeful that it will be a keeper. According to amazon, it’s expected to ship sometime in June (the order was placed on March 17), so I’ll post a review of that book when I get it.
Update: My review has already appeared on the amazon page for the book.