Free documents/books suggestions
5 votes c/dokk Posted by zPlus — 5 votes, 24 commentsSource

I’m looking at expanding the library. Can you suggest any free books, documents, papers?

  • Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig is an obvious one.

Actually tried listening to the audiobook this summer, but the quality was so bad I couldn’t get through it. Even tried some of the new AI tools for voice cloning and audio restoration, had some success with parts of it but the later chapters were too far gone. Then I tried some of the new AI voice synthesizers and that kinda worked, but I never finished synthesizing it. I read it many years ago anyways.

Edit; actually some of his other books are free as well;, worth checking out the rest of his bibliography.

  • Game Programming Patterns by Robert Nystrom

Though, I’m not entirely sure if it’s 100% Free as in Libre;

I’m sure you could find a directory somewhere and filter out based on licensing to get a truckload more.

Out of all the books from Lessig that I’ve checked, only one is actually free:

  • code: all rights reserved
  • the future of ideas: BY-NC
  • free culture: BY-NC
  • code 2.0: BY-SA
  • remix: CC-NC
  • republic, lost: CC-NC
  • one way forward: ??? no info
  • The USA is Lesterland: ??? no info
  • Republic, Lost v2: ??? no info
  • America, Compromised: all rights reserved
  • fidelity & constraint: ??? no info
  • They Don’t Represent US: ??? no info

Game Programming Patterns by Robert Nystrom is also not free.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to Python also is not free.

Oof, I guess they are shareable but not libre, yeah. Oh well.

You do have this in the library tho

Creative Commons and the New Intermediaries
Authors: Michael W. Carroll
License: CC-BY-NC-2.5 

Which is BY-NC-2.5, so I thought NC was alright.

Thank you a lot for pointing that out. It must have slipped through when adding other books.

In the long run eventually I hope to include in the database every existing book/document/paper/etc (only free/libre metadata, not the actual books that are non free). So it’s indeed alright to list NC (or other non free works). But right now since I’m working on this alone I’m focusing only on free culture material which is what interest me the most.

Game Programming Patterns: do you know if there’s any PDF version either in the repository or the website? I cannot find any, and the build options look like for HTML only.

Hmm, no seems like one has to buy the PDF version for some reason. Sucks..

I’ll look into compiling it myself then, and then share it on dokk (if I manage to do it).

This is the best I was able to do.

The book contains several comments by the author that are annotated on the side of the page. In the HTML version, the comments are positioned using JavaScript (after the page is loaded). I was not able to run these scripts during the conversion process and so they were all in the wrong places. For this reason they are inline instead of on the side of the page.

Hey, that’s pretty good!

Thank you :) Far from perfect but yes I agree it’s decent enough :)

Thank you! I’ll add this too! Is the original work in Portuguese? Is there an English translation as well?

It’s Brazilian Portuguese (pt-BR — IETF BCP 47 language tag). You can find some metadata about the book on OpenLibrary. The language code of the Spanish translation is es-ES. Esperanto is eo.

Is there an English translation as well?

Not that I know of.

Added, thank you again!

By the way, that book is ~250 pages. And you translated it into two different languages!! That’s a monumental effort, no kidding!

Sorry, does it say anywhere in the book that it’s CC BY-SA? Something like “this book is released under a CC-BY-SA license”. I can’t find it.

Edit: I think I’ve found it. Page 231?

  • Impatient Perl by Greg London:

  • Human and Machine Consciousness by David Gamez:

Both of those books have a physical version but it seems like you need to use nonfree software to buy it. In the case of Human and Machine Consciousness, I am not sure how to read the online version without nonfree software. Open Book Publishers probably has many more free books too, but most of their books are using nonfree Creative Commons licenses I think. It would be interesting to have a database that documents where to get physical versions of libre books; I much prefer paper to typical screens, and it could be a good way to support authors as well if a portion of the money goes to them (not sure how to check whether it does in general though).

Thank you! :)

I am not sure how to read the online version without nonfree software

How so? If I click PDF, it opens the browser’s default reader (which is free AFAIK).

a database that documents where to get physical versions of libre books

I really like this idea but I would need help with the research because I don’t know any

Impatient Perl has a plain PDF link which works fine with free software but the “READ ONLINE” and “DOWNLOAD” buttons for Human and Machine Consciousness don’t do anything when JavaScript is disabled, and I do not see a link to the source code for the JavaScript on that page. The end result may be a PDF but I can’t get to the PDF without running the page JavaScript it seems. If I find the time, I might write a package for Haketilo that enables getting to the PDF and buying the physical book without nonfree software (Anyone reading this is encouraged to try writing their own package for Haketilo. There’s more websites than I have time to write software for.).

I don’t know of any physical copies of libre books either, besides these. That’s why I want a database xD Maybe it would make sense to have a site like LibreGameWiki but for books, maybe called LibreBookWiki.

I’ve added them both (Impatient Perl and Human and Machine). Does this work for you?

Yes, I can see them! Thank you.

Something I found which might be interesting: some books on Wikbooks have a print option, for example x86 Assembly says “This book has a collection for ordering a printed copy of this book for a fee.”. Wikibooks would also be a place where you could find lots of libre books, though I would expect a lot of the books to be low-quality.

VulkanTutorial book under CC-BY-SA-4.0 with code under CC0-1.0. Currently book itself doesn’t contain license mention but README in the github has. Can be downloaded here

Thank you I’m going to add this too