On 15 Oct 2006, at 21:59, Rimantas Liubertas wrote:

> <...>
>> Along those lines, avoid "Head First", a little too detractingly  
>> silly
>> for me.
> <...>
>
> That's true... if you want a reference book, or if you prefer  
> boring,"serious"
> and "professional" style (or if you are looking for some cure for  
> insomnia).
> On the other hand, if you are looking for a book which would help  
> to learn and
> remember: DO consider "Head First". These are written by people who  
> know
> great deal about how the brain works and teaching/learning.
> Kathy Sierra's blog at http://headrush.typepad.com/ is worth  
> reading too..

Head First has some aspects of value, but also some serious  
annoyances for anyone with an attention span better than that of a  
goldfish.

One the plus side are: multiple restatements in different formats  
(pictorial, descriptive, and use of analogies), use of exercises of  
different lengths, and probably a lot more that I passed over.

But on the negative side are the use of juvenile speech,  
anthropomorphising of concepts (interviews with design patterns, for  
example), silly pictures, etc.  Humour has value in teaching, but it  
has to be genuinely funny.  Using the vocabulary of your audience  
also helps - but it certainly isn't my vocabulary being deployed.  If  
you are a teen, then it might hit the mark; but anyone with a college  
degree, or in a professional position, should find it annoying - like  
at least two of us on this list do.  The Head First series has its  
place in teaching, but it would be more applicable if the language  
was toned down a bit, and the books were just that bit shorter (please).

Paul