Strong opinions, weakly held

What software should be packaged with a Web publishing book?

Let’s say you were asked which software should be included on the CD that is packaged with a book on Web publishing? What would you recommend? Here’s a list of a few things that come to mind:

Any other ideas? Please leave a comment.


  1. I wouldn’t want anything that wasn’t original to the author and that wasn’t on a book-specific web-site. Anything else is likely to be outdated before your book hits the shelves.

    I normally assume that CDs that come with books on computer topics are nearly worthless when they’re new and are certainly worthless if the book is six months old.

    I thought of one other case: If you’ve licensed something for your readers, by all means include it.

  2. I think we’re running headlong into the “why I don’t buy computer books anymore” discussion, but I’m with Michael, but moreso: Make a web site, run by you the author, for any book specific new content in machine readable format (ala Dori & Tom’s JavaScript book site).

    I rarely put the CD drive in one of my laptops, a teen visitor re-hooked up the CD in my desktop to play games, it had been unplugged ’cause I was using that IDE bus to recover data off of something, and a CD is hust one more piece of freakin’ media to keep up with.

  3. EditPlus, my favorite text editor.


  4. I agree with Dan Lyke — leave the CD out. I thought it was pretty worthless in 1996 and I definitely think it’s worthless in 2006!

  5. htmltidy

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