Don’t Just Roll The Dice: A usefully short guide to software pricing

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  • Author: Neil Davidson
  • Format: PDF
  • Price: free

How do you determine the price for your software? Is it art, science or magic?

From the co-founder and joint CEO of Red Gate Software, comes this useful short book that will help you get the theory, practical advice and case studies needed to stop you from reaching for the dice.

Chapters include:

  • Some – but not too much – Economics
  • Pricing Psychology: What is your product worth?
  • What is your product?
  • Perceived value
  • Pricing Pitfalls
  • Competitors
  • Fairness
  • Pirates
  • Switching costs
  • Should you take your costs into account?
  • Advanced Pricing
  • Versioning
  • Bundling
  • Multi user licences
  • Site licences
  • The purchasing process
  • Free
  • Free trials
  • Network effects
  • Bargains
  • Different ways of pricing
  • Choosing the right model
  • What your price says about you (and how to change it)
  • Practice trumps theory
  • How to change your pricing
  • Product Pricing Checklist
  • What’s your strategy?
  • What’s your product?
  • How will your customers judge the fairness of your pricing?
  • Who are your customers?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • How are you going to sell your software?
  • Can you segment your customers, and create versions?
  • How can you bundle your software?
  • Make an informed guess at your price
  • Try it out

Read: Don’t Just Roll The Dice

No Bugs!: Delivering Error-Free Code in C and C++

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  • Author: David Thielen
  • Format: PDF
  • Price: free

Most developers know that software is inherently buggy.  And most developers also, hopefully, want to eliminate these bugs before shipping a product.  This book is written for these people.

However, writing code with no major bugs (sorry, we haven’t yet reached the point of truly bug-free code yet), is a team effort.  It takes the work of more than just the developers.  It takes testers,  managers, support personnel, and many more.  And this book is aimed at these people too.

This book is designed to solve a problem – buggy code.  Because it is aimed at the problem instead of a specific audience (ie, just developers or just testers), parts of this book may not be interesting to certain audiences.  Chapters 3 – 10 are written mainly for developers.  Chapters 11 & 12 are written mainly for testers.

Yet the book is written to be read straight through.  If you want to develop minimally buggy code, then you have to understand all of the pieces that go into getting there.  Developers need to understand the test process.  Testers need to understand what the developers will be testing on their own. Most importantly, the managers and others responsible  for insuring that the whole organization works need to understand the process.  And as important, they need to insure that the process is actually being followed.

Finally, this book is written from the Windows/DOS/PC perspective.  While most of the ideas discussed are generic to any computing platform, many of the implementations are specific to the PC.  And some of the code is specific not only to the PC, but to specific compilers (stack checking has a tendency to be that way).

If you program on a platform other than the PC, in a language other than c, you will still find this book valuable but you will also find that it leaves a lot more work for you to incorporate the ideas here.

While this is an older book, written in the Win95 era, the first 2 chapters are still very relevant to the programmers of today.

Chapters include:

  • Introduction
  • What is a bug?
  • General Principles
  • Some Basic Tricks
  • Assert the World
  • Debug Printfs
  • Watching the Stack
  • Watching the Heap
  • File I/O
  • Special Tricks for c++
  • Special Tricks for assembly language
  • The Testing Process
  • Shipping the Product
  • Useful bug-discovery tools
  • Debug Message Boxes
  • Debug Second Monitor

Get the Book: No Bugs!
Get the additional disk content

The Web Book

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  • Author: Robert Schifreen
  • Format: PDF download (click the blue download button)
  • Price: Free for personal use

The Web Book is a complete 330-page book that tells you how to create a Web site from scratch. It covers everything from registering a domain name and renting some hosting space, to creating your first HTML page, to building full online database applications with PHP and MySQL. You can download The Web Book as a PDF file completely free of charge for personal use.

Contents include:

  • About The Web Book
  • Our Choice of Web Host
  • Licensing The Web Book
  • A Custom Edition For Your Company
  • Who’s Written This Book?  And Why?
  • Why We’re Here
  • From Word Processor to Web Site
  • How long should all this take?
  • What Is a Web Site Anyway?
  • How the Web Works
  • Domain Names
  • The Simple Option
  • The Flexible Option
  • About Web Content
  • Do you need a development server?
  • Getting Everything Together
  • Our Domain Name and Hosting
  • It’s Not Rude to Point
  • Our HTML Editor and FTP Client
  • Amaya
  • Make A Web Work Folder
  • Filezilla
  • Creating Your First Web Page
  • Now step away from the computer!
  • Keep On Reading
  • WWW – What, Why, Who?
  • Importing Existing Content
  • Writing For The Web
  • Fonts and Colours
  • Hyperlinks
  • Linking to Other Sites
  • Mailto: Links
  • Understanding The Basics of HTML
  • Meta tags
  • HTML and Privacy
  • Validating your HTML
  • A Bit More about Accessibility
  • Cascading Style Sheets
  • About DOCTYPEs
  • Getting Started with CSS
  • A Word About Fonts
  • Classes
  • Making Styles Work For You
  • HTML Tags Names
  • A Better CSS Editor
  • ID-based Styles
  • Extreme CSS
  • Page Layouts and Div Tags
  • The CSS Box Model
  • Pictures On Pages
  • About Image Sizes
  • Pictures As Links
  • Finding Images to Use on Your Site
  • A Browser Icon for your Site
  • The Short Cut to Great Web Pages
  • Using an Open Source Design
  • Tweaking the Text
  • Changing the Pictures
  • Changing the CSS Styles
  • Which Style Is This?
  • Adding Pages and Navigation
  • Uploading the Finished Files
  • Rules, Tables and Image Maps
  • Rules
  • Tables
  • Image Maps
  • Password-Protecting your Web Pages
  • The .htaccess File
  • The .htpasswd File
  • Protecting Multiple Folders
  • CMSes and Other Software
  • CMSes and Templates
  • Automatic Installers
  • Try Before You Install
  • A Word about Patching
  • Setting Up A Database
  • General Installation Procedures
  • Uninstalling
  • Joomla
  • Uploading the Files
  • Configuring Joomla
  • Your New Joomla Site
  • WordPress
  • Downloading the Software
  • Make a Database
  • Configure WordPress
  • Upload The Software
  • Final Configuration
  • phpBB
  • File Permissions
  • Plogger
  • Getting Started
  • The Installation Process
  • Uploading Your Pictures
  • Avoiding Data Overload
  • Installing the PSPad Editor
  • Javascript
  • Choose Your Side
  • Javascript and Semicolons
  • Email Address Obfuscation
  • Why Upload?
  • Security and Cookies
  • Morning All!
  • Getting the Screen Size
  • Javascript Toolkits and Frameworks
  • Finding Out More
  • MySQL and Web Databases
  • Databases, Tables, Fields, Rows and Columns
  • Normalization
  • Referential Integrity
  • Creating A Database
  • Using phpMyAdmin
  • Creating The Customers Table
  • Inserting Some Data
  • Querying the Customers Table
  • Introducing PHP
  • Don’t Panic
  • Your First PHP Program
  • Some More PHP
  • Random Numbers
  • Sending Email with PHP
  • Passing Information to PHP
  • Don’t Forget to Sanitize
  • Loop the Loop
  • Arrays
  • User-Defined Functions
  • HTML Forms
  • Creating a Form with Amaya
  • Naming the Form Objects
  • Handling Form Data in PHP
  • Testing The Form
  • Other Types of Form Data
  • Checkbox Arrays
  • Feedback Forms
  • Hidden Fields
  • Accessing MySQL Databases with PHP
  • Counting Rows
  • Reading Data
  • Searching A Table
  • About SQL Injection Attacks
  • Adding Data to a Table
  • Editing a Data Record
  • Deleting Data
  • Putting it All Together
  • Debugging and Global Variables
  • Syntax Errors
  • Coding Errors
  • The $_SERVER Variables
  • The Structure of a PHP Application
  • Web Servers and the Real World
  • Putting the App Together
  • Saving State
  • How to Back Up your Web Site
  • Don’t Forget the Database
  • Restoring Lost Information
  • Finance and Marketing Issues
  • Promoting Your Site
  • Making Money
  • Accepting Online Payments
  • Managing your Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • SEO Tips
  • Keeping the Crawlers Away
  • If at First you Don’t Succeed, Pay
  • The End.  So, What Now
  • Appendix A – Building a Test Server
  • Our Goal
  • First Install the OS
  • Some Useful Commands
  • Get Updated
  • Test Your Web Server
  • Install the Telnet Server
  • An ftp server
  • Webmin
  • Webalizer
  • PHP and MySQL

Get the book: The Web Book

Dive Into Greasemonkey

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  • Author: Mark Pilgrim
  • Format: online HTML, archived HTML, archived PDF, archived plain text, Palm OS, archived video demonstrations
  • Price: free

Greasemonkey is a Firefox extension that allows you to write scripts that alter the web pages you visit. You can use it to make a web site more readable or more usable. You can fix rendering bugs that the site owner can’t be bothered to fix themselves. You can alter pages so they work better with assistive technologies that speak a web page out loud or convert it to Braille. You can even automatically retrieve data from other sites to make two sites more interconnected.

There is a huge repository of user scripts that do all kinds of amazing things at
But Firefox isn’t the only browser that you can write these scripts for. There is also a macro for K-Meleon called GreaseMeleon, that will allow that browser to use Greasemonkey scripts, too. And there is even a way to use them in Google’s Chrome browser. (instructions)

All this is great if all you want to do is use Greasemonkey scripts, but what if you want to write your own? That’s where Dive Into Greasemonkey can help.

It takes you step-by-step from explaining what Greasemonkey is, installing it into Firefox, installing user scripts, to actually writing and debugging your own. Chock full of information that will help the beginner and expert, alike.

Dive into Greasemonkey is a valuable reference for anyone that wants to truly unleash the power of user scripts.

Chapters include:

  • What is Greasemonkey?
  • Installing Greasemonkey
  • Installing a user script
  • Managing your user scripts
  • Hello World
  • Describing your user script with metadata
  • Coding your user script
  • Editing your user script
  • Debugging User Scripts
  • Tracking crashes with JavaScript Console
  • Logging with GM_log
  • Inspecting elements with DOM Inspector
  • Evaluating expressions with Javascript Shell
  • Other debugging tools
  • Executing a user script on a domain and all its subdomains
  • Testing whether a Greasemonkey function is available
  • Testing whether a page includes an HTML element
  • Doing something for every HTML element
  • Doing something for every instance of a specific HTML element
  • Doing something for every element with a certain attribute
  • Inserting content before an element
  • Inserting content after an element
  • Removing an element
  • Replacing an element with new content
  • Inserting complex HTML quickly
  • Adding images without hitting a central server
  • Adding CSS styles
  • Getting an element’s style
  • Setting an element’s style
  • Post-processing a page after it renders
  • Matching case-insensitive attribute values
  • Getting the current domain name
  • Rewriting links
  • Redirecting pages
  • Intercepting user clicks
  • Overriding a built-in Javascript method
  • Parsing XML
  • Case Studies
  • Case study: GMail Secure
  • Case study: Bloglines Autoload
  • Case study: Ain’t It Readable
  • Case study: Offsite Blank
  • Case study: Dumb Quotes
  • Case study: Frownies
  • Case study: Zoom Textarea
  • Case study: Access Bar
  • Storing and retrieving persistent data
  • Adding items to the menubar
  • Integrating data from other sites
  • Compiling your user script into an extension
  • Greasemonkey API Reference
  • GM_log – log messages to the JavaScript Console
  • GM_getValue – get script-specific configuration value
  • GM_setValue – set script-specific configuration value
  • GM_registerMenuCommand – add a menu item to the User Script Commands submenu
  • GM_xmlhttpRequest – make an arbitrary HTTP request
  • List of “further reading” links
  • List of tips
  • List of examples
  • List of procedures

Visit: Dive Into Greasemonkey

CSS 2 Tutorial

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  • Author: Miloslav Nic
  • Format: online HTML
  • Price: free

In this tutorial CSS 2 stylesheets are applied on XML documents. It picks up where the CSS1 tutorial left off.

It is presented in 55 lessons, where you learn by studying examples. A complete reference to CSS 2 and an index of CSS properties are also provided.

Published under a GNU Free Documentation License and available in English, Portuguese, and Czech languages.