Written material has been one of the most widespread methods to convey knowledge during the last millennia.
It started on a variety of objects, but we mainly benefit from it via printed books.
I myself still have a special taste in physical books: you can use them everywhere it's bright enough, can add personal notes on it with those useful tools called "pens".
Nowadays, information has increasingly taken a digital quality. Nevertheless, we still tremendously rely on digital books.

It seems that this questions:
Books to learn Ray Tracing has been put on hold because, if I judge from one of the comments, it involves book recommendation.

I find it concerning.
Why cut ourselves from a major source of information such as books or papers in our answers?
Why not include the vast space of the computer graphics related books in our exploration of this huge but exciting field?

I suggest accepting questions that are specifically oriented toward technical/scientific literature about our field of interest.

As once said a wise man (I think):
"Teach a man how to write a class, he'll make you an intersection module. Direct him to the relevant literature, he'll make real-time ray tracers all his life."

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    $\begingroup$ Related $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 18:50
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    $\begingroup$ I particularly like books for long journeys, as the battery life is excellent. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 19:28
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    $\begingroup$ @Trichoplax: true I love books too, but we need to invite people to use electronic documents as much as possible in these modern ages;) if it can save to use papers (though one can argue that making an tablet consumes far more resource than making a book;-). I like electronic docs as they can be updated all the time ... and hopefully some can emerge as references that people contribute to (like Wiki) making a central repository ooh human knowledge on a given topic (I know deep). $\endgroup$
    – user18490
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 10:05

1 Answer 1


This is not a campaign against books. Note that it is not on topic to ask for recommendations for any off site resources, whether books or not.

My comment on the question referred to books only because the question specifically asked for books rather than online resources. The close reason displayed below the question is more general:

Questions asking us to recommend or find a book, tool, software, tutorial or other off-site resource are off-topic for Computer Graphics as they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam. Instead, describe your problem or need and the steps, if any, you've taken to solve it.

Most of us own and use books, and this rule is not an indication of any disapproval of books. Books and other off site resources are often recommended in answers here. We just don't allow requesting such recommendations - they only come as part of an answer to a specific question.

Elsewhere on Stack Exchange

Note that most Stack Exchange sites have a rule against recommendation questions. Meta Stack Exchange has a question calling them "Shopping list questions". That mostly refers to Stack Overflow but the arguments apply elsewhere too. The second answer there goes into a lot more detail and gives a way around the rule, which I think makes it clearer why the rule makes sense.

The exceptions are Software Recommendations and Hardware Recommendations, but even there questions have to be specific and give as much detail as possible. Both sites have strict quality guidelines explaining what can and can't be asked in a recommendation question.

Asking in chat is very welcome

To reiterate my comment that triggered this meta question: Questions about which books people use and what tutorial/language/library/monitor they recommend are welcome in chat. Just because they don't fit well on main doesn't mean we shouldn't talk about it, and I'd be interested to hear what people are using.

If you're reading this, this means you - feel free to drop in...


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