If you were to log in, you'd be able to get more information on your fellow community member.
Don't require your users to download a plugin unless they are strongly committed to using your site (otherwise they will realize what a hassle it is and leave) and unless you really can't provide that functionality without the plugin. Most plugins are a drag to download over a slow connection, may ask the user to reboot their machine, may crash the browser, may crash the OS and are only easily available for Windows and MacOS.
I read Philip's commentary on creating the book about six months ago, and it answered a lot of questions I had about computer books. In particular: why are they so useless? Since then I have thought of this commentary many times when I considered buying technical books.
For the most part there is no way around teaching yourself new skills by looking up related specs, rfcs, web pages, faqs etc. and then just writing practice code. Sometimes you need a broad overview, in which case a dead trees book is the right thing. In general you are out of luck though - there are few well written overviews of this kind. Recently I found one of the rare winners, "Java Cryptography". Not remarkably, the tone of this book is almost identical to Philip's.
In general, the value of Philip's writing is in his tone. Informed, not condescending, no hyperbole or salesmanship, thorough, honest, blunt. That is what technical writing is all about.