Friday, February 11, 2005

PIC#3 Coming Along Well

I had a pretty good day on PIC#3 today - got through the final few tech review chapters I had outstanding from the 8 that I got back last week, and tidied up three of the chapters from second edition of the book that needed some minor updates. I also finished checking the twenty or so chapters that needed no major work - all that I did was fix up places where namespaces had changed since Beta 2, and remove comments that related to functionality that was broken or missing in this release. Most of the work was done while setting up a quad Xeon 2.8 Ghz HP Proliant server with 4GB of RAM that I've hired to do some DTS Yukon runs for a client. The server sounds like a small vacuum cleaner when it is turned on - I'm looking forward to actually using the beast next week

The work this week leaves only one new chapter outstanding (a coding style chapter suggested by the reviewer), and about half the tech edit responses still to go. After that, we go into copy edit and PDF proofing, so the book is well and truly on track for a mid-year release.

Updating a book has been a very different experience from doing my own from scratch. There is already a style and coverage pattern in place that you need to stick to, and there isn't the same extreme level of emotional attachment. Its more like babysitting a friend's kid rather than looking after your own, in that you still have the responsibility to keep the kid happy and out of harms way, but you don't have the heightened emotional bond of a parent. We've also had some fun working between the project manager, editor, tech reviewer and myself about what material we are going to put through the wringer of the tech review process. There is heaps of material that is unaffected by the move to .NET 2.0, but exists in chapters where other material has changed. Working out a balance between not touching this material and re-writing it has been an interesting experience. The issues are all sorted now (I hope), and we're pressing ahead to bring the book for your (northern hemisphere) summer reading pleasure.


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