Sunday, March 11, 2007

New version of my free web book "The Software Development Book"

I have not done too much work on my free web book The Software Development Book in the last two years, but I did work on it quite a bit this weekend. This is a high level book, really my best advice in a nutshell. I hope to finish it up in the next month. I have been working on a "Ruby AI" free web book, but I noticed last Friday how many people were downloading the older version of the "The Software Development Book" which motivated me to finish it first.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog entry, starting in March 2007, I am taking a new approach to distributing my web books:
  • During development (writing), my web books are accessible as HTML linked from http://markwatson.com/opencontent
  • When the books are complete, the HTML links will point to the latest version of the book and additional links will reference PDF and a physical book purchase links at lulu.com
I am in the process of streamlining my writing production. I work using Latex (TexShop) and OmniGraffle for technical diagrams. A simple automated build process “publishes” media for free viewing on my web site, and generates media for purchases at lulu.com. My web books will always be available for free reading on my web site. I expect to have all of my projects configured in my new writing system in the next few weeks. After that, I hope to spend about one day a week writing. The great thing (for me!) is that I will get to spend my writing time actually writing and not dealing with production issues.

As always, I am grateful to receive reports on misspellings, etc., and even more grateful to receive suggestions.

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