Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Rails Edge

I was fortunate enough to attend Pragmatic's Rails Edge mini-conference here in Chicago last week. I have two blog posts up on this at Pathfinder, the first is made up of quotes from my notebook, and the second is some general thoughts. Enjoy.

Pro Rails Book Related Things

A few things I forgot to put in the last book update:

  • The Amazon listing has the book at 600 pages. That's almost certainly optimistic. The contract calls for 400-500.

  • As far as the schedule goes, I'm currently hoping to turn the complete draft in on October 26th, which is about ten days after the original date. The publisher says that pushes publication out to April, six to eight weeks after the original date. I don't quite understand the math, but I suspect that it has to do with the logistics of availability of printing equipment and the like.

  • Chapter Seven appears to be on track to be delivered this week, which makes the book just a smidge less than halfway done.

Monday, August 20, 2007

More On Test-Driven Development

My first post to one of Pathfinder's official blogs is up, it's a companion piece to the blog post here on Test-Driven Development, and you can find it here.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Book Update

Here's a couple notes on the current status of the Rails book and life in general.

  • The Rails book is presently just about 30% done -- first payment triggered (yay!). I'm reasonably happy about it so far, though definitely too close to it at the moment to have a clear sense of its quality. I do like the way the test integration is working out -- it seems to help my descriptions of functionality to have the tests there.

  • The book is now available for preorder on Amazon. Here's the 10 print "hello" affiliate link, which will conveniently linger in the sidebar of this blog forever.

  • I don't think I ever mentioned this, but the last results I got on the wxPython book (for Q1 2007), showed that sales were starting to slump. Although the data was weird -- US sales were down to about 1/3 of the previous quarter, and US returns were way up, such that net sales were almost zero. At the same time, international sales were way up, with the total affect being a drop to about 1/2 or slightly less from the previous quarter. We've now passed the 6700 mark in total sales.

  • Apple fanboy stuff: One of the nice features of my new job is that my work computer is now a MacBook Pro. Very nice machine, well designed, very fast. Battery life is decent. Lots of the little design details you've come to expect -- I particularly like the magnetic power cord. Now if only I could use the thing without wearing oven mitts, I think I'd be in business.

Monday, August 13, 2007

And Now, A Special Announcement

Sorry for the radio silence for the last week or so, but I was waiting to be able to announce this:

Today I started a new job at Pathfinder Associates, as a senior software engineer in charge of Ruby on Rails projects. Needless to say, I'm thrilled to be back in the Web game professionally, and even more thrilled to be working on Rails projects.

Everybody at Pathfinder has been super great so far, and I'm looking forward to doing exciting and fun things.

I'll also be blogging on their web site roughly once a week, either at their Technical Development blog or their Agile/Ajax blog.

If you happen to be one of the maybe five people who read this blog regularly, don't worry, I'll continue to post here with updates about the book and thoughts about programming and technical publishing that wouldn't quite fit on the Pathfinder site.