RBP is useless without you2010-02-12 05:24, written by Gregory Brown
UPDATE 2010.02.13: Lots of folks have taken the initiative to comment after reading this, and others have pointed out that they indeed need more time before they can comment. But since people seem generally interested in seeing Ch4 sooner rather than later, I’ll release it on Tuesday. Coincidentally, there is a great post I found on HN that does a better job than I did summarizing how tech books (especially RBP) ought to be read. If you haven’t seen it yet, go read Kenjitsu.
Since I’ve posted the first three chapters, my amazon ratings have gone way up, and I’ve seen lots of people mention the book on twitter. This is great for marketing, but as you may know, I care much more about the actual content here.
Things started out great! We had an awesome discussion about testing two weeks ago and I expected to see the same on APIs and metaprogramming. But as it turned out, only two brave souls offered up their thoughts, even though lots of people downloaded the content. That was a big disappointment to me, and now I’m trying to guess at what went wrong.
One possibility is that I’ve oversaturated folks, so I’m giving everyone an extra week to comment on Ch2-3 before I put out the “Text Processing and File Management” chapter. Hopefully, by next Friday we’ll have a good discussion going there, and the Ch4 release will just keep the ball rolling.
But far more grave, is my fear that some folks might be too timid to express their thoughts about the material, perhaps because it’s in book form rather than written up in some generic blog post. This to me, is exactly what will prevent them from getting anything worthwhile out of my book. So if you’ve been holding back comments just because you didn’t want to challenge RBP’s “bookiness” out in the open, please don’t. I can handle all sorts of criticism, and the book will benefit as a result of it.
I am very serious about the idea that “Best Practices” really don’t have much value in a vacuum. I’m certain that the benefits that my book can offer its readers are maximized in open conversation. This is why I made sure to build an eventual open content licensing into RBP’s contract, and why I’m releasing free chapters now.
RBP is useless without you, so please, participate.