I was always an avid reader, maxing out the number of books allowed for checkout from the library with each visit. And if I had the time I would still read as many books as way back when I was a teen. Now my boys read about that much, and I can not keep up. Back then I would have never thought that I ever pivot to writing books. Although my school reports already went long, and I could easily write dozens of pages in a report. Hopefully without too much rambling 😉
Wow … re-reading the stuff you wrote not long ago again and again is exhausting. But it is one of the steps necessary when you write a book. And by my own count I am now at book number five: Presto: The Definitive Guide
What I consider my first real book, was my masters thesis for Applied Physics. In a way, lots of changed since then, but in many ways I was on the right track back then already. I wrote my thesis with LaTeX and got deep into the community around TeX on the comp.text.tex newsgroup and usage of MiKTeX. Haha.. now I am dating myself. Oh well. Text-based source code producing a high quality output was already the right choice then. And it is still today. At least today I get to use git.
My second book was more like a take over. I wrote the Android chapter for Maven: The Complete Reference for Sonatype and then took over maintenance of numerous revisions of that book. Including a conversion from docbook xml to asciidoc. This is all Tim OBrien’s fault! Asciidoc has been a great tool and I prefer it over all the others I use regularly as well, including markdown/jekyll or rst/sphinx.
Working with Sonatype grew to larger efforts and I ended up writing The Hudson Book for the Eclipse Foundation. The book never went to many users unfortunately. Sadly Jenkins won the conflict of the Jenkins/Hudson split and has been a curse and blessing at the same time for many, many users. And believe me as contributor and heavy user and administrator of Jenkins I know of many of the pains.
Much more work then went into Nexus. Repository Management with Nexus specifically was the title of the official book and documentation for the repository manager from Sonatype, and I maintained and expanded it across many, many releases all the way to the 3.x versions. Again using asciidoc.
Now my latest book was written with Matt Fuller and Martin Traverso. Presto: The Definitive Guide is the first and foremost book about the powerful, open source SQL query engine Presto. Converting the original draft material into asciidoc and working with Matt and Martin has been great. I did some pretty aggressive restructuring and changes, and got it all across the finish line. Working with the team at O’Reilly has been a great experience as well and I look forward to erratas and new editions in the future.
If you are interested in getting your hands on a copy of the book, you can
for a while.
And if you are like me and prefer a real book you can get paper copies for OReilly or Amazon and others.