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13 Nov 2010, 13:05
UlrichMerkel (23 posts)

6700 words forming 26 pages After some 6 hrs on saturday morning, Chapter 4 and 7 reached some first maturity level so I update my

A nice weekend for all of us, Uli

P.S. I’m now the proud owner of a scanning device. Just a 3 * 3 * 25 cm stick, battery operated, microSD card and easy to carry with you. You can see my “real-world” handwritten stuff decorating the book.

13 Nov 2010, 20:59
Daniel de Kok (38 posts)

Had a party yesterday, so I had to catch up to day. We are at 44 A4 pages now.

14 Nov 2010, 00:06
Josh Carter (40 posts)

Got my writing in early today.

14 Nov 2010, 02:09
Diego Zamboni (69 posts)

I wrote 854 words today. Here are my stats:

My technical chapters continue taking shape, I am now evolving a working cfengine policy by gradually adding more and more complex components, to do different configuration tasks. Sometimes it feels I’m not writing much, just explaining code, but I guess the trick is in explaining the right things in the right way so that someone who does not know the topic can follow and learn from it.

14 Nov 2010, 03:07
Bob Cochran (170 posts)

I finished my pages for today, too! I think I’m hitting some good ideas for later discussion in the book. For example I am wondering why cubicles in an office setting are arranged in rows. Well the answer is that is the way you stuff as many people as possible into a given square footage, and it is also relatively cheap, I suppose. (Note to self: find out what it costs to construct a modern cubicle for a software developer.)

The idea here is…why not arrange cubicles in circles or in other nonstandard patterns to better facilitate team communication?

Uli, I looked at your download document early this morning (U. S. Eastern Standard Time, that is) and I was really interested to see the scanned documents that you added. You are quite imaginative. I think you set me to thinking what I can do to enhance my book with graphics.

Diego, you are taking on a tough job: explaining a technical process in such a way that a reader with no previous knowledge can follow and learn the topic.

Raymond and Travis and all the others who haven’t posted yet…I hope things go better for you!


14 Nov 2010, 06:52
Edward Gibbs (15 posts)

Got in another 790 words tonight after missing Friday due to a lot of overtime commitments, so 4520 total. Having started the project with a broader topic, I’m now focusing more on a section of it which may make a better book at the end. I assume that’s a pretty common process.

14 Nov 2010, 12:32
Raymond Yee (47 posts)

Thanks, Bob, for noticing that I hadn’t checked in yesterday. I’m up to 9000 words now and 23 pages.

Bob: your comment about cubicles made me wonder whether people have tried to pack people in hexagonal cubicles. A google search turned up a paper ( with the following quote:

bq. (The Silicon Valley company Nokia used hexagonal cubicles from Herman Miller, Inc. to fit eleven workstations and a couch area in a circular space where only six to eight rectangular workstations could have fit.)

Yesterday, I engaged in a bit of yak shaving while writing. I’ve been writing my book in Markdown and Komodo Edit (combined with the HTML Toolkit extension to provide a live rendition of Markdown into HTML. Works really well until my book got too large and overwhelmed the buffer size. I decided to download Aquamacs to try out Emacs + the markdown mode. As you probably know, Emacs can be very useful but also a terrible distraction for a writer! At any rate, I’m happy to have Emacs setup to help me with the writing, especially with reorganizing what I’ve written. The Emacs markdown mode has an outline minor mode, making it easier to expand and collapse parts of my document and move sections around.

I may or may not write much today. I’ve decided it’s important for me to give myself a day of rest and let myself do whatever tickles my fancy today. But tomorrow morning, I’ll be back at my book for sure.

14 Nov 2010, 16:36
Daniel de Kok (38 posts)

Hi Raymond,

To be able to focus on one piece of content and make WYSIWYG editing fast, we use one file per chapter. We also put some stuff like equations in separate files, so the we can easily include them in multiple places or move them. This works really well if files can be edited standalone (e.g. with Markdown and DocBook XML).

14 Nov 2010, 18:01
Travis Swicegood (117 posts)

Hey guys;

Did get to write yesterday, but never had the chance to update here. Spent the whole day at CodeWorks and then too much of the night enjoying Austin. :-)

Stats for yesterday:

    2125   11487   76744 total

My first pomodoro was interrupted about half way through and I didn’t have time to complete a full two, so that’s ~1.5 pomdoro’s worth of writing.


14 Nov 2010, 22:27
Diego Zamboni (69 posts)


I’ve been thinking also about converting my writing from Markdown to ReST and Sphinx, mostly to learn a new tool, but I’ve been forcing myself not to, to keep focused on writing. I’ve also forced myself to write directly in the 750words writing screen, mostly because I enjoy the writing stats, but also to force myself “down to basics” and focus on writing and not on editing, which would be made much easier if I wrote in Emacs, my usual editor of choice. Still, I use Emacs for editing my code snippets and then just paste them into 750words. After finishing each entry, I merge it into my per-chapter text files using Emacs, but I try hard not to make any changes into the actual text.

“Write first, edit later” has taken quite a bit of determination and willpower, as I’m normally a sucker for tinkering, be it with new tools, formats, languages, or whatever. However, it’s been worthwhile, 13 days in and I’m now the proud owner of a 45-page proto-book already, so I’m quite happy.

15 Nov 2010, 13:25
Raymond Yee (47 posts)

Diego: Thanks for responding to my post and adding to my own determination to prioritize more strongly the act of writing over any “meta-writing” activities!

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