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14 Dec 2010, 16:16
Raymond Yee (47 posts)

I wrote about 500 words today (after not writing anything for a couple of days) and am now up to 20500 words.

I expect that I’ll write little in the latter half of December while I take a two-week break from work.

15 Dec 2010, 05:33
Travis Swicegood (117 posts)

Hey guys;

Just hit day 41 of my streak. Still rocking the conversion from ReST to PML. I keep using macros to remove the pain points, but I’ve just hit a pretty rough one to create a macro for (nested definition lists) so I think this might be most of tomorrow’s work.

So far it looks like my @find … wc@ word count is about the same. The page count for my formatted PDF is 139 for the raw PDF (116 numbered pages). I can’t wait to see this fully formatted in the Prag style.


15 Dec 2010, 07:07
Diego Zamboni (70 posts)

Still working on my PragProg proposal. I finished writing the first pass of the text, and just finished a first round of editing on the “Overview” section.

Question for Susannah as editor and Travis as author: how long is a good proposal for a first book by an unknown author? Mine is now at 4 pages long (without the sample chapter, of course, and formatted with Sphinx’ “howto” style, which is fairly compact). I feel it’s too short, but also already says most of what I’d like to say… :)


16 Dec 2010, 03:08
Travis Swicegood (117 posts)

It should be long enough to get the point across and sell your idea, and not a word longer. :-)

It’s really easy to get caught up in page count or word count, but the end result is the important part. Think of it in terms of code. If LOC was the important metric of a language, Java would win hands down. Instead, the conciseness of languages like Ruby and Lisp and Python (though some would argue with me on the last one being concise) make them much more powerful.

You feel it’s too short. Why? Is it because it’s missing something, or because you want to have a bunch of material to show how awesome your idea is? The first is a problem to fix; the second is a mental block to get over. :-)


15 Dec 2010, 18:23
Susannah Davidson Pfalzer (114 posts)

Hi Diego,

What Travis said. :-)

In your proposal, what should come through particularly is why we should be excited about what you’re proposing, and why it’s a good fit for us. We don’t need pages of detail, but what we would like to see come through is that level of excitement and an understanding of how your book will be unique, different, cool.

16 Dec 2010, 05:17
Diego Zamboni (70 posts)

Travis and Susannah - thanks! What you said agrees with the feeling I had. I still have some work to do, but it’s slowly taking shape.

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