Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

O’Reilly Release ePubs

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

As of today, 30 O’Reilly titles are available as Ebook bundles and many will be in the Kindle Store later today:

As promised last month, O’Reilly has released 30 titles as DRM-free downloadable ebook bundles. The bundles include three ebook formats (EPUB, PDF, and Kindle-compatible Mobipocket) for a single price — at or below the book’s cover price.

I’ve spent a reasonable chunk of my year helping make this happen, both on the O’Reilly side and by adding .epub support to the DocBook-XSL stylesheets with Paul Norton of Adobe. Hopefully, our customers will be happy with the new formats.

Hiding Complexity

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

I just started reading the second edition of The Ruby Way by Hal Fulton and came across this gem:

We can’t avoid complexity, but we can push it around. We can bury it out of sight. This is the old “black box” principle at work; a black box performs a complex task, but it possesses simplicity on the outside.

This idea of managing complexity is one of the classic commandments of programming, of course, and a core theme of Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, but this was a nice restatement.

It looks like this edition (in all it’s 800+ page glory) will be quite a treat.

Amazon Scrape -> SVG Graph in Ruby

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

I just spent a few minutes enjoying Mongrel and SVG::Graph while helping Rob visualize his Amazon Sales Rank for his book.

The code is available here with a running (maybe) example here. If all goes well, that should show you an SVG graph (thanks, Firefox) showing the changes in sales rank over time.

Rob’s code to generate the scrape is here.

Picture:
Rob Sales Rank

[Update: darcs get http://kfahlgren.com/code/]

Rails Cookbook Released

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Rob Orsini’s Rails Cookbook has finally hit the store shelves. Go grab a copy because of how nice it makes you look:

Rob's Daughter Reading Father's Book

More from Rob here.

Crossing the Chasm

Monday, December 12th, 2005

I just started reading Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore and am enjoying it quite a bit. The book was given to me by a colleague who thought it was a must read because of the startup. The basic premise is this: there’s a huge chasm that separates early adopters of technologies, who are prepared to make some concessions for the sake of new, cool things, and the early majority, who will use new things, but only if they’re practical. Moore posits that many high-tech companies fail because they never full grasp how to “cross the chasm” and reach the real majority, often mistaking their early sucesses as evidence of wide appeal. I can certainly think of a ton of emerging websites that haven’t crossed chasm…

Read more on Google Print or here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossing_the_Chasm