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20060403 Monday April 03, 2006

$120K for a downloadable PDF? Category: SourceBeat

In 30-day update: Getting Real, the book, Jason Fried says:

Total revenue for the book has been around $120,000. Since the book is distributed electronically in PDF format, it's nearly all profit. Yes, we spent months writing the book, but we would have had to do that anyway if we had chosen to work with a traditional publisher. Plus, if we worked with a traditional publisher that book probably wouldn't even be out yet.

Wow - that's a lot of moo-la made off a downloadable PDF. (2006-04-03 12:37:14.0) Permalink Comments [2]

20060201 Wednesday February 01, 2006

RE: Secrets Behind Ruby on Rails Category: SourceBeat

The numbers behind Ruby on Rails are certainly impressive. 25,000 copies of Agile Web Development with Rails has been sold. That's impressive for any programming book. It makes you wonder if SourceBeat should provide a Rails title? Ruby on Rails and Ajax seem like two rapidly-changing technologies that'd be perfect for the SourceBeat model.

In other SourceBeat news, James claims to be "very close" to finishing up the new site. Next week I plan on polishing the UI. Hopefully we'll be able to release it in mid-February. No promises though - I thought we'd release it last September. ;-) (2006-02-01 09:17:56.0) Permalink Comments [3]

20050603 Friday June 03, 2005

Open Source Publishing Category: SourceBeat

Matt Asay on open source publishing:

SourceBeat recognizes that technical books, especially when dealing with open source projects (MySQL, JBoss, SugarCRM, etc.) are likely to be out-of-date the day they're published, given the publishing cycle. So, SourceBeat delivers updates constantly to the computer where they can read the "books" at their leisure, and on a medium well-suited for technical books: a computer. It's a great solution for open source technology books. When will we get a SourceBeat for sheet music, Harry Potter, and the rest?

It's always nice to hear good things about ventures you've put a lot of time into. Thanks Matt!

In Spring Live news, I'm working with Cos to finish up tech edits for Chapter 13 (Advanced Form Processing - including Spring Web Flow) and Chapters 5 and 6. I expect we'll have these done early next week, and in Amy's hands shortly after. Hopefully, we'll be able to get another update published by JavaOne. After that, I'll be concentrating on updating the entire book (really just Chapters 7-12) for Spring 1.2 and starting on a Web Services chapter. I'm definitely enjoying my new gig since the updates and new chapter are part of my task list. ;-)

Other items to note: Spring Live is once again available on Amazon and the print version will soon have an index. (2005-06-03 21:07:33.0) Permalink Comments [0]

20050602 Thursday June 02, 2005

Word to use XML for storing files Category: SourceBeat

Microsoft announces new open XML Office File Formats. Could this mean that using Word to author books isn't so bad? I'd love to check in my chapters to a source code repository and have diff/merge ability b/c they're XML-based. (2005-06-02 01:30:52.0) Permalink Comments [6]

20050505 Thursday May 05, 2005

Apress gets into eBooks Category: SourceBeat

It looks like Apress has finally started selling copies of their books as PDFs. This is good to see b/c I like having a hard-copy and a soft copy (for quick searching and stuff). However, it looks like they still need to work on their download process. For those who aren't subscribed to Spring Live: we distribute the book as a single downloadable PDF. All the code for the book is also downloadable.

Chapter 12 Status: I received the first copy edit from Amy and will hopefully get it back to her tonight. (2005-05-05 15:36:17.0) Permalink Comments [0]

20050405 Tuesday April 05, 2005

Where are the downloads? Category: SourceBeat

If you're looking for the Spring Live downloads at, you might've noticed they're missing - at least for the later chapters. This is because SourceBeat is in the process of moving their hosting from a local Denver company to Contegix (hoster of,, etc.).

The migration (and upgrade) of JIRA and Confluence has gone well, and the website has been moved over too. The one piece missing since yesterday has been the downloads. The word is they're working on it and should have everything fixed in the next 24-48 hours. In the meantime, shoot me an e-mail at [email protected] if you need a download and I'll do my best to hook you up.

Update: Looks like they've finished moving everything over. (2005-04-05 11:46:19.0) Permalink Comments [1]

20050315 Tuesday March 15, 2005

Printed Version of Spring Live available at Category: SourceBeat

SourceBeat has a new Print-On-Demand (POD) vendor. Some issues with Amazon turned out to be more related to the POD vendor, so Matt canned them. Lulu looks like a good choice - especially since they ship anywhere in the world! You should be able to buy from Amazon (and actually get it) in another week or two.

  • Spring Live on

In chapter update news, I updated Chapter 12 to Acegi Security 0.8.0 this morning and sent it to Dion for tech edit #2. I'm still confident we can release this chapter before the end of the month.

Update: Looks like they have free world-wide shipping in March. (2005-03-15 21:23:36.0) Permalink Comments [1]

20050309 Wednesday March 09, 2005

Amazon: Spring Live out of stock? Category: SourceBeat

If you're tried to purchase Spring Live from Amazon, and received an out-of-stock notification, you may want to read this. (2005-03-09 12:59:31.0) Permalink Comments [0]

20050303 Thursday March 03, 2005

TheServerSide Symposium Category: SourceBeat

One of the best things about being a SourceBeat Author is the free trips to conferences. I'm heading to Vegas in a couple hours for TheServerSide Symposium. I've never been to one, so it should be a lot of fun. I'll try to take notes of sessions I find interesting and report them here or on Mmmmmm, I'm already thirsty for an Irish Carbomb. ;-) (2005-03-03 06:47:48.0) Permalink Comments [2]

20050215 Tuesday February 15, 2005

Word's "track changes" feature not that great Category: SourceBeat

According to Mike Mason, authoring a book with XML is the way to go. Mike just finished writing Pragmatic Version Control using Subversion and used XML rather than Microsoft Word to author it.

The Pragmatics have an authoring system based on XML, rather than Word. This is critical - don't let someone tell you Word's "track changes" feature is going to cut it. A text-based format where I can see precisely what markup I'm using, coupled with real revision control for all the book sources, gave me real control of what was going into the book. Even better I can render straight to PDF on my laptop, seeing the actual book as it will look in print. The same XML sources are used to produce the version for print and the downloadable PDF. This means there's one place to make corrections, rather than a complicated conversion from Word to some publishing format and the accompanying introduction of errors and difficulty making changes.

Personally, I don't mind authoring with Word, but I know Bruce hates it. My biggest reason for defending Word is its "track changes" feature, which Mike seems to be saying is "not all that". I have a hard time believing that non-technical copy editors would be confortable with XML, but that's just a hunch. Maybe SourceBeat should see about getting a license to the process that the Pragmatic Programmers use? (2005-02-15 10:50:49.0) Permalink Comments [3]

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  • [2] $120K for a downloadable PDF?
  • [3] RE: Secrets Behind Ruby on Rails
  • [6] Word to use XML for storing files
  • [1] Where are the downloads?
  • [1] Printed Version of Spring Live available at
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