Friday November 11, 2005
A couple of weeks ago, I finished updating Chapter 7 (Persistence Strategies with Spring) and sent it off to Cos for tech editing. A few months back, we changed our strategy for chapter updates. Rather than just using "track changes" in Word, we now treat updates as brand-new chapters, so they get the same respect and attention-to-detail that the first versions did. This means it may take a while to get through editing process. See SourceBeat's JIRA for a list of fixed issues in the next release.
Next, I hope to start working on a web services chapter, as well as updating Chapter 8 to cover Spring's org.springframework.test package and its convenience classes. Unfortunately, I've been traveling so much lately, I'm a little burned out on all my extra-curricular activities (open source and Spring Live). This weekend, I'll be speaking at Denver's No Fluff Just Stuff, and next week I'll be out in San Francisco teaching a Spring+Hibernate course. I don't know when I'll find time again to work on Spring Live, but my guess is probably not until mid-December.
In Spring-related news, Acegi Security 0.9.0 is right around the corner, as well as Spring 1.2.6. I upgraded AppFuse to nightly builds of both projects a couple of days ago. The Acegi upgrade required quite a few Java class changes (no XML changes that I remember) and the Spring upgrade failed because of an issue with UrlFilenameViewController. I'm sure this will be fixed before 1.2.6 is released.
Saturday October 15, 2005
I was hoping to have Spring Live updated and ready to go for the next release by now, but I don't. In fact, I just started working on updating it yesterday. I got sidetracked by Java in Action, a new client, and OS Rot. I expect to find a little time next week, so hopefully I'll make some more headway. I've finished updating the Hibernate section in Chapter 7 for Hibernate 3, but I've run into the ol' hibernate.hbm2ddl.auto=update issue with HSQL and Hibernate 3. I'll probably just change this to use "create" and call that good. I don't want to have to change all the chapters (7+) to use a different database, but I will if there's enough demand. In order to get updates back on track, I may just finish updating Chapter 7 and publish that.
In other news, if you want to use Maven 2 with Equinox (or just Maven 2's Ant tasks), checkout this entry on my other blog.
Thursday September 29, 2005
I have to admit, authoring Spring Live just hasn't been the same since I joined Virtuas. Part of my job description as a Practice Leader includes authoring and working on books and articles. At the same time, it involves working on open source projects. Of course, to make money, we're also expected to work with clients for a week or two per month.
I've had a fair amount of freedom in the past couple of months to work on whatever I wanted. It's been a great ride so far. I've done some training courses, helped some clients with Spring and Hibernate, and attended some conferences. In addition, I've released two versions of AppFuse, one version of Equinox, created most of the SourceBeat 2.0 site, and created most of the foundation for the Virtuas 2.0 site.
In this same time period, we've published two updates to Spring Live. Chapter 13 was released in early July (along with updates to Chapters 3-6) and Chapter 6.5 was released on September 1st. Interestingly enough, I wrote both of these chapters before I started working at Virtuas. I've been trying to start updating Chapters 7-12 for Spring 1.2 for months now. Starting is the hardest part and I know once I get over that hump, I'll be off and running.
This post is to let you know that I'm still committed to updating Spring Live. Things are about to get really busy for me, but this might actually be a good thing. The more things I have on my plate, the more I get done, and the less I get distracted. Spring Live's tech editor (Cos) is going to be putting together an initial outline for Chapter 14: Web Services with Spring, and I'm going to work on updating Chapters 7-12. My initial goal was to be done with the updates by October 1st, but that's not going to happen, so I'll set a new goal of October 15th. The web services chapter probably won't arrive until November.
On Monday, I'm heading to Florida for Java in Action. Since Julie's family is in South Florida, we're going to spend a few days there, then head up to Gainesville to hang out with her college buddies (it's homecoming weekend). I plan on showing up to Java In Action on Thursday evening - just in time for 4 hours of speaking on Friday. Hope to see you there!
Monday July 18, 2005
I haven't had much of a chance to work on Spring Live this month. Last week I returned from a week of vacation in Montana, and immediately had to start preparing for a fully-customized Spring Training course for a client in San Francisco. Now I'm in San Francisco delivering the course, and not finding much extra time to work on the book. When I get back, I have a week to get ready for OSCON, so life isn't going to slow down much. I hope to find a few hours to wrap up the editing on the JasperReports section of Chapter 6, but it's not looking good. It's likely that I won't get a chance to work on the book until I get back from OSCON.
After polishing the JasperReports section, I'll concentrate on updating Chapters 7-12 for Spring 1.2.2. I expect this will take me a week or two, but hopefully we'll have a fully updated version for release in early September. You can check out the current roadmap if you want to know what will be in that release. In September, I hope to write a chapter on using Spring Remoting. With any luck, we'll release that chapter in mid-October.
Sunday June 05, 2005
This week, I did a few hours worth of work on Chapter 13 (Advanced Forms + Web Flow) to add a custom PropertyEditor example, as well as update Spring Web Flow coverage to PR3. The PropertyEditor example was pretty easy because Cos (tech editor) wrote up the example and I just had to mold it into the chapter. It's great having a tech editor that's enthusiastic about the book, as well as contributing. In fact, Cos is even spending some time this week looking into JasperReports and adding coverage of it to Chapter 6. We hope to get Chapters 4, 13, 5 and 6 into copy edit this week, and have an update for you in the next 2-3 weeks. Hopefully before JavaOne.
Later this month, I'll be updating Chapters 7-12 to use the new XML simplification in Spring 1.2, as well as add any notes that are appropriate for the latest release. In July, I'll be starting Chapter 14 - Web Services with Spring. In it, I hope to use various techniques to expose web services and then consume them with a couple of different clients, Laszlo being one of them.
Monday March 28, 2005
Chapter 12 Delayed
It's been well over a month since I first finished Chapter 12 and sent it in for tech editing. I've done one revision and updated the chapter for Acegi 0.8.1. I was expecting the chapter back last week, or today at the latest - instead I got a resignation notice from Dion. So we're looking for a new tech editor for Spring Live and will hopefully have one in the next few days. Hopefully the new person will be able to edit Chapter 12 w/in a week and we can publish it in the next couple of weeks.
Dion has been a great editor on Spring Live, it seems he's merely overextended himself and is re-aligning his commitments. It's probably a good lesson for us all: if you're going to resign from something, do it before you start procrastinating your obligations to that commitment. ;-)
In Spring-related news, 1.2 RC1 was released today. I'll be upgrading AppFuse, Equinox and the book's many downloads in the next few days.
Sunday March 20, 2005
This past couple of weeks has been occupied by various conferences, so I haven't had a whole lot of time to work on Spring Live. Chapter 12 is still with Dion in Tech Edit, and I'm going to start doing March updates this week. I delayed it for the past week b/c I expect Spring 1.2 RC1 to be released this week - and I'd live for the updates to be in line with that. For those new to Spring Live, see coming updates for more information on what's next.
There's already a fair amount of bugs on my plate for this week, but I also hope to update for Hibernate 3 and add some indexed property examples to Chapter 4 (or maybe 5). If there's anything else you'd like to see (this month or beyond), please enter your enhancement requests in JIRA.
Wednesday February 23, 2005
RE: More Ranting About Using Word for Book Authoring
Bruce doesn't like using Word for authoring. Personally, I don't mind it at all and find it quite useful. After spending some time tonight writing documentation using DocBook's XML format, I think Word is a better authoring tool. Sure it sucks for CVS and diffs and all that - but it's a much more efficient tool for me to use. If I had to write a book using DocBook's syntax, it might take me as long as it's taken Bruce! All kidding aside, I'm finding it very painful to write in XML. Here are a few reasons why:
- In Word, when I want to bold or emphasis something, I use Ctrl+I and Ctrl+B before I start typing. With XML, I have to wrap stuff with <emphasis> and <emphasis role="bold">.
- When pasting code in Word, I simply copy and paste it from Eclipse, and I get syntax hightlighting to boot. With XML, I have to use <programlisting> and escape any special XML characters using something like this tool. I'm sure you could get color-coding somehow on code listings, but I've yet to see an example in print or docbook-generated sites on the web.
- With Word, if I want to put a link on a word or phrase - I highlight it, hit Ctrl+K and paste the URL in. Return and I'm done. With XML, I have to write <ulink url="link">phrase goes here</ulink>.
I'm assuming there's XML/DocBook authoring tools that might nullify Word's advantage, but right now I prefer the Word over XML approach.
Tuesday February 15, 2005
Almost, but not quite
I stayed home today to work on Spring Live. I thought I could finish Chapter 12, but I knew it was a long shot. I managed to add 14 new pages today, but I'm still not done. The chapter currently sits at 41 pages. I was planning on spending a late night, plowing through and getting it done. And then life (thankfully) intercepted my plans.
Valentine's Day is a fun holiday. It sucks when you're single, but it's great when you have a family. The kids get candy from relatives and you get a chance to tell your spouse how much you love them. Tonight I ended up playing with the kids, enjoying a nice home-cooked dinner with the family, and then closing the night watching a movie with Julie. The movie just ended and it's midnight.
I could probably stay up and finish the chapter, but I know better. I have a demo at my client's tomorrow morning at 11 and if I stayed up to work on the book, I might not get to bed until 6. I'm also learning: writing is a lot like programming. I should be doubling (or even tripling) my estimates. I think I only have 4 hours left, but I probably really have 8 or 12. Oh well, hopefully I can get a couple early mornings and late nights in before the end of the week and get it to tech edit before the weekend.
Tuesday February 08, 2005
RE: Working at a Coffee Shop
A few weeks ago, Bruce mentioned how he's working on Castor Live at a local coffee shop. He bitches that it's a Starbucks and he wishes there was a "little local coffee shop" with the same level of traffic. I'm writing this post to brag about the one I've been working at for most of the day: CapuVino. Not only are do they have free wireless and a steady stream of traffic, but they also serve beer and wine. When you take the day off to write all day (like I did today) it's nice to spend the last bit winding down with a tall glass of good beer.