Monday, July 10, 2006

Announcing Our Book! (Windows Developer Power Tools)

Announcing Windows Developer Power Tools by myself and James Avery, to be published by O’Reilly sometime in November.  (Yep, we pushed back a month after having tried to push forward a month.  The book will be much better for the extra time.)

The book is around 1100 pages of goodness on open source and freeware tools you can use to improve your software development work.  The book’s all about using tools to bring value to the entire development cycle from writing code to testing to lifecycle management.  We’ve got something like 170 tools from Anthem.NET to Sysinternals RegMon to Bugzilla.  We chose tools which help improve the quality of code you write, or help improve your productivity as a developer.  (We also chose stuff we thought was just plain cool, too.)

What’s really neat is that we’ve had a significant number of articles written by the tool creators themselves.  This is great because 1) these folks know their own tools inside and out and can best write about the tools’ value, and 2) they were passionate enough to write the tool in the first place and that passion (hopefully!) comes across in their articles.  We’ve also had some terrific folks contribute articles to the book as well.  James and I have still ended up writing probably 70% of the book ourselves, plus we edited every submission for consistency, style, and content.

We’ve got two more chapters to put nails in: Database Utilities, and WinFx / .NET 3.0.  We hope to have those completed mid-week, then it’s time to focus on polishing up the great structure we’ve got in place.  We may drop a few articles here and there for various reasons, and we’re going to flesh out every chapter’s introduction so that readers are clear on where the tools in that chapter fit in the development cycle, and how those tools bring value to a product.

We’ve a significant amount of effort left, but the book is shaping up really, really well.  We’ve had some brutal inital feedback from Tech Reviewers, but we’ve also had some very uplifting, enthusiastic feedback from a number of TRs too.

I may be biased, but I think the book’s going to be fantastic.  (What, like you would say “It’s going to suck big time”?)

You can have a look at the table of contents if you like, or you could even have a look at a sample chapter of the book.  We’d love to have your feedback on the content.  We’ll be posting up other chapters occasionally.  I’ll announce that here when that happens.


David Dossot said...

Congrats to you and James! It really sounds like a birth: long gestation, lots of labor and a newborn (hopefully) everybody finds pretty ;-)

Jim Holmes said...

Funny you should equate the book to the whole pregnancy thing, David -- I was thinking along those same lines recently: lots of excitement initially, then reality sets in that you've got a lot of work ahead of you. Much riding of an emotional roller coaster as the event progresses, and the finally, at the period right before you're finished writing you Just Want It To Be Over. :D

I certainly hope everyone finds our baby pretty!

Anonymous said...

I'd welcome a chance to review it for Doctor Dobb's Journal --- you can reach me at


Simone Busoli said...

Great Jim, I can't wait to read it!

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