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7 posts from February 2009

Is the Web Affecting How We Read Books?

Books2 It's time for a link to one of those controversial posts...a post that you'll either totally disagree with or you might find very enlightening.  I'm talking about this one from David Meerman Scott entitled "Does a new literacy call for a new book model?"  I read it and found myself wondering about the possibilities it could lead to.

I'm a bit skeptical that some of the elements from Zak Nelson's mock-up, which is included in that post, are viable.  Nevertheless, if you take only one thing away from reading David's summary, remember this: We (publishers/authors) need to do a much better job of writing content for more than just the print medium.  Too many books are being converted to e-content (for Kindles, iPhone apps, etc.) without even the simplest embedded links for cross-references and external references/resources.  How stupid is that?

Two Great New O'Reilly Titles

Designing Web Interfaces I've been on the road a lot lately and came home to a pleasant surprise: a box full of some of our latest books was waiting for me.  I was particularly impressed by two of these.  First up is Designing Web Interfaces, by Bill Scott and Theresa Neil.  When you think of four-color books you probably don't immediately think of O'Reilly, but this one offers a full color view of the best way to build a great web app interface.  You may have even noticed the image on the cover is in color, which is a nice touch that helps set this one off from our one-color animal books.  This is a terrific book that I plan to spend time with and recommend to anyone doing UI work.

The other new publication I wanted to call attention to is Beautiful Architecture, which was written by more than a dozen contributors and edited by Diomidis Spinellis and Georgios Gousios.  It's the latest title in our Theory In Practice series and comes with an endorsement from Grady Booch.  It's also worth noting that all the author royalties on this one are being donated to Doctors Without Borders.  Very cool.

I also wanted to give a quick plug to a book we're about to publish but I haven't received a copy of yet.  It's called iPhone SDK Application Development, by Jonathan Zdziarski and it's been rocketing up the charts all weekend.  I've seen it as high as #20 on Amazon's Computers & Internet bestseller list, and it doesn't even officially publish till Tuesday, 2/3!  The iPhone is clearly a red hot development platform.