Fabulous Adventures In Coding
Eric Lippert is a principal developer on the C# compiler team. Learn more about Eric.
of books, people keep telling me and Peter and Raymond that we should write books
based on our blogs.
I probably am going to write another book this winter, but it will have pretty much
nothing to do with the stuff in this blog. The
natures of a blog and a book are very different. Let me list some differences:
can blog what I want, when I want, at what length I want, and can say whatever I want.
In particular, I like to ramble on about the scripting technologies -- which, though
they are widely used, are clearly a 20th century technology. .NET
is the future. A book has to be on a
specific topic, finished by a specific time, at a specific length. A
book has to be about a current technology topic and have a clear beginning-middle-end
structure. Books both allow editing and require editing. Blogs
work on the ink-on-dead-trees business model. Weblogs work on the "bits are
free" business model. If I went to a publisher and said "I want to write a short but
rambling book about random, arcane, trivial details of the history and internals of
a 1996 technology that is presently being made increasingly irrelevant and outmoded
by .NET" then the publisher would say "thanks, but no thanks". People
buy computer books because they have a problem
that needs solving, not because they enjoy learning my opinions about proper Hungarian
MUST make money to exist. My aim for this blog isn't to make money, it is to
dump my vast collection of arcane into some googlable location.
blog is available to everyone in the world with a web browser, and given the subject
matter, that's everyone I want to reach. Books are available to only the very
small number of people who actually buy the book. If you like my book and you
want your friend in
to read it, you can't just send them a link. Again, books cost money and that
limits the potential readership.
book is no longer available because of circumstances beyond my control. Now,
Microsoft isn't going to go out of business, but if they did, I could just move the
blog file to another machine in about five minutes and be back up and running.
This blog will be archived and therefore part of the permanent searchable record of
knowledge on the internet. The copies of my book in the Library of Congress (and
whatever the British equivalent is) aren't going to help a whole lot of devs.
finally, apropos of nothing in particular, this is hilarious: http://mama.indstate.edu/users/bones/WhyIHateWebLogs.html,
mostly because it is so self-referential. One
wonders what category the author himself falls into. Thank
goodness my blog falls under one of his acceptable uses of blogs! I
don' t know how I could continue to face myself in the mirror every day without this