Sunday, July 30, 2006

GWT book, subversion diversion

Most of my free time lately has been going into a new project - an e-book on the Google Web Toolkit to be published by the Pragmatic Programmers. I have about 50 pages of rough draft written so far, covering topics such as why you would want to use GWT, how it ties into your web pages, developing in Eclipse, the differences between hosted and web mode, remote procedure calls, and more. The e-book is supposed to be about 60 pages so I'm happy with the progress so far. If you are interested in GWT and have some ideas about what should be in the book, let me know. See also my new site at

This is my first project with the Pragmatic Programmers and things are working pretty well so far. One thing I like is that I don't have to use MS Word to write the book (both Manning and O'Reilly required that). The format is in XML, but actually I don't directly write in XML most of the time (I'll have more to say about what I'm using in the future). The XML files are checked into a repository (Subversion) just like source code. It beats the heck out of sending zips containing MS Word doc files to your editor, and trying to keep it all straight with naming conventions containing the date.

Speaking of Subversion, I'm using Subclipse for the book development because Subversive doesn't support svn:externals yet. Both of these plug-in teams have proposed Eclipse projects (subclipse - subversive) so it'll be interesting to see how that works out.

Subclipse developer Mark Phippard noticed I was using Subclipse because of a ZDNet image gallery on Google Code that I posted, and pointed out a new version was available. This version (1.1.4) works much better with Eclipse 3.2, though it was still being pretty slow when saving files. When I complained to Mark about this, he had a fix for me the next day that sped it up by a factor of 10 or more! This fix will undoubtedly make it in the next Subclipse build. Thanks Mark!


At Sunday, October 22, 2006 12:03:00 AM, Blogger Eduardo Pereda IV (epere4) said...

Hi, Ed!

I was looking for information about your GWT book and came across your blog.

I am interested in the XML format you mention. Is that something propietary from Pragmatic Programmers? Or they use some public format for writing books in XML that can be later exported to PDF?

And, maybe this is a little bit of topic here, is there any other way to by your book that is not with credit card? I live in Argentina and I don't have a credit card, but I am interested in your book.

At Monday, October 23, 2006 9:16:00 AM, Blogger Ed Burnette said...

It's proprietary to Pragmatic Programmers but it's pretty close to the Simple Docbook format.

Credit cards are required, so maybe you can get a friend to get it for you. Sorry about that. I suggested they take Paypal but their system couldn't accomodate it.

At Monday, October 23, 2006 11:20:00 PM, Blogger Eduardo Pereda IV (epere4) said...

Ok, thanks a lot for the info. I'll see what I can do!


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