Generally, when I'm this quiet, it's because I'm simply not writing for iRi. But this last month has been an exception; I've been implementing one of those things that made me write my own weblogging platform in the first place: "BlogBook"s.
A BlogBook is a way of tying together a series of posts into a cohesive whole like a book. It's intended to help with my larger projects that just don't fit into the "isolated weblog post" mold, because they require too much context.
By way of testing out how well it works, I've ported The Ethics of Modern Communication over to the new code. There are still some anomalies with the port (in particular some of the diagrams are too big), but for now that's the way it is. Other than "the figures are too big!", comments welcome about how it looks. I'm particularly concerned about the way the interspersed "Comment" links look while you're trying to read it, and other such comments about the reading experience.
It is an open issue how well this will work. Some bits of my old book don't work at all as a "blog post", but we'll see whether it works out better when I'm deliberately trying to make things work both as blog posts and as part of a book.
BlogBooks also have their own RSS feed for the constituent entries. (Subscribing to the Communication Ethics feed is pretty pointless, though, as that one is probably done.) It's also an open question as to whether I may also include a smaller "essay" division; while Government Myths is by no means a book, it's definitely too long for a single blog post, and would benefit from the book code's ability to structure the whole. (And I've got a couple other such multi-post essays buried in the structureless-muck here.)
So you know where I'm going with this, I have two or three further truly book-length books planned out right now:
- Programming Wisdom: A book about programming, with the goal of helping you learn how to be a wise programmer faster than you would have become one without reading this book. It's an ambitious title for the book, but then, it's an ambitious project.
I have what is probably between a third to a half of this already written out. Like Communication Ethics, simply the act of writing things down has clarified things for me, and even taught me new things. I don't know exactly when I'll start putting the pieces up, but it may be a bit; there's a few more things I want to try to work into the flow before I start putting it into the system.
By its very nature, this will probably never be finished, but I do have some specific goals in mind.... and I'm trying to make sure it doesn't simply become a repository of everything I think about programming, but stays true to the stated goal.
- Practical Epistemology: Not quite a neologism, but close.
Epistemology is the study of truth; what it is, and how (and whether) we know we have it. The Wikipedia page is a good start, but I intend to do two things very differently than traditional epistemology: One, I intend to start from a very different place, and two, while I'm going to try to start from the very, very beginning, I intend to end up in a place where we really are discussing practically useful tidbits in the vein of Determining Motives from Actions. (Which will actually end up significantly re-worked in light of the new context I'll have laid down.)
This may turn out to have a life of its own and get split into two pieces, because the first bit may turn out to be much larger than I realize. Again, I am going to try to keep it focused.
- My third book will be the 2007 NaNoWriMo, if I have the time and desire to participate.
The way I figure it, I've got the art of word spew down. In fact, the primary reason that I think I need to prepare is that if I don't somewhat carefully plot out a skeleton, there's no way in heck I'll finish in one month... I'd be at 50,000 words and 30% completion. Bad plan. I'm going to spend the entire previous two months thinking "small and simple". (As it turns out, this is good practice for my coding job too.)
I'm still tempted to stick with my first sentence.
Now you know what's coming. I hope you enjoy it. If not, at least I'll have gotten this stuff out of my head. (And blogging seems like less of a waste of time in general when you end up with a concrete artifact you can point at like a book.)