Skip to main content

Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

I have written half a book

LIke men­tioned be­fore I am try­ing to write a book and ... well, I may be ac­tu­al­ly mak­ing pro­gress? At least the gen­er­at­ed PDF is about 170 pages long, which means I have writ­ten a bunch in this past month.

I have fin­ished the sec­ond of four planned part­s, which means I have done about half of it. Since I ex­pect the next two parts to be short­er, it's ac­tu­al­ly more than that.

The tar­get au­di­ence are peo­ple who have fin­ished the python tu­to­ri­al but are not ex­act­ly pro­gram­mers yet. They have the syn­tax more or less in their head­s, but how do you turn that in­to an ac­tu­al piece of code?

  • Part 1 is about "pro­­to­­typ­ing", the process of dump­ing an idea in­­­to rough code.

  • Part 2 is about pol­ish­ing that rough code in­­­to ... not so rough code. In­­­cludes a gen­­tle in­­tro­­duc­­tion to test­ing, for ex­am­­ple.

  • Part 3 (to be writ­ten) is about things that are not code:

    • Git / Git­lab

    • Is­­­sues

    • Pack­­­ag­ing

    • Set­t­ing up a we­b­site

    • CI

    • Lots more

  • Part 4 is still to be thought but ba­si­­cal­­ly it will cov­­er im­­ple­­men­t­ing a large fea­­ture from the ground up.

I much ap­pre­ci­ate com­ments about it.

PD: Si, va a haber una tra­duc­ciń al castel­lano. O mas bi­en al ar­genti­no. Una vez que lo ter­mine.

I am trying to write a Python book

Once up­on a time, I tried to write a book. It did not end well. I was try­ing to dump a whole lot of knowl­edge at once. Knowl­edge I did not re­al­ly have, to be hon­est. When I look at that book I see a failed thing.

So, of course, many years lat­er, I am try­ing again, but with the lessons learned in my mind.

  • It will be a smal­l­­er book.

  • I am not al­­so writ­ing a whole tool chain for it.

  • It will be about things I know.

So, what is it?

The tem­po­rary ti­tle, right now, is some­thing like "Box­es: your sec­ond Python book". It says your sec­ond Python book be­cause you do need a work­ing knowl­edge of Python syn­tax as pro­vid­ed by the of­fi­cial Python Tu­to­ri­al, but not much else. When there is a par­tic­u­lar­ly hairy piece of code it may link to the tu­to­ri­al or the ref­er­ence or some­thing.

The "idea" of the book is to bridge a gap that ex­ists be­tween know­ing the ba­sics of read­ing and writ­ing a lan­guage (spe­cial­ly if it's your first!) and be­ing able to ef­fec­tive­ly us­ing it to cre­ate a use­ful projec­t.

It fol­lows the growth of "Box­es", a sim­plis­tic text lay­out en­gine, from a vague idea to a ful­ly work­ing, use­ful, test­ed, and pub­lished piece of soft­ware.

It's not there yet, but it's about 25% of the way there.

You can read it here: http­s://ralsi­na.git­lab.io/box­es-­book/ and the sources are at http­s://git­lab.­com/ralsi­na/box­es-­book

Com­ments much ap­pre­ci­at­ed!


Contents © 2000-2021 Roberto Alsina