'. '


From APIDesign

Revision as of 11:57, 21 June 2008 by JaroslavTulach (Talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

A book is unlikely to be written by single person. Even it has just one author, just like TheAPIBook has Jaroslav Tulach, it is always work of a team. This page is my attempt to enumerate those who helped me and provide some story associated with them, so their contribution stands out in the real light.


Geertjan and Patrick

First and foremost I need to thank GeertjanWielenga and PatrickKeegan. I handle English language well enough to survive in English speaking country, to write emails and online documents, however language for book needs more than that. It needs to be poetic and also correct.

Geertjan made this happen. He digged through all of my text and converted it from my basic and sometimes not really correct English to real English ready to entry the pages of real, printed book. This was really essential work. Without it, the book would never be published. Thanks, Geertjan.

Surprisingly, Geertjan was very helpful in one, originally unexpected way: He was perfect for identifying places of the book where the topic become extra ordinary complex and not clearly understandable. As soon as that happened, Geertjan's translation started to loose sense. This was a perfect indication for me that some parts of the text need to be rewritten and polished. Usually I just read the text provided by Geertjan and as soon as the new sentence said complete opposite compared to my original, I knew I was not exact enough and I expressed myself insufficiently. Thanks Geertjan for this kind of help as well.

Patrick was usually reading the text after Geertjan and watched for inconsistencies, structure and ensured that the chapter, section and paragraph organization is reasonable. This was not really easy. I admire the writing style of Hrabal's books, where the words flow like a river and as soon as you start, there is no way to stop, till the chapter is over. I tried to do this in my book as well, just write, type the words, not looking back until the topic is fully described. This worked fine, but of course, the language was far from perfect and needed a lot of re-organization and structural changes. Patrick provided them and I am really thankful to him for doing that.

Originally, according to the deal with my publisher, both Patrick and Geertjan were supposed to be translators only. They were supposed to convert my English to colloquially spoken one. However they did much more than that. At the end of our work, Patrick saw a mail from the publisher describing his work as translation and he reacted: "If I knew that I am doing just a translation, I would not be that nervous and I would not need to try so hard." I am really glad Patrick and Geertjan did much more than just translation and I was really happy to see following note from Susannah processing the text later: thanks also to your translators, who did a great job on the text even before it came into my hands!


As you may already now, the base for the book was a set of notes, emails and journal entries collected over last ten years. That is good start, but still it is far away from a book. That is why, the first thing I did was to write the Prologue, the Outline and send it too few publishers. I am really glad that Apress was the most open one. I can imagine it was not easy decision to support this project. At the end this wads the first book on the topic of API design and nobody could exactly estimate its impact. I am really glad Dominic Shakeshaft gave his go at the end. Thanks, Dominic.

Clay Andres

Clay was my first Apress contact. He walked with me through the outline of the book, ensuring it is put into proper context. He also read the book's text and verified that it makes some sense. An interesting story I remember is related to his advice to use a special quote from another book his was editing to support the idea of Cluelessness:

"Many clocks rely on an elaborate system of gears to tell time, but humans see very little of what goes on inside a clock. We don't have to figure out the time from the positions of the gears; we can look at the hands on the clock face. In other words: the gears are important to the clock, but they're not important to us."

I like the quote, however using it felt like stealing. Anyway I did incorporate it into some version of the TheAPIBook and asked Clay what he thinks. He said that it is fine, if I attribute this quote to Andrew Dupont and his book on Prototype and script.aculo.us. Suddenly I realized that stealing is not for free. Immediately you become partner in a crime. As I felt uneasy to reference a book I have not read, I rewrote the quote to meantion GPS. However I still like it very much, as it greatly explains the concept of Cluelessness. Thanks Clay for finding such a nice quote!

Kylie Johnston

As soon as Clay was satisfied with the text, he passed me to hands of Apress production team, represented by Kylie. Kylie acted as a single access point hiding all the complexity of book publishing from me. Whenever I needed anything, I had to contact her and she would handle the rest. The only exception were Susannah and Ellie, which I talked directly. Thanks Kylie for isolating me from the gory details of book publishing and finding Susannah and Ellie.

Susannah Davidson Pfalzer

Susannah was continuing in the work started by GeertjanWielenga and PatrickKeegan. She polish the text of the book to be more readable and not contain stupid errors. Susannah is author of the quote valuing Patrick and Geertjan for their good work, however that does not mean she would have nothing to do. Thanks to her, the book is more concise (as she eliminated all useless however, in spite of, often, always, etc. added by me), more personal (Susannah replaced for example did not with didn't) and more consistent (Susannah always made sure to fully spell a technology name, before using its acronyms).

Funny situation happened once, when I complained about my name being unreadable. Susannah tried to comfort me by pointing out that her last name is hard to read for English speaker's as well. That made me feel better for a while, but only until I realized that Susannah also has a middle name which compensates this. Anyway, thanks Susannah for making TheAPIBook better book.

Ellie Fountain


After sending the InvitationForReviewers, these guys generously accepted to take a look at the book. Thank you all.

  • family for patience
  • Honzík for telling me to write the book
  • Tim and his cons and pros
Personal tools