Agile Web Development with Rails 1.1

On Sat, 2006-03-04 at 16:22 -0800, Tom M. wrote:

I’m sure you’re not the only one, but I’ll never agree.

I’m paying for the knowledge, which saves me time.

How I get the knowledge is irrelevant.

If you could take a pill and know something inside out, would you
expect to pay less since no paper was involved?


actually - yes…

I thought it was covered before but just in case…

there’s no middle layer of distribution…

printer/paper/shipping/handling/retail store markup/overstock
buybacks/etc.

With PDF, it’s just a simple electronic transaction between Pragmatic &
buyer

More than that - I take some amount of issue with all of the people
offering to re-purchase the same thing if it had new features. I
understand the mentality because Microsoft, Apple, Adobe and software
vendors have long had the model of make the users repurchase time and
time again but add incredibly little extra value to justify the
repurchase. I have no qualms with people that are willing to throw money
at these software vendors because they don’t want to go through the pain
of discovering that their is a real alternative in open source.

As for the PDF, the transaction terms were pretty clear, that the
purchase of a PDF was good for the lifetime of the PDF format and though
some are willing to give voice to all the others who don’t agree, they
simply are not empowered to do that. It would be a public relations
nightmare to suddenly change the terms of sale and I am quite sure that
Dave isn’t that stupid.

If there is a Vol II, by all means sell it, but by no means should he
unilaterally, nor can anyone else give away my rights as were agreed
upon at the moment of sale.

Craig

On Mar 4, 2006, at 4:38 PM, Craig W. wrote:

Pragmatic &
buyer

I’ll never understand people who don’t understand markets.

I’ll agree that commodities always move to a cost plus basis.

But people buy VALUE, and that often has little to do with cost.

The PDF is searchable, that ADDS value. The book is already
physical (for those that prefer it) and can therefore be written
in, so that adds value to people who prefer that.

To suggest that because Dave’s costs are lower for PDF means the
price should be lower is just ridiculous. After all, the PDF
version CAN be printed, in addition to being searchable, whereas
the book will never be searchable.

Additionally, you view the distribution layer as something forcing
up the sales price of the book. It’s just as easy to view it as an
expense to Dave, something reducing his profit alone. After all, I
doubt any publisher today sells direct for less than the retail
price of the book.

Why is this? Simple! Because the price of the book is determined by
it’s value, not by it’s cost. In the past, Dave was willing to pay
for distribution, because it allowed him to sell the book in high
enough quantities to make a profit on his entire enterprise. He’s
still willing to do it because the most valuable thing to Dave is
his time, which he spent writing the book to begin with. Now he’s
selling the books to pay for the time invested a long time ago, so
the more books he sells at any profit level is a good thing for him.

And as for the pill, if you’re serious you’re just not thinking
it through. I’d pay thousands of dollars if I could take the pill
and wake up knowing everything it had to say.

As our economy moves more and more into the realm of information,
everyone will eventually understand that TIME is the thing of most
value.

More than that - I take some amount of issue with all of the people
offering to re-purchase the same thing if it had new features. I
understand the mentality because Microsoft, Apple, Adobe and software
vendors have long had the model of make the users repurchase time and
time again but add incredibly little extra value to justify the
repurchase.

Hey, if you don’t want the new features, don’t buy them. I’ll make that
decision for myself and don’t really care if you take issue with how
I spend my money.

As for the PDF, the transaction terms were pretty clear, that the
purchase of a PDF was good for the lifetime of the PDF format and
though
some are willing to give voice to all the others who don’t agree, they
simply are not empowered to do that.

  1. I don’t have the PDF currently, so I haven’t read the agreement.

  2. I’d be shocked if it gave you rights to anything you haven’t already
    received. For instance, I’m guessing you OWN your PDF for life, but
    not any new ones that Dave provides.

It would be a public relations nightmare to suddenly change the
terms of
sale and I am quite sure that Dave isn’t that stupid.

I’m not sure how we got here, but I’m shocked that you are suggesting
that
Dave is a little bit stupid!

If there is a Vol II, by all means sell it, but by no means should he
unilaterally, nor can anyone else give away my rights as were agreed
upon at the moment of sale.

What are you talking about?


– Tom M.

On Sat, 2006-03-04 at 17:22 -0800, Tom M. wrote:

The PDF is searchable, that ADDS value. The book is already
expense to Dave, something reducing his profit alone. After all, I
the more books he sells at any profit level is a good thing for him.

And as for the pill, if you’re serious you’re just not thinking
it through. I’d pay thousands of dollars if I could take the pill
and wake up knowing everything it had to say.

As our economy moves more and more into the realm of information,
everyone will eventually understand that TIME is the thing of most
value.


You and I have different ‘value sets’ and thus we will ascribe value to
different things.

Instead of accepting that - you are assuming that I should absorb the
‘cost’ of what you ‘value’ but I don’t ‘value’.

I was speaking about cost - which is the amount that I pay. It may or
may not have a direct relationship to what I or you might ‘value’ and
that is entirely beside the point because I am talking about ‘cost’ not
‘value’

I consider that my ‘cost’ should be lower because the distribution
‘cost’ of getting said information to me is considerably less. You are
saying that the ‘value’ should make some equate to my ‘cost’ and I don’t
agree - I can live with that.

I actually read dead tree form publications at my leisure, away from my
computer, often while I am eating and don’t particularly enjoy…

printing volumes on my printer when not necessary…
reading large amounts (pages and pages) on screen…
though I have purchased 'PDF’s from pragmatic, I have also purchased
dead tree form of Pickaxe and AWDWR

I spend my money.
received. For instance, I’m guessing you OWN your PDF for life, but

If there is a Vol II, by all means sell it, but by no means should he
unilaterally, nor can anyone else give away my rights as were agreed
upon at the moment of sale.

What are you talking about?


read it yourself…

http://www.pragmaticprogrammer.com/starter_kit/faqs/pdf_update_faq.html

This makes it entirely clear what the terms of sale are/were and you
probably should have researched it before you got on to this topic.

Now - does anyone else want to spout off again about re-purchasing Agile
Web D. with Rails PDF?

Craig

On 3/4/06, Craig W. [email protected] wrote:

More than that - I take some amount of issue with all of the people
offering to re-purchase the same thing if it had new features. I understand
the mentality because Microsoft, Apple, Adobe and software vendors have long
had the model of make the users repurchase time and time again but add
incredibly little extra value to justify the repurchase. I have no qualms
with people that are willing to throw money at these software vendors
because they don’t want to go through the pain of discovering that their is
a real alternative in open source.

Dave went through an effort that I don’t want to go through myself.
Namely,
that of searching through the rails code and making sure that every
important aspect of it was covered, in one single resource. Even if I
were
interested in doing this, it would be a huge waste of effort for every
one
of us to repeat this task and it is not very likely to happen. There is
a
difference between buying something because you think that’s the only
option
and buying something because the alternative is even more costly to you,
but
I’m not interested in judging the mental capacity or courage of buyers.
If
the new edition (whose very existence has yet to be confirmed) costs
additional money, then the answer is simple enough: if you don’t think
it’s
worth it, don’t buy it.

As for the PDF, the transaction terms were pretty clear, that the

purchase of a PDF was good for the lifetime of the PDF format and though
some are willing to give voice to all the others who don’t agree, they
simply are not empowered to do that. It would be a public relations
nightmare to suddenly change the terms of sale and I am quite sure that Dave
isn’t that stupid.

If there is a Vol II, by all means sell it, but by no means should he
unilaterally, nor can anyone else give away my rights as were agreed upon at
the moment of sale.

I’m not sure what the exact terms of the sale were, but if he wanted to
charge more money for an update, I don’t think he would have much
trouble.
As you said, call it Vol II, change the title to Rails 1.1, second
edition,
whatever. I wasn’t trying to get technical and assert he do it in such
a
way that breached current purchase agreements with users, so I find it
strange that you made that a point of argument.

Cheers,
Carl

On Sat, 2006-03-04 at 17:22 -0800, Carl Y. wrote:

    If there is a Vol II, by all means sell it, but by no means
    should he unilaterally, nor can anyone else give away my
    rights as were agreed upon at the moment of sale.

I’m not sure what the exact terms of the sale were, but if he wanted
to charge more money for an update, I don’t think he would have much
trouble. As you said, call it Vol II, change the title to Rails 1.1,
second edition, whatever. I wasn’t trying to get technical and assert
he do it in such a way that breached current purchase agreements with
users, so I find it strange that you made that a point of argument.


see my other response to Tom with link to specific information about PDF
format. It’s clear enough.

Craig

On Mar 4, 2006, at 20:07, Craig W. wrote:

Web D. with Rails PDF?
If I rewrite the Rails book, it will be a new edition of the work.
The FAQ says “If you buy a PDF from us, you’ll be able to download
the latest version for free for the lifetime of the edition of the
book.” That’s the agreement, and we obviously will honor it.

But, and here’s the thing, we’ll all talking hypotheticals here. I
have no idea what’s likely to happpen–I’m still thinking about it.
And, if we do go ahead with a new edition of the book, I have no idea
how we’ll charge for it, how we’ll deal with upgrades from the first
edition (if at all), what the price will be, etc, etc.

Ultimately, I want to do what’s right here.

Regards

Dave

On Sat, 2006-03-04 at 20:37 -0600, Dave T. wrote:

Now - does anyone else want to spout off again about re-purchasing
And, if we do go ahead with a new edition of the book, I have no idea
how we’ll charge for it, how we’ll deal with upgrades from the first
edition (if at all), what the price will be, etc, etc.

Ultimately, I want to do what’s right here.


I had faith that you would

Craig

On Mar 4, 2006, at 6:07 PM, Craig W. wrote:

On Sat, 2006-03-04 at 17:22 -0800, Tom M. wrote:

I’ll never understand people who don’t understand markets.

You and I have different ‘value sets’ and thus we will ascribe
value to
different things.

Oh, sure, no surprise there…

Instead of accepting that - you are assuming that I should absorb the
‘cost’ of what you ‘value’ but I don’t ‘value’.

No, I’m not assuming any such thing. If you don’t want it, don’t pay
for it.

I was speaking about cost - which is the amount that I pay. It may or
may not have a direct relationship to what I or you might ‘value’ and
that is entirely beside the point because I am talking about ‘cost’
not
‘value’

No, you’re talking about price.

I consider that my ‘cost’ should be lower because the distribution
‘cost’ of getting said information to me is considerably less. You are
saying that the ‘value’ should make some equate to my ‘cost’ and I
don’t
agree - I can live with that.

But you don’t set the price (your cost), Dave does.

pdf_update_faq.html

This makes it entirely clear what the terms of sale are/were and you
probably should have researched it before you got on to this topic.

I made it clear that I hadn’t read it and…

Now - does anyone else want to spout off again about re-purchasing
Agile
Web D. with Rails PDF?

Read it again. I guarantee you there’s nothing at that link that says
that a future version about a different version of rails is going to be
free to you.

Dave could decide it should be, but there’s nothing on that page
that says
it will be.


– Tom M.

I don’t think this warrants a big discussion. It’s rather simple:
Many people here (me included) have voiced that they would love to
see an updated version of this excellent book and would gladly pay
full price for an update. Personally, i would never expect to have
some kind upgrade path when it comes to a new edition of a book, pdf
or not. As Tom pointed out, the sales price will be determined by the
publisher and you can take it or leave it – your current edition
will remain just as valuable. But i’d rather you let me speak for
myself and not tell me i’m “spouting off” supporting some greedy
scheme. Besides, Dave hasn’t even decided to write this book. Nice
way of setting the incentives…

Sebastian

Dave T. wrote:

If I rewrite the Rails book, it will be a new edition of the work.
The FAQ says “If you buy a PDF from us, you’ll be able to download
the latest version for free for the lifetime of the edition of the
book.” That’s the agreement, and we obviously will honor it.

But, and here’s the thing, we’ll all talking hypotheticals here. I
have no idea what’s likely to happpen–I’m still thinking about it.
And, if we do go ahead with a new edition of the book, I have no idea
how we’ll charge for it, how we’ll deal with upgrades from the first
edition (if at all), what the price will be, etc, etc.

Ultimately, I want to do what’s right here.

We know you want to do the right thing, Dave. You’re known in the
community as a generous and trustworthy guy, so I don’t think anyone
would doubt your motives.

It’s interesting how much discussion this thread has generated. I think
that’s because you are creating new rules for publishing and none of us
understand entirely how those new rules work. If I buy a paper book,
once I have the book in my hand the process is complete. You have
extended that process by doing things like offering free updates for the
life of an edition, which is a valuable enhancement to the publishing
model, and being able to get a new PDF at any time if I lose my old
copy. Likewise the beta book program blurs the way people think about
books vs software. I think it’s only natural for people to start
thinking that the books you publish may be more like software in other
ways too, possibly including a reduced price for upgrading from a
previous version. It’s a subject well worth discussing, and as someone
who probably has at least one more book in him, I’m more than a little
interested in the outcome.

–josh
http://blog.hasmanythrough.com

On 5 Mar 2006, at 06:39, Sebastian F. wrote:

I don’t think this warrants a big discussion. It’s rather simple:
Many people here (me included) have voiced that they would love to
see an updated version of this excellent book and would gladly pay
full price for an update.

I personally don’t care if the cost of producing a PDF is cheaper, in
my view it just makes me happier that hopefully Dave will make more
from it with less to spend on printing and distribution. The value
here is the information, even if it was written in crayon on a toilet
roll we’re still paying for the information that Dave has researched
and compiled. Anyway, as Sebastian said it certainly doesn’t warrant
a big discussion, if you don’t want it, don’t buy it.

Dave: Any hope of persuading the publisher to produce a “site
license” for the PDF :slight_smile:

David S.
w: http://davidsmalley.com/blog

Tom

> If you could take a pill and know something inside out, would you
> expect to pay less since no paper was involved?
  • IKEA’s furniture is cheaper, partly because you do some of the
    assembling and transporting.
  • iTunes music is cheaper, partly because they don’t have to burn CD,
    ship, etc…
    Would you buy music from iTunes if it was the same price as a real CD
    bought at Wall-Mart?
    Additionally,
    • you can resell your CD on eBay.
    • you can listen to your music anywhere there’s a cd player.

eBooks:
You have to print (and bind?) your pdf yourself.
I’m not sure you’re authorized to resell your pdf.

With pdf, we gain a little (early access), but the seller gains a lot
(early sell, no printing, no shipping, no return).
It’s not win-win, it win-WINWINWIN.

That’s how I feel.

Alain

Stepping into this increasingly hot thread, I’d like to throw in my
two cents about AWD and Rails 1.1: I’d, personally, like to see an
addendum or mini-book or something that updates the original book
rather than a newly updated book itself. Why? I simply don’t want to
have to comb over a lot of stuff I read and learned before in order to
get the updated information. This is especially important since AWD is
less of a reference and more of a guide. It’s not that I don’t want to
pay, charge for it and I will pay, I just don’t want to plaay “Where’s
Waldo” with the new info.

Heck, maybe do a best-of-both-worlds and have the “What’s new” section
separate from the rest of the content, or make it easily identifiable
in some other way.

On 3/3/06, Carl Y. [email protected] wrote:

Thanks for listening.

evolves. AWDwR was greatly influenced by early feedback, and I think


-Matt T.

Alain R. wrote :
| With pdf, we gain a little (early access), but the seller gains a lot
| (early sell, no printing, no shipping, no return).
| It’s not win-win, it win-WINWINWIN.

… and AFAIK nobody forces you to buy PDF version… I do personally
think that the early access is one of the best things that have recently
happened regarding publishing, books, and so on. I do think this is
win-win, because I can read a book before it’s out, and I can help to
fix problem with the content. The publisher gets feedback and can rise
the
quality of his books.

Now there’s the price issue. The publisher, the author have work to
write the book. What’s wrong with the fact they do want to earn money
with this? Would the price be to high, nobody would buy the PDF …


Frederick R. aka Sleeper – [email protected]

Take care to branch the right way on equality.
- The Elements of Programming Style (Kernighan & Plaugher)

On Mar 5, 2006, at 12:20, Matt T. wrote:

Stepping into this increasingly hot thread, I’d like to throw in my
two cents about AWD and Rails 1.1: I’d, personally, like to see an
addendum or mini-book or something that updates the original book
rather than a newly updated book itself. Why? I simply don’t want to
have to comb over a lot of stuff I read and learned before in order to
get the updated information. This is especially important since AWD is
less of a reference and more of a guide. It’s not that I don’t want to
pay, charge for it and I will pay, I just don’t want to plaay “Where’s
Waldo” with the new info.

That point of view makes sense. But on the other hand, a lot of
people is coming to RoR and would prefer a book on 1.1 than read 500
pages of 1.0 with a permanent thread “TODO: check this against the
1.1 appendix”? The Agile is THE book for RoR, and I believe it has to
keep its status quo.

If I was the author I would make a second edition with a bold 1.1 in
the cover. People fluent in RoR stay in sync with a “What’s new”
article just fine. You need to know what’s new in RoR, the Agile is
more of a guide and, well, you could publish something like “See, in
Depot that part done with RJS would go like this”, but, I don’t know,
a delta like that does not have much sense to me.

The only book available nowadays about SQLite is about SQLite 2. I
bought it because it is the only one, and because the changes in
SQLite 3 are public and I could read them before I read the book, so
I kind of knew when I was reading something outdated. Nonetheless, I
will definitely buy the one is about to be published in weeks for
SQLite 3.

– fxn

On Sun, Mar 05, 2006 at 12:11:34PM +0100, Alain R. wrote:
[…]

With pdf, we gain a little (early access), but the seller gains a lot
(early sell, no printing, no shipping, no return).
It’s not win-win, it win-WINWINWIN.

That’s how I feel.

The margins on traditional book selling are very slim to begin with.

Suppose it’s a PDF and it costs $20 (which, incidentally, is 30%
cheaper than the print version). Now they sell 10,000 copies in a
year. Writing a book isn’t easy, and it requires a lot of
people. Divide that 200-grand by the two authors, four co-authors,
editors, layout designers, fact checkers, assitants, and whatever
incidental costs there are to distribute it. Now give the credit card
companies their cut.

Figure the book takes a year to write, and it’s obsolete by next
year. That’s not a living wage in most cities.


- Adam

** Expert Technical Project and Business Management
**** System Performance Analysis and Architecture
****** [ http://www.everylastounce.com ]

[ http://www.aquick.org/blog ] … Blog
[ http://www.adamfields.com/resume.html ]… Experience
[ http://www.flickr.com/photos/fields ] … Photos
[ http://www.aquicki.com/wiki ]…Wiki
[ http://del.icio.us/fields ] … Links

Guys,

Let’s cut to the chase here:

  • the Agile book was the first intro to RoR for many of us, and got us
    from “newbie” to productive very rapidly
  • at that point, we could more or less keep up with progress to the
    extent we wanted/needed. Rails grew up, and we did too
  • a new generation of RoR newbies has now emerged, bought the Agile
    book because that’s what we all learned from, and found it lacking.
    It doesn’t cover a lot of the really useful features in current Rails,
    and some of the examples don’t work any more as written

If I was a newbie, at this point I’d be wondering what sort of
community could recommend a book as “the bible” when much of it is
outdated and now broken.

There’s only three real ways forward:

  • update the Agile book so that the examples actually work OK again,
    and it starts to look at more current Rails tools such as switchtower,
    AJAX, etc.
  • find (or write!) a new RoR book covering this stuff, and start
    recommending it to newbies
  • become a "closed’ community, with an increasing gulf between newbies
    and those who are relatively expert. Not a great recipe for ongoing
    success in an open source project

Either of the first 2 are fine with me - I’ll probably pick up an
AJAX-focused Rails book when one is released and I come across it, and
I’ll certainly pick up Ezra’s deployment book when it comes out. If
the Agile book gets updated, that’d be great, but I don’t think anyone
“owes” it to me to update it - it served its purpose very well getting
me going, and now I’m pretty much self sufficient in the things it
covers.

Where there is a problem (IMHO) is in recommending the Agile book in
its present state as a great resource to newbies. It once was, but it
isn’t any more because Rails has evolved so quickly. If the newbie is
a self starter, happy to read through loads of old email list
messages, hunt through Google, and not expecting instant
enlightenment, then the Agile book is a pretty good resource. If not,
then it’s become out of date to the point where a newbie is just as
likely to walk away altogether as to persist.

If there is a better/more current resource than the Agile book out
there for newbies, let’s start pointing it out to them.

Regards

Dave M.

Adam
> Suppose it’s a PDF and it costs $20 (which, incidentally, is 30%
> cheaper than the print version).

AWDR :

pdf = 22.50$ on PP
paper = 22$ on Amazon

Alain

On Mar 5, 2006, at 3:54 AM, David S. wrote:

Dave: Any hope of persuading the publisher to produce a “site
license” for the PDF :slight_smile:

EMail [email protected]–we do them all the time :slight_smile:

On Mar 5, 2006, at 2:23 AM, David M. wrote:

Where there is a problem (IMHO) is in recommending the Agile book in
its present state as a great resource to newbies. It once was, but it
isn’t any more because Rails has evolved so quickly. If the newbie is
a self starter, happy to read through loads of old email list
messages, hunt through Google, and not expecting instant
enlightenment, then the Agile book is a pretty good resource. If not,
then it’s become out of date to the point where a newbie is just as
likely to walk away altogether as to persist.

While I agree it is definitely worth updating the book to bring it up
to 1.1, I’m not sure I agree that it’s that out of date. The
testing chapter got broken when the core team changed the defaults,
but I think everything else works fine.

I agree 100% that it needs the update to 1.1 features–migrations,
ST, the new joins, etc, etc-- and I’ll be doing that if I can find a
way for it to make sense (and not piss everyone off :). But I’m not
sure I agree the situation is a grim as you paint it.

Dave

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