Many Words on “The Yii Book”

January 24, 2014
The Yii Book If you like my writing on the Yii framework, you'll love "The Yii Book"!

On Wednesday, I sent out three emails about “The Yii Book“, the contents of which I’ll summarize here. But first, if you’re not receiving these emails but you’d like to, you can set that on your Yii account page.

As for those emails, and this summarization, the tl;dr version is:

  • A rough draft of Chapter 19, “Extending Yii,” is available for download on the account page.
  • Got some plans on doing more work on this going forward.
  • You all are great!

Chapter 19, “Extending Yii”

The good news is that Chapter 19, “Extending Yii,” is done. Well, done-ish. I’ve got 55 pages of a PDF in my virtual hands. What I thought would be a 30 page chapter done in December, became a 55 page chapter in January. The only caveat is…the tech editors haven’t reviewed it yet. It is a bit raw.

That being said, considering how way-crazy-far-disgustingly long it took to complete this chapter, I’ve done the very rare thing and made it available now, before technical editing. You can download the chapter on the Yii account page. You may also want to download for the Stripe extension I created in the chapter (also available on the download page).

A couple of things to be aware of…First, this is just the one, standalone chapter, it’s not yet part of the whole book. Second, because of the Markdown->LaTeX->PDF process, and this not being part of the book, the chapter number and figure references are kind of wrong. This will automatically be corrected when I export this as part of the whole book (after the tech review).

But if you want it now (and we all know you’ve waited long enough), have at it. If you’d rather wait until it’s part of the book, I’ll send out another update then, although it could be a couple/few days.

My thanks, as always, for your patience and understanding. And my sincerest, most humble apologies for the offensively-long delay.

What’s Next?

I think Chapter 19 is the last really hard chapter, of the few left. We’ll see about the unit testing one. But I’m not worried about any of the others. More importantly, I’m back on the horse after several ugly, hectic months. Moving forward, I’m cutting back a day a week at Stripe to give myself more time to work on this. If need be, I’ll also take some days off, just to make sure I continue to make progress and don’t have the abysmal delay again.

You All Are Great

As is obviously clear, and as I’ve acknowledged several times over, this project has taken WAY too long. Some of that was my being overly ambitious and naive. Had I framed this differently, we could be talking about a lovely project without an end date for which you get free updates. As opposed to a book that’s taking forever to be finished. Semantic difference, but possibly a useful one. Live and learn.

There are many reasons the book has taken so long, but I’ve tried to shy away from making excuses.

On the other hand, what exists now (and has for a while) is 450+ pages of pretty good material, soon to be 500+ pages. That’s not nothing.

Really, I think the book has had only one failure, but it’s a pretty big failure (the time it has taken). I’m not sure how I gauge the success of this, but that’s a significant flaw. Albeit I think not fatal. Regardless of all that, here’s the real message I want to convey…

Over Thanksgiving, someone took me to task for the delay, and in early December I sent and posted an honest, public apology, with an explanation and future plans.

The response I received was really quite overwhelming. I’m getting such support from you all, and that means the world to me. Many of you expressed concerns over my taking this too hard, or that I’m getting too much grief. I really meant to write you each back individually, but as I don’t have time for much these days, that hasn’t happened yet either. (One of many things I’ve pushed off until Chapter 19 was done.)

But I wanted you to know this: you all have been great. Amazingly great. Heart-warming, faith-in-humanity-restoring, wonderfully great. Almost 2,000 people have bought a copy, and I’ve had maybe 5 people express being really angry or disappointed. More than that may be angry and disappointed (probably are), but, no, you have been overwhelmingly supportive. And I appreciate it so. And I don’t begrudge those few people for being angry or disappointed, because this has taken too long and they certainly have every right to those feelings and thoughts.

So, in lieu of thoughtful (and time-taking) personal replies, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for their patience and support and understanding. I know I say this a lot, but I do mean it. And thanks to those who are angry and disappointed, for being honest and taking the time to express your displeasure. If I do something badly, I ought to be called out on it. It’s only fair.

The last thing I would ever want to do is disappoint or anger my readers. It’s truly important to me that this project gets completed and done well. It’s important to me that you feel you made the right call in giving me $20 or $30 or whatever. I’ve certainly already lost some of you, and that’s something I’ll always know was a failure with this little experiment.

But trust me: no one wants this book done more than I do. If I could have waved a magic wand and had this done in 2013, I would be the happiest man alive. So I’ll get it done. It’s still very much a priority and I have not forgotten. Life is just complicated, and wanting to do right by everyone can sometimes be a hard standard to live up to. But we’re in the final stretch now, and I’ll get it done.

In the meantime, I just wanted to say that you guys are great.

Thank you, thank you all. From my heart.