Prescriptions, Proscriptions, and Prognostications To blog, or not to blog? by Matthew Wilson April 24, 2008
After having spent the last 15 frustrating months of too-successful consulting that has stolen all my time for writing and most of my time for researching/open-source development, something's got to give! Is blogging the answer to my quandary?
The last year has been one largely of ups for me, and I'm not complaining or
taking that for granted. However, it has put the mockers on my attempts to
achieve what I'd planned for 07, namely
Get Pantheios 1.0 completed and out
the door, and start working on the 1.1, 1.2, ... 1.5 plans.
Release FastFormat, the (humbly) last,
best C++ output/formatting library you'll ever use.
Part of the problem with these activities is that I've been looking for outlets
in which to publish the articles and sample chapters, necessary to launch them
properly. The publishing world is changing rapidly, in response to the web,
and I've realised that I'm a bit of a dinosaur (I like proper journals, articles
and paper-in-hand). I just don't know clearly where to direct my C++-specific
musings any more.
There've also been significantly fewer sales of my second book,
Extended STL, vol 1 (2007),
than for my first
Imperfect C++ (2004).
This puzzled me at first, since Extended STL is significantly better
written (in terms of prose style, and my, er, jokes) than Imperfect C++,
and also there are no parts of it that I would elide in hindsight, whereas
Imperfect C++ could be improved if 5-10% of it were simply removed. But
in thinking about it awhile I can't help but note that the number of
articles/column entries I've written around the time of publication of the two
books is radically different, something like 50:1. I guess if I want to sell
books on advanced C++ design to a potential market that is pretty small to
start with, I should put more effort into getting the word out.
So, I've decided to get hip to the new reality, and embrace a combination of
old and new media as follows:
I'll continue to write occasional articles (and will certainly do more in 08
than in 07) on significant items of interest about which I can wait for the
publishing lead time. Expect to see introductions to FastFormat,
Pantheios (a bit late in that case ...) and flecxx later this
For tutorials about how to use my libraries, I'm going to write small articles
on the library websites, and on
and similar sites.
For things that are small and quick and shouldn't have a long publishing lead time,
I'm going to pretend that the world is interested in my every evanescent thought
and do more blogging:
STLSoft Musings will be used
for day-to-day items of interest specific to STLSoft,
the library that supports all my other open-source libraries, and which is so
desparately devoid of decent documentation.
Based on the advice of several venerable C++ authors who've published (and sold!)
many more books that me, I've decided to henceforth save all the detailed
technological design reasoning, concepts, principles and so forth, for my books
and nowhere else. Anyone who cares that much about how a library can be written
that is at once extensible, 100% type-safe, portable, discoverable and incredibly
efficient can pay $50 (that's $1.5 to me) for the privilege. ;-)
The first book off the line will be Breaking Up The Monolith, with two
more to come in 09/10.
So, if you want to know more from me, feel free to partake in any/all/none of these
media forms. Be seeing you!
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