My big accomplishment of 2010 was finishing the first edition of Dive Into HTML5 and working with O'Reilly to publish it on paper as HTML5: Up & Running (as well as several downloadable DRM-free formats). I also accomplished a few minor personal things, but in this post I'm going to focus on the book.
The book went on sale in mid-August and earned out almost immediately. "Earning out" is a publishing term which means that the book has sold enough copies that my cut of the profits has paid back the advance payments that O'Reilly gave me during the writing process. Which means that I'm already receiving royalty checks for real money. Of the four books I've published through traditional publishers, this is only the second book to earn out. (The original Dive Into Python was the first, and it was on sale for over two years before it earned out.)
"HTML5: Up & Running" sold over 14,000 copies in the first six weeks, of which about 25% were digital downloads and 75% were books on paper. Folks sure do love them some paper. The book continues to be available online for free, as it was during the entire writing process, under the liberal Creative Commons Attribution license. This open publishing model generated buzz well in advance of the print publication, and it resulted in over 1,500 pre-orders which shipped the day the book went on sale. Res ipsa loquitur.
The online edition at diveintohtml5.org includes Google Analytics so I can
evilly track your every movement find out what the hell is going on. The analytics tell me many things. Some highlights:
Although it makes little sense to talk about "editions" of a web site (you can see a changelog if you like), O'Reilly and I have already discussed the possibility of doing a new edition of the printed book. Besides rolling up all the updates since August, we've discussed one chapter on Web Workers and another on web sockets. Since all the world's browsers have recently disabled their web sockets implementations due to a subtle (but fatal) protocol-level security vulnerability, the Web Workers chapter will probably come first. No promises, you understand. No promises at all.
If there are new chapters someday, I will urge O'Reilly to provide them for free to everyone who has already bought a digital copy. But understand that the final decision is not mine to make. Not mine at all. In any event, it will be available online at
diveintohtml5.org for free, like the rest of the book.
I'm not big on predictions, but I do have one for 2011: HTML5 will continue to be popular, because anything popular will get labeled "HTML5."
Three new essays on XML.com today:
Yes, no, it depends, and I don't care.
On a lark, I searched for other things that people consider harmful. They include
HTTP 1.0 logs,
human task switches,
lists with "current",
the W* Effect,
code of points,
file extensions in URLs,
current parsing techniques in software renovation,
Considered Harmful essays.
Also, embedded markup, in an XML.com article by Ted Nelson (yes, that Ted Nelson), from 1997. Except that back then, Ted was using the term
embedded markup to refer to any markup embedded in the same document as the text. You know, like XML does. (Ted recommends
parallel markup, where the text is kept pure and a parallel document is kept in sync that adds markup definitions pointing to specific character offsets.) Six years later, embedded markup has obviously won, and what Norm is really arguing against is embedding markup within embedded markup. Perhaps the things we consider harmful say more about us than they do about them.
<br/>'s fame dates back to the Netscape 4 era, when CSS was sketchy at best andusing the proper elementmeant you were a chump whose pages looked like amateur scribblings.
On an unrelated note, my copy of Clerks has finally arrived. I'm celebrating via my HTTP headers.
We just started, with the Chewley's gum representative.
8 and a half.
The independent contractors on the uncompleted Death Star.
The perfect dozen.
It's important to have a job that makes a difference, boys.
Title dictates behavior.
I'm offering you my body, and you're offering me semantics. [This will be my new mantra whenever anyone mentions the Semantic Web.]