My friend, Rob Chidley, has a new book out today entitled Building Bridges: Is There Hope For North Korea? Co-written with Lord Alton of Liverpool and with a foreword by Baroness Cox, it discusses how one might hope to resolve the issues of human rights, totalitarianism and general unhumanitarianism within North Korea through ‘patient but firm engagement’. Heavy stuff, but, knowing Rob, passionately written.
The book is Building Bridges: Is there Hope for North Korea by David Alton and Rob Chidley, and is published by Lion.
Buy it here:
Dan Brown's Inferno came out last week. It is now the first book I have ever read cover to cover as an eBook. It downloaded to my reading device at a minute past midnight on the day of release and I finished it before Waterstones opened in the morning. The experience of it was not the same as a printed book. There was no gratifying feel of paper in hand or bend in the spine, no smell of wood fibres. I turned the pages by pressing a button. There was no need for a bookmark - the reader remembered where I had got up to when I turned it off. I don't regret it. Airport novels are the literary equivalent of the newspapers around your fish and chips. You're happy to devour their contents once and do so quickly, but it's unlikely you'll want to use them again once you're done. It was also cheaper - which made me feel less bad for buying the latest Dan Brown in the first place.
eBook readers still get a lot of flak for trying to replace paper books but the truth is that eBooks and pBooks are complementary formats, and not mutually exclusive. You may still buy each new novel in a series for your bookshelf but it's a lot simpler to take the digital equivalent of that entire bookshelf on holiday and a lot lighter too. You'll regularly find quality reprints of many books in stores (for example the Everyman Library, Penguin English Library, and Subterranean Books) but the idea of a collectible edition of an eBook is anathema. It's a pleasure to browse through bookshelves to see what might take your reader's fancy today or to rediscover tomes you'd forgotten you had, but it's a pain to search or browse through those same bookshelves as digital entities on a device. And so on.
The point is that eBooks are here to stay but unlike music downloads, they won't destroy the market for their current physical equivalent because the two offer sufficiently distinct experiences to co-exist. Don't be put off trying an eBook because it's not a physical thing. A news website isn't a newspaper and the BBC iPlayer isn't a television but that hasn't stopped you using them, has it?
Jonathan Turner of the TypeScript team has announced the release of v0.8.3 of the TypeScript compiler and Visual Studio extension. You can download it here. This will be the last interim release before the v0.9 releases. Some compiler tweaks have been made in this release as well as two improvements in Visual Studio:
- The type information displayed when you hover your cursor over TypeScript variables has been embellished further with the variable name and whether the variable is locally declared or not.
Full details of these improvements are recorded here.
Additionally, I’d like to add the following notes for v0.8.3. More...
I am writing this to you from the future. Or at least from a future. The one that British Telecom has created here in Deddington as a template for all the telephone exchanges in the UK. London hopes that it will one day be like us. Probably.
The complete Deddington exchange from Aynho Wharf to the Barfords will be totally enabled with the completion of phase three – the old half of Deddington – some time in March. Then we have two years to switch our phones and internet connections over to fibre optic before they remove all the copper wiring in the area. There is no coming back from the future here you know. More...
The bugger about writing a book on an open source project is that it keeps developing while you are writing, proofing, copyediting and finally printing. This strategy can and does bite you on the arse, and has done me frequently. Two cases spring to mind:
- A book on Microsoft’s .NET My Services, codename Hailstorm back in 2001. FOur of us wrote it in six weeks based on the latest bits in time for PDC, met the deadline and got it published. Then found out as the book went to the show that Microsoft had completely axed the entire project.
- A book on the open source wiki software Zope which spent so long trying to catch up with the terrifyingly frequent software releases being made to Zope at the time, that the whole project imploded.
It’s not a surprise that there are already some addenda for ‘TypeScript Revealed
’. It’s just disappointing that TypeScript v0.8.2
was released the same day as the book was and includes a couple of main new features which I would have certainly included were they available at the time.