Developer Advocate for Ably Realtime | Volunteer at Mozilla
Until a year ago, I never even thought that I could ever write a book, but probably deciding to write one was my way of pushing myself to learn a new technology as well as the whole what-goes-behind-publishing-a-book thing.
Well to be very honest…I had exams and I was ready to do anything in the world that was more interesting than reading that boring book of automata theory. I mean it would have been interested to read if the goal wasn’t to pass an exam.
Anyways, the point is, I started co-writing a book with a friend last year and it took around three months to finally get published by the company after all the reviews and what not. By the end of it all, I had done enough research on the subject matter that people would reach out to me in case they got stuck while getting started with the technology and I could actually help most of them myself and not just redirect them to more experienced folks.
So, it seems that it all went well right? So what’s wrong?
The point is that the technology I wrote about was evolving at such a super fast pace (like any other piece of technology that’s currently in existence or is being newly developed)that a lot of content present in that book doesn’t really make sense anymore. I realized this fact when a couple of days back someone actually reached out to me via Twitter to tell how amazing the book was and while he specifically started speaking about one of the topics, I was feeling kind of guilty because the continually updating documentation on the official website had so many new features to offer within that topic, while my book was still talking about the (now) old-fashioned way of doing it.
Similarly when I joined deepstreamHub a couple of months back, I hadn’t yet realized this fact. As I started to understand it’s different aspects and started learning more and more about the realtime ecosystem, I soon got excited about this being another possible opportunity to write a new book.
But even since the time I joined this company, so many things have changed already. So, let me give a little background for this to make a little more sense.
deepstream is an open realtime server that let’s the developers easily add realtime functionality to their existing applications. It provides features like data-sync, pub/sub, etc and completely abstracts the backend complexity so the developer doesn’t have to worry about how any of the realtime magic works.
So, specifically for authentication, out of all the authentication mechanisms available, the token based authentication was recently added to deepstream. Even in terms of how the whole set up works internally, a lot of things have been continually changing — like almost all of deepstream is typescripted for the good now and clustering in deepstream no longer uses a message bus but establishes a direct peer-to-peer connection.
But if I think about having written a book say two months back, even ignoring the time it would take me to write it, get it reviewed and published- things would have already stopped to make sense.
But it’s not just the case with WebVR/A-Frame which my first book was about or even with deepstream. Isn’t every single thing related to any kind of technology continuously evolving? In such a case how are people still writing books and others still reading those. Is there such a thing like a standard that never changes? I mean, of course there is but aren’t developers concerned about the most recent and updated way of getting shit done?
I’ve started to feel that things like gitbook rather make a lot of sense. Because with these, first of all — the time between content being created and it being consumed, is much less and is a lot more hassle-free. However even with this, with every update in the technology, one needs to release a new version with updated content. But what happens to those who were mid-way into reading the older version. Highlighting the changes is one way that helps all kinds of audience. But, I still have mixed feelings about how this would all work out! Your thoughts?
This being said, if I find a reason strong enough, it might make a lot of sense to write a book anyways!
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