svnbook : how not to be overwhelmed

Ben Collins-Sussman sussman at
Sat Dec 23 21:32:20 CST 2006

OK, so I spent 2-3 hours rereading and fixing up the
fundamental-concepts chapter, and I also went down my 'checklist' of
criticism sources.  The thing is, the sources really didn't say
anything about this chapter, so there wasn't much work to do.

I think you guys are going to have much more work on the other two
chapters, so maybe for Karma's sake, I should also do the Preface
chapter for this Jan.5th milestone...?  That chapter has real issues
attached to it.

On 12/23/06, Ben Collins-Sussman <sussman at> wrote:
> I sat down to work on book stuff tonight, and I thought, "gee, how
> hard can it be to do some fixin' up of our new introductory chapter?"
> After about 5 minutes of poking around, I was suddenly paralyzed like
> a deer-in-headlights.  The problem is that there are TOO MANY sources
> of 'work' to be done.  I'm actually having trouble keeping track of
> them.
> So, in Bennish fashion, I made a list of things to check when
> rewriting a chapter.  I think we should all be looking over these 5
> sources as we work.  (Have I forgotten any?)
>   * New Outline
>     Rearranging stuff usually means things need to be reworked to flow
>     properly, from one section to the next.
>   * Our TODO file
>     This file lives in our svnbook-private repos, and is full of
>     critiques from cmpilato.
>   * The 1.3/1.4 releasenotes
>     We still need to bring the book from 1.2 to 1.4.  The releasenotes
>     are pretty darn detailed already;  their content simply needs to
>     be migrated/expanded into the proper chapters.
>   * Trac tickets
>     Currently about 17 tickets full of patches/suggestions for
>     improvement.
>   * "Ripple Effect"
>     Sometimes making drastic changes to the chapter you're focusing on
>     causes changes to be required in a totally different chapter.  If
>     you're not willing to take a detour to the other chapter, then at
>     least file a ticket to remember to do it later.
> I now feel like the situation is much more under control.  If I can
> say that I've gone down and searched the sources in this list, then my
> current chapter is doing pretty well.
> Maybe we should put this in the svnbook-private repos?

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