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Learning Scrapy: How to write a book about your favourite Python framework


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How much code do you need to write to make a book that is both easy to read and where every example runs fine now and in the future?

Writing a book is creating a product. A properly engineered book will work hard for you delivering excellent learning experiences to people all over the world for years after its release.

For some people, writing a book might be one of the best and most impactful ways to contribute to their favourite open source projects. For communities, supporting authors and helping them get their books right might be a brilliant investment.

In this presentation, I will share my experience writing "Learning Scrapy", shed some light on the process and hopefully inspire you to get more involved on the writing initiatives of the projects you support.

Published in: Technology
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Learning Scrapy: How to write a book about your favourite Python framework

  1. 1. "Learning Scrapy" How to write a book about your favourite Python framework Dimitrios Kouzis-Loukas Watch the presentation:
  2. 2. What you will get today • Explain the process • Give some shortcuts & tips • Share my experience Watch the presentation:
  3. 3. How does it help the community? • Access to a wider audience • What about documentation? (Never enough!) – Controlled? – Less structured (Reference? Hacks?) Watch the presentation:
  4. 4. How does it help the author? • Money – NOT! – "How many books did you sell?" – "Did you negotiate your contract?" – Do you have a consultancy pipeline? • Feels good – Contribution, Connection, Mastery • Networking Watch the presentation:
  5. 5. How does it start? There will be an e-mail, an outline, a contract and a plan "100 pages 6 months"
  6. 6. "100 pages 6 months" Yeah right! Watch the presentation:
  7. 7. About the author Watch the presentation:
  8. 8. When are you going to start writing a book? Time "Accomplishment" Your first circuit Applied Mathematics & Physics MSc Microelectronics Your first program Working for ARM Watch the presentation:
  9. 9. Time "Accomplishment" ? Watch the presentation:
  10. 10. Time "Accomplishment" When are you going to start writing a book?
  11. 11. Every book is a product Probably a bit like me! The audience, the reader The customer!
  12. 12. The outline Watch the presentation:
  13. 13. Title, cover, Table Of Contents & Chapter 1 "Live documents" Ask your marketing friends (SEO etc.)
  14. 14. The editor
  15. 15. The editor • Responsible for the book (a bit like a project manager) • Might or might not have a clue When will you send me Chapter 7? Watch the presentation:
  16. 16. Tell them what a URL is! The customer!
  17. 17. The customer! Beginners is a much larger audience
  18. 18. • Introduction • Terminology • Installation • Background knowledge
  19. 19. Book - Web partitioning Watch the presentation:
  20. 20. Done! What?
  21. 21. The reviewer
  22. 22. The reviewer • Hard to find • Is good only if (s)he is bad! • Reader "proxy". Invaluable! Your book is worthless! Watch the presentation:
  23. 23. Rackspace woke up my wife! The customer! On a scale of 1-10, in Python, I would give myself an 8. Scrapy installation gave 32 warnings. Do you have permissions to crawl that site? Watch the presentation:
  24. 24. The customer! Don’t piss off the more advanced ones!
  25. 25. I'm actually on my own! Watch the presentation:
  26. 26. If at first you don't succeed... Brand new Editor!
  27. 27. The customer!
  28. 28. Chapters 5-9
  29. 29. Pay some credit, if possible Watch the presentation:
  30. 30. Gartner Hype Cycle On every chapter... Pain! Skip the pain!
  31. 31. Do you have permissions to crawl that site? This book isn’t about MySQL, nor Redis Reproducible research 9 servers, realistic, almost 0 support, works on the airport!
  32. 32. Maybe we can cut some edges! Actually no, my reputation is at stake! Watch the presentation:
  33. 33. The customer!
  34. 34. The customer! My manager, my friend, myself!
  35. 35. Watch the presentation:
  36. 36. 667 pages/second Micro-batches Watch the presentation:
  37. 37. Appendix Watch the presentation:
  38. 38. Production • Check the PDFs: – Text – Diagrams – Code, code code (especially in Python) Watch the presentation:
  39. 39. Look Mum, I'm on Amazon!
  40. 40. Your Friends Get the vision, no problem! You start here You end here Do not offend these guys You really "sell" to those guys Your main audience Watch the presentation:
  41. 41. Contribute A book on your favorite open source framework • Author or Co-author • Review (but be polite) • Support authors
  42. 42. Make the World a Better Place! Watch the presentation: