As of this month it's officially been more than five years since I've written a book about Citrix. (Before I had a blog even!) The Presentation Server 4.5 book that I originally thought would be out in January 2007 is still a work in progress.
I've learned a lot about Citrix in the past five years. So much that I'm actually completely rewriting this book from scratch instead of trying to update or patch the old book.
The delay in this book was caused by the simple fact that I always had something "more urgent" on my schedule. The realities of running a business meant that I had to focus on writing and teaching and speaking and consulting since all of these things paid the bills. It was easy to put off the book because it was so far in the future.
But after months upon months of delays, I realized that I would never find time to finish this book--I needed to make time. So recently I sat down to get it done. Now I've cleared my schedule and am making it happen. I've reset the estimated publication date to April 2008.
However, one of the things I mentioned about this book to many of you before is that it's my intention to make this book absolutely 100% free and available online. Of course there will still be a paper version that you can buy in the book store or on Amazon or wherever, but the content will be online for everyone. I believe there are several advantages to doing this:
- Readers of the website can leave feedback and share comments (both for catching any errors as well as suggesting new ideas.). This will enable us to incorporate these ideas and allow the book to represent ideas from the entire community.
- Google will index the content, ultimately driving more users to the site and creating a larger community which can then share more ideas
- Anyone unsure of whether they want to buy the book will be able to read it online first.
- The website can always stay up-to-date, both for versions of the book and versions of Citrix's products.
It's possible that we'll lose a lot of sales because the content is freely available online. But it's also possible that we'll get more sales because more people will find the book who wouldn't have known about it otherwise. None of these is as important as creating a quality product, and putting the content online with comments and ratings will sure help with that!
To that end, we'll be publishing the chapters of the book bit-by-bit as they're written and created. You could almost think of this like a "realtime" book or a "beta" book. Last week we published some sections of Chapter 3: Presentation Server Network Architecture. (This is the chapter about farm design, data stores, zones, data collectors, etc.) I finished up this chapter over the weekend, so now it's completely available for you to read. (It hasn't been grammar checked and there are no diagrams yet, but the content is there.)
So if you're interested, take few moments to read Chapter 3 of our new book, and keep an eye out for future sections. We'll most likely add future sections of the book directly to the home page, so you will be able to read them just as you can read any article on the site today.
A few notes:
There are some strange formatting issues on the book page around the table of contents box. We'll try to get those straightened out this week.
Also, some people have wondered whether I'll continue to write this Presentation Server 4.5 book with Presentation Server "Delaware" due to be released in the May timeframe. The answer is "yes," I'm still going to do the PS 4.5 book. Remember that Delaware will only run on Windows Server 2008, and CPS 4.5 will continue to receive new features (via Feature Packs) over the next several years. My plan is to begin writing the Delaware book as soon as I'm done with the CPS 4.5 book, and I would envision that I'll keep both books current and available for the next few years.