An Apology, an Explanation, and a Plan

December 2, 2013 — 21 Comments

You may have noticed, and possibly found yourself quite frustrated by, the fact that I have not updated “The Yii Book” in quite some time. Once again (once again!) my sincerest apologies for the delay. I have not been as productive on “The Yii Book”, or as communicative, as of late as I would have liked, or as you certainly deserve. Though a lack of updates or information conveys nothing to you, “The Yii Book” has been constantly at the forefront of my mind, and no one wants it to be done more than I. I know that progress has been somewhere between slow and terrible, and while there are reasons, I don’t want to make excuses. Basically it’s been a ton of work, and life is complicated. I can see how it could seem from the outside that I’m not prioritizing “The Yii Book”, but it’s on my mind constantly, I’m well aware of how poorly I’ve done (in terms of the schedule), and I really am making decisions towards the goal of finishing it. On that note…

Some of you may also have noticed that I’ve just completed a different book: the second edition of my “Effortless E-commerce with PHP and MySQL”. What happened there? Well, first, I was contractually obligated to write that book, and write it by a very hard deadline. “Very hard” in the sense that if I didn’t complete it in time, the publisher could take the book away from me and have someone else write it. Second, revisions of books are infinitely easier to write than first editions, no matter the subject, so it was not a comparable amount of either time or work. And with a traditional publisher, there are other people doing work that I have to do all of when self-publishing. Third, and most importantly, when I originally set the deadline on the e-commerce book, I never imagined that “The Yii Book” would not be done by that point. Never. But clearly I’ve been atrocious at judging the amount of time and work “The Yii Book” requires all along. But the primary reason there have been no updates on “The Yii Book” as of late was due to this other book (and because life is complicated). So where does that leave “The Yii Book” today? I’ve got a multistep process to right this wrong and complete this book…

First, I’m going to extend the free updates phase on “The Yii Book” to two years from the time the 1.0 release is complete. If the first complete edition is done in X of 2014, then you’ll get free updates until X of 2016. That will include updates for Yii 2 (which, like “The Yii Book”, is taking longer than some would like) and anything else significant that comes along in that period. If Yii 3 comes out by X of 2016, I’ll update the book for Yii 3 for free (which, that won’t happen, but…).

Second, I’ve got a plan in place to get back to regular monthly updates, starting in December. There’s not that much left of the whole book, and really only maybe 4 chapters of what’s new material (as opposed to the chapters of examples). I was able to get a decent amount of writing done over the holidays, and while driving (well, while my wife was driving), so am “back on the horse” there and will return to monthly updates until the book is finished. I don’t want to estimate when that will be, as I’m quite clearly horrible at that, but it will be ASAP.

When I accepted the position at Stripe, I accepted it on a part-time basis so that I can continue to be a good husband and father and continue to support readers of my books. That includes both existing, traditionally-published books, and self-published books. Thus, I’ve already taken on fewer hours at Stripe to make time to write and help readers. If need be, I’ll take additional days off at Stripe in order to get regular updates out. I’m going to do what I have to to complete this book ASAP.

Third, since my having to complete the second edition of “Effortless E-commerce with PHP and MySQL” has impacted the schedule of “The Yii Book”, there’s a little something I can do there. I get 20 free copies of a traditionally-published book, which I normally give out in my newsletter or on social media. This time, I’ll set aside those 20 copies for owners of “The Yii Book”. I’ll cover shipping, too. I’ll set this up after I get an update out, but I imagine the process will work like this:

  • I’ll provide a way/place for you to indicate your interest in the e-commerce book.
  • At a certain point in time, I’ll randomly draw names from that pool.
  • The drawing will be weighted so that more copies are given to people that purchased “The Yii Book” earlier (i.e., those that have been waiting longest).

That’s my thinking there. As I said, I’ll create a system for this once I get the next update of “The Yii Book” out.

Once again, my apologies to you for the too-long delay, as of late and in general. This is not how I would have hoped progress on “The Yii Book” would have gone (although I think the book itself is good). And betraying your trust and good faith is absolutely the last thing I would want to do.

My thanks, as always, for your interest in “The Yii Book”, for your patience, and for just generally joining me on this little self-publishing experiment, that has turned into a saga.

If you enjoyed this post, then please consider following me using your favorite social media, the RSS feed, and/or by subscribing to my newsletter. Or go crazy, and buy one or more of my books . Thanks!

21 responses to An Apology, an Explanation, and a Plan

  1. Thanks for the update.

    Remember in the computer programming world, take your time estimate and X 2.5. That seems to mostly work for me, since life and other work emergencies always thwart your productivity and time lines.

    Keep plowing ahead.

  2. You rule, Larry! Don’t worry.

  3. Larry, “The Yii Book” would have been published on time if you had moved (on your own, no less!) to a monastery and done nothing but write.

    Instead its contents have been hugely informed by your many activities. It may become your best ever (web development) book, at least until we can read your short stories or novel!

    You have been lax on one point; that of being kinder to yourself. I suspect the majority of your readers wish you peace. This one does.

    • Thanks, Gowan. I appreciate the understanding. Although I believe monasteries lack good internet access. ;)

      I will work on being kinder to myself. One I get back to getting regular updates out again! Thank you again. Very kind!

  4. Waiting won’t kill us… Besides all UE Australian audience is waiting for stipe to make it’s way out here ;)

  5. Think I’ll buy your book now ;)

  6. I would probably wait until he is done. Or when he actually checks his Yii forum. I’d grab his excellent second edition of the eCommerce book and wait.

    No offense Larry. The content is worth a hundred times more than your asking price, but I don’t know if I’d have been there on Day 1 if I knew that your apologies would be more frequent than your updates.

  7. the yii2 alpha is already released and I hope there will not be any major core framework code changes from now on till its stable release. any plans or time table on releasing the yii book for yii2? i just wanted my next project to be on yii2 and as i can see it is a complete rewrite of the framework. pls start at least writing tutorials on yii2. i will definitly buy your book on yii2

    • Thanks for the input. I’m kind of done on putting out timetables, considering how poorly I’ve done with it heretofore. The alpha came out at the first of December. My expectation is that it’ll be stable in about 3 months, maybe. Ideally I’d like to finish the book for Yii 1, then start updating it for Yii 2. But I’m going to be flexible about that.

  8. Don’t worry Larry. We are gonna send some new requests to see in the book too. ;)

  9. Ditto: DeanCameron
    You rule, larry! Don’t worry

  10. Larry -“My expectation is that it’ll be stable in about 3 months, maybe. Ideally I’d like to finish the book for Yii 1, then start updating it for Yii 2. But I’m going to be flexible about that.”

    I think Larry you should not be confused between preference between Yii1 or Yii2 or flexibilty.Because Yii1 only left 4 chapters.And Practical applications.So after completion of Yii1 book,it will be easy & clearer to read & understand Yii2.Otherwise this flexibilty will take another time to complete the book.

Comments are great, but I'd strongly prefer any requests for assistance get made in the support forums. Thanks!