Book 0.58 and the road to 1.0

As we get close to the completion of what we think of as "Windows 8.1 Book" 1.0, my mind is inevitably drifting to matters beyond the final short chapters that need to be written, Read This First and Networking. So here's an early peek at a version of the full book document that includes some blocked-in front matter such as the dedication, about this book, introduction and so on. None of it is complete yet, but I wanted to get a feel for how it would fit in.

We have some ideas for how the book will evolve after that 1.0 release. But more pertinent, perhaps, are some thoughts about how the book might evolve to reach 1.0. That is, aside from the obvious issue of the remaining writing that needs to happen, I'd like to examine ways in which the current version of the book could change before 1.0 publication.

The way I look at this is that the book, as-is, was blocked out over several months in a kind of a haphazard fashion, with chapters written out of order. So there will be inconsistencies in the structure of chapters, links to things that no longer exist, and so on. A simple reading through of the book by both of us separately will clear up many of these issues. But Rafael and I also hope to formally add elements to the book that we can expand over time.

For example, while the 1.0 version of "Windows 8.1 Book" is designed to roughly approximate the content range we provided in Windows 8 Secrets, it would be helpful if we could somehow pull the important nuggets—what we may in the past have called "secrets"—out in some meaningful way so that the more advanced users can skim around and perhaps find out things they didn't know.

I don't know if we call these pulled out content areas "Expert Advice" or similar. But we'll talk this through and try to come up with something sustainable. Right now we have a lot of things marked "Note:" that are side-notes or links to other sections or chapters, and just a handful of things marked "Tip:". We need to clean that up and formalize what's what.

Anyway, the mind races this close to completion. So excuse the babbling. :)

More soon. Feedback is always appreciated.

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Windows 8.1 Book 0.58 – 530 pages