JeffPritchard (1) [Avatar] Offline
I know it would require a little extra effort, but for the pdf versions of the book, and this holds not just for your book but all Manning pubs, why not have separate Mac and Windoze versions?

Having both sets of info is most confusing at the beginning (i.e. the setup section) of any computer book, and this is the time when a new reader is most vulnerable to becoming confused.

It would be easy enough to have separate Mac and Windoze pdf's that simply leave out the irrelevant info for the other OS.

peterarmstrong (94) [Avatar] Offline
Re: For the PDF, why not separate books?
Simple reason: some people have both. (I've tested this book on both, and used the combination of Flex + Rails to do productive development with both.)

Also, I think this would be more confusing: someone seeing just one of the books (e.g. the Mac one) would wonder why it doesn't work on Windows...
peterarmstrong (94) [Avatar] Offline
Re: For the PDF, why not separate books?
Also, there's enough "Mac only" elitism in the Rails community that I don't want to appear to add to that by producing a version that is Mac-only. Believe me, I prefer OS X, and I'm counting the days to Macworld so I can buy a shiny new Mac laptop -- but I wrote this book on a Dell laptop running Windows XP, and I've taken great pains to test the code on as many configurations as possible:
- SDK + Mac
- SDK + Windows
- Flex Builder + Mac
- Flex Builder + Windows.
I want this fact to be apparent in the book, so that people who use Windows don't feel left out.

Many of the Rails tutorials you find assume you have a Mac and don't make any attempt to support Windows users, even though many typical Rails users use Windows: I took a poll of my readers when I was self-publishing this book, and slightly more than half of them were using Windows. Also, almost all the readers (both Mac and Windows users) were using Flex Builder to follow along.

So, believe me, this approach had a *lot* of thought put into it. (Once upon a time I wrote three different versions of iteration 2 "2A, 2B and 2C"; however, this led to lots of copy-paste instructions which were difficult to keep updated and which wasted paper. So, the approach I took was the best compromise...)