Second editions galore

Published January 9, 2009. Filed under: Django, Meta.

Adrian announced today that he’s working on revising The Definitive Guide to Django to produce a second edition that covers Django 1.0, which is awesome news for anyone who’s used the book as a guide to learning Django.

In the same vein, I’d like to announce something that’s been unofficially mentioned a couple times but never fully clarified: I’m busy working on the second edition of Practical Django Projects, which will also cover Django 1.0 (and maybe a feature or two from Django 1.1, depending on how the writing schedule works out).

With the first edition, I learned a lot about how to write a book, and also a lot about how not to write a book. Aiming for the moving target of Django just prior to 1.0 was probably a bad idea, but unfortunately that’s the way the schedule happened (waiting any longer to publish would have delayed the book into sometime this year, from what I can tell). And while in theory the book was supposed to be accompanied by a source-code download for the applications it covered, the need to bring that code into line with changes before 1.0 (and then bring it up to 1.0) meant that a working download would have made no sense — either I’d have to provide code people couldn’t use with a current Django, or I’d have had to rewrite large sections of the book to include alongside it, explaining why the code looked different. Either way, it’d suck.

Fortunately, we now have a stable, backwards-compatible Django codebase, so that shouldn’t be a problem the second time around (and I’ve got some neat plans for handling the book’s accompanying code, which hopefully I’ll get to unveil in a little while).

I don’t yet know when the second edition will go to press, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be in the first half of this year. So keep an eye out; it’ll also include at least one completely new chapter, so even folks who’ve seen copies of the first edition should be able to get something new out of it.

Just a quick addendum: a couple folks have asked whether buyers of the first edition will get free copies of the second since the original went out of date so quickly and since I was never able to produce a useful code package for it (since by 1.0 time, only a full rewrite could provide the necessary explanations behind the workings any updated code samples). So far as I know the answer is no, but it’s not my place to make that call (since Apress needs to stay in business, and will have given away two complete books when Adrian finishes up) and asking me for it won’t do any good, so I’ve removed those comments.