Asterisk, and other worldly endeavours.

A blog by Leif Madsen

Posts Tagged ‘writing

Request for Reviews for Asterisk: The Definitive Guide

Recently Jim Van Meggelen, Russell Bryant and myself released the 3rd edition of the Asterisk book published by O’Reilly Media titled ‘Asterisk: The Definitive Guide‘.

We have released this book under a Creative Commons license in the spirit of Open Source software. It is available in its entirety at http://ofps.oreilly.com/titles/9780596517342/ and for purchase through Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Asterisk-Definitive-Guide-Leif-Madsen/dp/0596517343/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1303765969&sr=8-1

If you have a chance to review the book, and feel it is a useful and well written resource, we would appreciate your favorable review on Amazon.com. One of the biggest factors in sales is favorable reviews, and with better sales comes the ability to dedicate more time to writing books like this one (which are typically written in our “free time”).

Any comments, suggestions, or constructive criticisms are always welcome.

Thanks!
Leif Madsen.

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Written by Leif Madsen

2011/04/26 at 12:34 pm

Asterisk Cookbook Is Done!

Just a quick update that the Asterisk Cookbook is complete! We’ll be releasing it under a Creative Commons license (just like Asterisk: The Definitive Guide) again. It’ll be a 24 recipe e-book right now, with it growing over time and eventually becoming a full print edition once the size warrants it. Of course if you purchase now you help spur on additional incentive to continue making it larger. I’ve been told that you also continue to receive updates automatically as the book grows and corrections are made (which sounds pretty cool!).

More information about the book is here: http://oreilly.com/catalog/0636920018551

Written by Leif Madsen

2011/03/25 at 8:40 am

Posted in Asterisk

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Debugging the Asterisk Dialplan with Verbose()

In case you missed it, Russell Bryant wrote a blog post on debugging the Asterisk dialplan with the Verbose() application. This is one of the recipes that will be features in the upcoming Asterisk Cookbook that we’re writing, and hoping to have done by the end of March!

(In case you’ve missed all the cool stuff lately, the Asterisk Cookbook will also be released under the same Creative Commons license as the previous Asterisk books. We’re also making use of the Open Feedback Publishing System (OFPS) again. You can help review the text and test the recipes at http://ofps.oreilly.com/titles/9781449303822/.)

Written by Leif Madsen

2011/03/04 at 9:16 am

Asterisk Cookbook Is On! (We Think :))

After finishing the first draft of Asterisk: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition), I’ve been a bit antsy with wanting to do some more writing. After about a week of a break (i.e. sleeping in past 7am for the first time in nearly a year), Russell Bryant and I have decided to team up on delivering the long awaited Asterisk Cookbook.

To start off with, we’ll be writing a short, 80-100 page eBook that will be distributed by O’Reilly in all the formats they support (http://oreilly.com/ebooks/). The book is scheduled to have about 25 recipes, and should be written in the next 30-40 days, which would mean it should be available shortly after Asterisk: The Definitive Guide is released (which means you can bundle them together! :)).

We just finished the outline this morning and sent it off to our editor Mike Loukides. Unless O’Reilly is already booked up (pun intended?) for the next few months with production and other books, we should be starting work on this as early as next week. If all goes well after we’re done the eBook, we’ll continue expanding it with the goal of eventually releasing it as a print edition.

As a side note, we’re still accepting reviews from people for Asterisk: The Definitive Guide. We have to return all edits and changes to O’Reilly no later than February 14th, so that means you still have a couple of weeks to get some reviews and testing done! If you could make sure you have your reviews done before February 11, 2011 that would help us out tremendously as we’ll be working on getting all the edits we need done in an email to O’Reilly by Monday, February 14th. You can help out at http://ofps.oreilly.com/titles/9780596517342/.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed thus far!

Written by Leif Madsen

2011/01/27 at 9:33 am

Asterisk: The Definitive Guide — Call For Reviewers!

Here is the text I posted to the asterisk-doc mailing list this morning. You can sign up for asterisk-doc at http://lists.digium.com and get involved! We’d love to make this the best book on Asterisk ever, and your input can make that true! Our goal is to build a book for, and by, the Asterisk community.

Hey all!

We’re getting VERY close to having the first draft of the next Asterisk book, Asterisk: The Definitive Guide ready to be sent off to production. We’re very close to meeting our target dates, but our review timeline is very tight. Only about 2 weeks!

Each morning we’re continuing to work on the book, taking in your comments, reviewing chapters, testing dialplan and installation steps, and all that good stuff.

However, we’ve been looking at this book since May 2010 and our eyes are starting to get glazed đŸ™‚ We’d love for the community to have a look at the book and offer some constructive criticism.

It’s far too late to take requests for things to cover. What we have is what we’re going to get in for this edition. After we finish this book though we plan on continuing to update it, so there will be a chance to take suggestions again soon.

For now, head on over to http://ofps.oreilly.com and check out the book (updated this morning). There are a couple of bugs in the OFPS software which are causing comments to not be available after chapter 8, but we’re hoping to have those resolved by Friday. However, we do have this fancy mailing list that we can use.

Russell, Jim and myself will be monitoring this list for comments, and we’ll try and get all of them satisfied before publication. If there is a particular area we’re covering that you’re an expert in, we’d love to have you focus on that chapter. You can email me back directly for more information on what we might be looking for in that type of situation.

We do have editors to help with grammar and spelling, but pointing anything out is certainly useful. The best use of your time though is testing the dialplan snippets, the installation instructions for both Ubuntu and CentOS (we’re covering two Linux distributions this time around, which increases the testing load significantly), and making sure anything we’re explaining is concise, relates to what we’re talking about, and makes sense. The goal is to build an Asterisk system from scratch, so following through our dialplan via the chapters to make sure it all continues to build on itself would be ideal.

Additionally, if you see any sections which say, “see chapter XXX for more information” that are not links, please let us know, as those are meant to be placeholders until the chapters existed and we could link back to them. Now that all chapters are created, we should be linking to the appropriate locations. If you’re reading a section and notice a good spot to reference another part of the book (for example, lets say we’re talking about database functionality in one of the other chapters, and there is an appropriate spot in the Database Integration chapter to link to), then let us know!

Thanks for your interest! Books should be shipping sometime between March and April. Pre-orders are available now at http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596517342. And yes, we’ll be releasing under a Creative Commons license like the last two books, so you’ll have access to the book at any time online.

This book has been pretty much written from the ground up, and is well over 600 pages of content. It’s been a lot of work, but we hope you like it!

Thanks!
Russell, Jim and Leif.

Written by Leif Madsen

2011/01/06 at 10:22 am

Update on TFoT v3 Progress

Just another quick update on the progress of the 3rd edition of the Asterisk book. It’s been a bit slow coming, but Jim and I have renewed vigor and vigilance to be productive and get things done. Since the last update, there was a period of time where nothing got done unfortunately. We did get a lot done in the week off I took to focus on the book (I think we ended up writing about 2-3 new chapters, and updated a lot of the old ones), but then of course work got in the way.

This has really been the problem the whole time, or else we’d be working on the 4th edition at this point. So instead of dreaming about having more time to work on the book, and for that time to be allocated all chaotic and patchy, we’ve come up with a new method. Each morning we’re getting together for an hour between 8am and 9am where the amount of distractions is low, and the amount of energy is high. This way, we can get in a good 5 hours each week on the book, plus any additional time either of us is able to work on it separately.

It may not be the quickest way to get a book done, but we both have worked well in the past together on the other two editions and have always gotten lots accomplished, so we’re going to try this method out for a couple months and see how it goes. After a week of using it and not missing any time we’ve already gotten through 3 chapters of review and additional content. The method seems to be working, and is giving us some renewed energy to keep plugging away, hoping to have the book ready to launch along with Asterisk 1.8.0.

More information to come in the coming months.

Written by Leif Madsen

2010/02/19 at 9:39 am

Posted in Asterisk, Musings

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