April 29, 2007 spout writing

Glyn Griffiths: Ian’s Dad and Damn Fine Reviewer

This was an email I sent to Glyn Griffiths, the final external reviewer on the WPF 2ed book before we submitted the final manuscript for copy edit and publication (and which has been posted here with his permission):

Mr. Griffiths, in chapter 7, you had a couple of comments about what happened in the 1ed of the book vs. what we’ve got now in the 2ed of the book. The first such comment was:

The first edition of the book had …selected by going backward and forward…’ which I think is better. [ed: as compared to selected back and forward’]

This is one of several instances I’ve found of improved wording in the first edition that seems to have been lost in this one. Is this because work on the second edition was started using a text base that was earlier than the final version of the first edition?”

To answer your question, the post-copy-edited version of the 1ed is in Framemaker. Apparently, ORA does have a process for getting Word documents out of Framemaker for just this reason, but I didn’t know that, so we started with our pre-copy-edited 1ed Word documents when we started the 2ed. Since so much of the 2ed prose is different than the 1ed, this doesn’t concern me overmuch, but it’s worth avoiding for the 3ed.

And now here’s my question: how the hell do you know what was in the 1ed at this level of detail? Have you memorized it so that you can do a diff in your head? Do you have it open in front of you so you can compare? I can’t imagine what powers you possess to be able to make comment such as these, but I’m happy to have you use them for good and not evil.

P.S. With your kind permission, I’d like to post your comment on my blog so that others may have a greater understanding of where Ian gets his monster intellect.