Sep 04 2007

What about that book?

Categories: General Dave Rathbun @ 9:14 am

Years ago I made some noises about writing a technical book on Business Objects. I think the first time I seriously considered it was in 1998 after my second successful “variables” presentation at the annual conference. Considered it, yes. Started to write it, no.

I considered it again a bit later when I realized that there weren’t any current books on the market. Robert Schmidt had previously published some books but then seemed to drop out of Business Objects for a while. As a result his books were a version behind. Version 5.1 was the current version at the time. (If you have checked recently you know that Robert has come roaring back with several new offerings in the past few years.)

In the spring of 2001 I went as far as writing up a proposal and sending it to O’Reilly. It got rejected. I got over it. :-D

In 2002 I registered this domain name ( I really didn’t have any idea what I was going to do with it, but domain names were on sale if you bought more than one, so I did. :lol: Eventually I decided that it was probably going to be something related to my work with Business Objects, but I still wasn’t sure what that would be. So the domain simply sat for a few years. I didn’t bother hosting it anywhere because I didn’t want to pay for hosting for a dormant site.

In 2004 BOB moved to a newer more powerful server and I decided that I could run some smaller sites along with BOB without impacting the performance of the board. At that point I set up this domain with a “coming soon” home page. Here’s a tip: if you see “coming soon” on a web page, it isn’t. ;-)

At the end of 2004 I started a family blog using WordPress 1.5. I soon found out that I really loved the blog format. I was already familiar with php and MySQL having learned both while managing BOB. I had several web sites prior to that, but nothing like the easy and powerful features that WordPress provided with a minimal amount of effort. Within a few minutes of installing WordPress I had my blog running and had written my first post.

In 2006 I started another blog, this one related to the work I do with phpBB. Both of these blogs still exist and are going strong. If you are interested in reading about the sort of stuff that I do behind the scenes to keep BOB running you can check out the phpBB Doctor Blog.

In 2007 I finally realized what I was going to do with this domain name: it would become my Business Objects Blog. The BOB board is big enough that I think some of the valuable content gets lost in the volume of information that is available. I expect to take a lot of the Frequently Asked Questions from BOB and turn them into blog posts. I have some other plans for this site that will extend beyond the blog concept, but those features probably won’t become available until next year. (Yes, that’s a teaser of some surprises I have planned for this site. They’re “coming soon” at the moment… :-P )

But the best part is that a blog doesn’t live or die by deadlines. When I have time, I write. When I don’t have time, I don’t. I can write several posts at once and schedule them to come out over the coming weeks or months as I see fit. There is no pressure to get some number of chapters done and off to the editors for proofreading, and no requirements from a publisher to meet their deadlines. It is what it is, and content comes out at my own pace.

So, what about that book? You’re reading it, one tiny chapter at a time. 8)

2 Responses to “What about that book?”

  1. Comment by Filip

    Keep up the good work, Dave! I’m a frequent visitor of the BOB-forum and you’re right when you say that you sometimes get lost in the heaps of information that is available there. I like the idea of a website where only the really good stuff is found :-) Even BO experts can pick up some new great ideas here: you can always get to know more when you’re not on your own.

  2. Comment by Rizwan SM

    Hi Dave! Great work… :-) .

    Writing blogs is much better than books. And the best part about blogs is that You can interact with the readers much often which is not possible with a book. As readers increase they post their comments which makes You feel like people are really getting interest in your blogs.

    It brings You much closer to the people around the world.. Normally people who work on BOXI :-) gOOd wOrk !!!

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