We’ve decided to go with two volumes on the next book — I’m starting to call it the next book rather than the second edition of “Expert One on One Oracle” (which was recently released in hard back with a CD-ROM of the book included). The reason I’m calling it the next book is two fold.
First, when WROX went under, it sold most of its holdings to Wiley and Wiley owns the WROX name and the “Expert One on One” tag line. The name of the book was simply Oracle — Expert One on One, like their Professional and Beginning tags — was just that, a brand. So, we cannot use the Expert One on One tag anymore.
Secondly, the amount of change is more than your typical “new updated to cover 10g” sort of thing. Some chapters are unrecognizable, some will be 100% new. It is a rewrite in many senses.
Add to that the fact that we are going to do two volumes and to me, it is a new book. But why two volumes. Well, one reason is getting something out there sooner rather than later. It is becoming clear that if we waited to rewrite the entire book — we would not have a book until very near the end of this year (if then). Also, the book is getting bigger, we’d have to cut something to make it fit.
Also, by going with two volumes we’ll be able to use a slightly larger font and slightly thicker paper. Those are two things I heard about a lot — “font is too small and paper is too thin, words bleed through”. That was partly due to the page count. By doing two smaller books that are collectively as long or longer — we’ll be able to avoid those issues.
Another reason was weight — I heard this frequently “great book, but I cannot travel with it, far too large”. This will help that as well.
The first volume will be my rendition of the Concepts manual in a way. Covering the architecture, memory structures, how PGA memory works (auto and manual), files and the like. You can get a preview of it on the apress review site, as of today chapters 3 and 4 are there for down load and comments. Chapters 1 and 2 are pretty much done. Chapter 5 is in my in-box to edit, and chapters 6 through 11 are out for review by the reviewing team. I do not envy them, tech editing a book is hard work (and it doesn’t pay well either so it has that going for it).
I’ve said before — a book is defined by its technical editing team and I have four of the best right now. The details they are finding, the input they are giving is invaluable. I got chapter four back — 38 pages, over 120 comments. Each of which I have to go through and address. I don’t mind, really — even when it results in me having to chop out a big example and redo it very differently. The resulting text is always better, definitely more clear. If these guys look at an example and are left going “huh?” I’m sure others would as well. That and they point out side effects I didn’t think about (hey, autotrace allocates PGA memory, doh! That explains that mysterious 64k I couldn’t account for…).
Anyway, this will allow us to get volume one out much sooner than the entire book would have been. It (volume one) will come with a CD of the first edition as well so you get a book that literally covers Oracle from about version 7.3 on through to Oracle 10g Release 1. I will not be covering 10g Release 2 at all in this book as I have no real world experience with it as yet. But architecturally speaking, there are no radical differences coming, not like 8i-9i with lots of things that begin with “A” for automatic, or 10g with more changes still.