How am I supposed to convey how hard this was? I’d say it was like giving childbirth, but the process itself took much longer than it takes to grow a baby.
Why did it take so long? First: unlike a baby, which grows at a steady pace whether you like it or not, a book is all too easy to put off when you’ve got a full‐time job.
Second: unlike a baby, which will claw its way out at a date of its own choosing, a book’s natural tendency is to languish. Mine settled into a valley when it was roughly 60% complete; rather than redouble my efforts in order to get it over the hump, I sat on the couch and pretended it didn’t exist for a while.
So don’t misunderstand me: I’m not suggesting I have some knowledge of childbirth that allows me to empathize. I’m only saying that the process of writing my book was far more painful and, as a result, has far more meaning.
I am humbly indebted to everyone at Apress for making this possible — especially Beth Christmas and Clay Andres, who helped me get off my perfection pedestal and get the damned thing out the door. Anyone else would’ve ditched the albatross long ago.
I am also grateful to Aaron Gustafson for being my technical editor. He had to ensure my code examples worked even while the APIs for the final version of Prototype 1.6 were changing almost daily.
And, of course, I am grateful to Christophe Porteneuve, author of the excellent Pragmatic Programmers book on Prototype/script.aculo.us, for his enthusiasm and occasional guidance. Some may view our books as being in direct competition. I say: why not buy both?