I just finished another chapter in my Data Services with Silverlight 2 book. And its another chapter without discussing converters. Specifically I mean classes that implement the IValueConverter interface and its Convert and ConvertBack methods.This is a fairly simple concept and it relates directly to dealing with data in XAML based applications including Silverlight 2. I've talked about a lot of situations so far where I could have injected converters, however each time I try to do so it takes away from the point of the current context of the chapter I am writing. So I end up pulling the converters out and saying "I'll get to them later". Well, its 4 chapters later now. I have about 7 pages that talk about converters and no home for them.
I am determined to find a place where they fit! I refuse to just throw them in a chapter because I want the book to read smoothly and focus on a topic at a time. Technical books often suffer the syndrome of presenting way too much information in one shot. I battle this problem every time I sit down to write an article or in this case my book. When several topics are introduced all at once .... or worse when 1 topic is being discussed and several other new topics are just thrown in and not discussed at all .... it makes it difficult on the reader to follow.
So my new goal is to find a home for converters in my book. I imagine I will find a home in one of the chapters I already wrote once I find a smoother way to work them back in.
I have 5 weeks left to write 5 chapters. (The book will be available in December 2008 by O'Reilly) Yep, I am a little bit behind ... but I am loving how the book is turning out. The rough list of topics includes, but not limited to:
- tons of information on binding with Silverlight
- notifications from interfaces
- invoking wcf
- cross domain policies
- invoking REST services
- writing your own REST services
- Receiving JSON and using LINQ to JSON
- Receiving POX using LINQ to XML
- Pulling LINQ to SQL and the Entity Framework entities into Silverlight 2 applications
This is the first rough list I have posted about my book. We've tried to keep it close to the vest since I was constantly changing chapter numbers and moving content around. But now I think we have settled on what is in the book (at least 80% of it). there are some topics I want to dive into but at some point I certainly will have to send it all to be published or it never will make it to print! The book will be about 250 pages ... pretty short. The goal is to focus on these specific topics. So far its working out great.