Radio UserLand Kick Start arrived in stores this week and had the highest first-day Amazon rank of any book that I've written -- it was at around 2,300 when I decided that three hours was enough time to spend reloading the page like a crazed day trader. I've sold around 30 copies on Amazon this week to Workbench visitors.
I mention all of this because I'm eager to prove that UserLand Software's products are a viable topic for book publishers. This is only the second book on a UserLand product after Matt Neuberg's excellent Frontier: The Definitive Guide from 1998, and one of the first devoted to a specific weblogging tool. Sams Publishing is taking a chance on the subject with this Radio UserLand book, and I'd like to gloat about my savvy publishing acumen as soon as possible.
To mark the occasion, I've put a chapter online about my favorite aspect of Radio UserLand: the outliner. When I began using Radio as a version 7 beta tester three years ago, I thought it was heresy to create Web content -- much less source code -- in an outliner. These days I'm an outliner junkie, writing programs, magazine articles, and everything else I can in either Radio or the Java Outline Editor (JOE). The ability to see as much or a little of a document as needed -- by expanding and collapsing outline subheads -- is a huge timesaver, especially when it needs to be reorganized.
With the release of the book, the Radio UserLand category of Workbench will be picking up again. I took a few months off writing about the subject after filing the manuscript -- I was spending so much time on Radio that I began having dreams about bees.
I still have a copy of "Applied Mac Scripting" by Tom Trinko, which covers using AppleScript and Frontier/UserTalk for scripting the Mac. Of course it's like 10 years old, and doesn't really cover weblogging. ;)
Tried to send a TrackBack using Kalsey's utlity but no luck, so here it is anyway:
I find the outliner in Radio to be too clunky for my tastes. The thing that really annoys me is the lack of a spell checker. It also does weird stuff when you try to mark blocks of text using the keyboard.
For serious writing I use the mind mapping software called Inspiration for outlining. You can start visually and then switch to text mode for the outline. It outputs to all sorts of formats and it has a spell checker. It takes outlining to the limits of the universe.
I pre-ordered your book via Amazon and am eagerly waiting for it.
Thanks. I own Inspiration but have never gotten around to using it. I like Radio's outliner, but I keep the software so busy that I'm using Joe more often because it's a standalone program that has nothing else to do. Joe needs a few minor bug fixes but is usable and pretty reliable.
With all due respect -- because I'm sure that your book is thorough and fine -- I'd be worried that hitching your tech publishing career to covering Userland products is like hitching your photography career to illustrating Jayson Blair articles.
I know it's a risk, but I love coding in Radio and wanted the challenge of being the first to cover a subject. Also, publishers are extremely eager to offer weblogging titles.