This interview with Accounting Succinctly author Joe Booth is part of a series of Q&A blog posts with our Succinctly series authors.
Why write a book for Syncfusion?
Years ago, I saw a cartoon of a guy sitting on a park bench, with the caption “There’s a sad case, a computer programmer who took a six-week vacation, and now cannot get caught up.” It really hit home, as there are so many tools and techniques in the industry; you can easily get left behind with even a brief vacation. The idea of a small, targeted book providing just the basics is a great idea from Syncfusion, and I was very happy to write for them. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and these books were a perfect opportunity.
Are these books your first technical manuals?
No, I’ve written numerous titles over the years, my first book was written in 1989, the same year my son was born. It was called Clipper 5: A Developer’s Guide. I’ve done a number of other books since then, mostly on Clipper, FoxPro, and Delphi. Several of the books have been translated to different languages as well.
What is your favorite outdated technology?
While I am not much of a fan of older technology, I look forward to the day I can retire beachside and enjoy a horseback ride rather than a good old Pennsylvania traffic jam!
What have you learned since writing these e-books?
Mark Twain once said, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” This is definitely true when writing these titles, it takes some time to really focus on just the important parts of the technology. Digging in and creating business uses for regular expressions and creating some of my own internal Visual Studio add-ins really help me focus these books on what other developers want to see. It is funny how true his quote really is.
Do you have another reference that you would recommend to people interested in Regular Expressions or Visual Studio add-ins?
Regular expressions are very handy, but also can be very complex. There are numerous lengthy books about them, but my favorite resources are two websites: RegExLib, a large collection of regular expressions, and Debuggex, which includes a visualizer as you type in your regular expressions.