the real world of Haskell books (Re: [Haskell-cafe] Online RealWorld Haskell, problem with Sqlite3 chapters)

Derek Elkins derek.a.elkins at
Fri Sep 5 22:50:28 EDT 2008

On Fri, 2008-09-05 at 20:55 +0100, Claus Reinke wrote:
> >> Seriously, though, what is the RWH authors' plan for tackling
> >> the eternal frustration of Haskell book authors, a moving target?
> > 
> > Other tech books face the same problem, which, if they sell
> > successfully and the authors haven't moved into caves afterwards to
> > recover, they address with subsequent editions. If readers find that
> > specific pieces of information have bitrotted, I'm sure we'll hear
> > about it. In that case, we'll create a wiki page with errata, and link
> > to it from the book site.
> Just saying, it is worth planning for, especially if the book is
> going to be successful. I understand if creating that book at
> breakneck speed has left you looking forward to a break (not
> of the neck;-), but laying out a strategy for this, and putting it in
> the preface, might avoid sorrows later. You do have the online
> version and commenting system in place which you could keep
> around, you could even keep copies of the precise code versions 
> you use, although adapting the text is more appropriate for this 
> style of book.

To make what (I believe) Claus is saying more explicit and direct, add a
note to the beginning of the book (or somewhere reasonably prominent)
that states something along the lines:
"As time progresses parts of this book are going to become out-of-date,
in particular code examples will.  See <url> for errata or read the
comments for that section on the online version of the book for details
resolving these issues.  Alternatively, send an email to

I would recommend having a mailing list or some such as then you can
potentially leverage the community to resolve such issues leading to
less pressure on you three and likely faster responses.

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