Absolute OpenBSD status, 9 Sep 2012

Those who have been following my Twitter feed know most of this, but here’s the status on this book.

  • Chapters 0-10 have been sent to No Starch. They’ve done initial edits on 0-5. I’ve responded to those edits, so they’re now off for Hansteen’s tech review.
  • Chapters 11, 14, and 17 have been sent to Henning for informal review.
  • Chapters 12, 13, and 20 partially exist.
  • Other chapters are outlines, notes, fragments, script(1) sessions, etc.
  • Oh, and the Afterword exists. Mainly because it’s 90% stolen from my blog. But still, I can cross it off the list.

    Why are things written out of order? Depends on what I’m doing at the time. Also, some chapters can be written without Internet access. Otherwise, I write chapters in order.

    I believe I’ve chopped down the outline to where it needs to be for a book roughly the same size as Absolute FreeBSD. Chapter titles are subject to change. Heck, everything is subject to change.

    0: Introduction
    1: Community Support
    2: Installation Prep
    3: Installation Walk-Through
    4: Post-Install Setup
    5: Booting
    6: User Management
    7: Root, and how to avoid it
    8: Disks & Filesystems
    9: More Filesystems
    10: OpenBSD Security Features
    11: IPv4 & IPv6
    12: Network Connections
    13: Software Management
    14: /etc
    15: Maintenance
    16: Daemons (sensorsd, snmp, etc)
    17: Desktop OpenBSD (cwm, tmux, etc)
    18: Kernel Configuration
    19: Building Custom Kernels
    20: Upgrading
    21: Packet Filtering
    22: managing PF
    23: edges

    Trimming to this length hurt, but one of my critical design goals is to write a book small enough to hold in the bathtub. I might sometimes recommend books that exceed that limit, but they have to be freaking awesome books.

    One thing that helps is Peter Hansteen’s Book of PF. It didn’t exist when the first edition of AO came out, so I needed to do pretty exhaustive coverage into PF. My coverage of primordial PF took three chapters in the first edition, and PF and family has roughly doubled its features since then. He does an excellent deep dive into PF, so I can reduce those chapters.

    I’ve talked about word count before, but I need to stop doing that. The book has flailed around enough that the number of words I write isn’t exactly useful. I wrote 7,000 anti-words on Chapter 17 before sending it to Henning, for example.

    On the plus side, the AO2e narrator now sounds a little less Dexter Morgan and a little more BOFH. That’s probably a good thing.

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