The YUI 3 Cookbook is Underway

It’s already been announced on yuiblog, so it’s probably high time it got mentioned here. On March 1, I started writing the YUI 3 Cookbook, due from O’Reilly Press early next year.

This is all on top of my regular job, so taking on this project has unfortunately meant some… lifestyle cutbacks. For instance, there’s a guy at work who has decorated his cube and the adjacent hallway with posters and paraphernalia from every newly released computer game known to man. This means I have to steel my nerves and walk past a Dragon Age II poster every day. Every day, people!

Those sacrifices aside, I’m thrilled that YUI team asked me to work on this project, and my wife and young son have been enormously supportive about the whole thing. At least, I think my son is supportive. Whenever I ask him about it, he says “Hey!” and tries to chew on my finger, which I’m pretty sure means, “Go Dad!” Either that, or he’s saving up his grievances for later.

Some info about the YUI 3 Cookbook, in order of priority:

  • No, I do not know which animal is going to be on the cover.
  • The material will focus exclusively on YUI 3.
  • The cookbook will contain over 200 recipes. Each recipe has the form “Problem”, “Solution”, and “Discussion”, much like other cookbooks released by O’Reilly.
  • The total length will be on the order of 500 pages, including TOC and index.
  • In the YUI Library forums, I’ve created a thread with links to a strawman TOC and a sample PDF. The material is completely unedited, not technically reviewed, and riddled with red TODOs. But it should give you an idea of the scope and style.

Much more to come.

Evo Psych is Never Our Friend

Jacob Weisberg has a new article in Slate riffing on Charlie Sheen’s recent woes that lists eight reasons why people care about celebrities. Reason #7:

Another version of this theory comes from a 2008 article in Scientific American, which attributed our celebrity obsession to status-jockeying. Some research findings: Men are mainly interested in gossip about men and women mainly interested in gossip about women; we care much more about those above us in social hierarchy than those below; we care more about people in our own age group; we care more about negative news (someone got arrested) than positive (someone won an award). According to Frank McAndrew, professor of psychology at Knox College, we instinctively collect information that can affect our social status. Negative information about higher-status, same-sex others is ammunition against biological competitors.

I don’t normally have much truck with Evolutional Psychology, but damn, if this one paragraph doesn’t explain the entire tech press as we know it. Of course, see also Reason #8.