I am pleased to announce that Apress' The Definitive Guide to Catalyst is now on general release and being shipped to readers. I am even more pleased to announce that in spite of my name being on the cover, my brilliant and beloved co-author Kieren Diment managed to write a lot more of it than I did and as such it's actually pretty bloody good.
We've done out best to make this book not just an extended tutorial, but to provide a gentle introduction to installing and using Catalyst, an insight into the development (and testing) workflow behind scalable, maintainable commercial applications written using Catalyst, and a solid basic understanding of how to use, abuse and extend the common extensions and components that you are likely to interact with in the course of a Catalyst build. Better still, the chapters on those libraries have largely been written by either the authors or documentation leads for those projects, giving you an expert's viewpoint on each of them that not even Kieren and I could match.
If you're planning to buy your copy from Amazon, please consider following one of the following links to buy it from amazon.com, or to buy it from amazon.co.uk - and if you're elsewhere then please substitute your appropriate country TLD into one of those links. That way the affiliate revenue will go to the Enlightened Perl Organisation rather than amazon's back pocket.
A small matter of principle
In the true Enlightened Perl spirit of putting your money where your mouth is, I will also be donating any and all money I personally receive from sales of the book to the organisation as well, since this book could never have come about without the support of the community - and the effort the members of that community have put in over the years is a huge part of what's created the market for world wide Catalyst consultancy, training and commercial support that Shadowcat serves. This, in my opinion, makes it an even more exciting time to join the organisation - our first round of grants has already been announced and once the revenues from the book start hitting the organisation's accounts I expect we'll be doing a second pretty soon - so if you want a vote as to what projects and causes the money should be sent on, you should give serious consideration to becoming a paid member. Remember - everybody willing to put their money where their mouth is gets an equal vote at grant time, so if you care about moving the cause of twenty first century perl forwards then this is how to help decide how to spend other people's money to do so!
A large matter of gratitude
I'd also like to take a moment to thank all of the people who've helped us out along the way - not just chapter headline authors but the irc.perl.org #catalyst crew who answered questions, made suggestions and kindly provided code samples based on their production code for us to base cookbook recipes on - and the various members of the community who were kind enough to proof read, advise and criticise in the name not of fame but simply of an awesome end result.
Finally, I want to specifically call out Jacinta Richardson for praise - while our publically archived interactions might make it seem otherwise, we have a solid professional respect for each other's work and her technical review on the code I wrote for the book was invaluable. I didn't honestly expect Apress to be able to find a reviewer who could make a serious job of poking holes in my code, but as it turned out Jacinta didn't so much poke as tear - resulting both in substantial improvements to the end product and a timely reminder to me that I should be careful not to believe my own hype ;)
I fervently hope that this book will not only be of use to people just starting out with Catalyst development, but will continue to be of value right up through to the expert level, reflecting a best attempt by all of the authors involved to make something that appeals not only to those who want a gentle, step by step introduction but to developers like me who believe that the venerable K&R C book still remains the pinnacle of technical writing. It was an ambitious goal, but with the probable exception of the parts they let me write I think we gave it a pretty good shot.
-- mst, out.