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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Ellen Troutman-Zaig wrote the index for the Slash book. I was floored when she sent me a 23 page PDF for review. She did an incredible amount of work, and I only had a handful of additions and rephrasings. I've actually used the index, and I have a nearly photographic memory of where everything is in the book.

    I couldn't have produced anything half as good, and I'm convinced it makes the book tremendously more valuable.

  • believe it or not, I like having those strange words show up in an index - maybe it's how my brain works, but I find myself saying "I know what I need, it's in that code that has 'diddle' in the comments" fairly often.

    I wish our index was far better than it is, but I trusted the indexers to do their job (which is probably a thankless job that receieves far too much abuse). It wasn't until after I needed the index myself that I realized how important it would be (and how lacking ours ended up).

    To compe
  • We have paid professional indexers. Because they don't know the topic, they don't always nail the right words. We do run it past the author(s) for corrections, additions, etc. Even that is sometimes not enough to guarantee satsifaction.

    As far as I know, we do nothing different between first and second editions for indexes. In some cases, indexing information gets lost in the update so the index has to essentially be rebuilt.


    • I figured it was specialized professionals. (Didn't seem like a piece of software could do a decent job at the problem.) Cool. Well, most of the books I have have decent indexes, although the Libes book stands above them all. I'll be getting the Perl & XML book soon so I'll be able to see if the reviewer was telling the truth about its index or not.

      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers