Susan, Jon and Paul are currently working on the next version of the RPG Redbook. It has been an interesting saga so far and we thought we would share some of the highlights of the on-going process.
As a bit of background - Redbooks are produced by IBMs International Technical Support Organization
(ITSO). This usually involves a team of people taking up a residency in Rochester for a few weeks.
It really is not possible for us to take a few weeks out of our schedule so the RPG Redbook will be written piece by piece as and when we can :-).
Sections of the Redbook may be released as Red Pieces prior to the Redbook being published.
Although IBM assist with expenses, there is no fee, income or renumeration for writing a Redbook. Of course, this can affect some of the time dedicated to writing :-)
Just click the relevant to read the Diary for that period.
February 2005. IBM asks us if we would be interested in contributing to a new RPG Redbook. We answer in the affirmative and discussions start.
April 2005. As in any dealing with IBM, a contract is involved. We cannot agree some of the contents of the contract and negotiations break down. It looks like we won't be working on the Redbook.
February 2006. The Redbook rides again! IBM get in touch and contract negotiations are back on.
March 2006. First Redbook meeting held during COMMON in Minneapolis. Contract talks still going on.
April 2006. With e-mails crossing the Atlantic we manage to get an outline table of contents sorted out.
May 2006. We agree a contract!
June 2006. We meet in Toronto. We are still discussing content, format and what we want to do in the book.
We are trying to decide if this should be an update to the existing Redbook or a new Redbook.
We take the opportunity to visit the Toronto labs and talk to George Far and some of the development team. It helps clarify some of what we want to include.
We decide on a new Redbook.
September 2006. Progress has practically ground to a halt. It has been an extremely busy period for the
three of us and the next couple of months look no better.
Bits and pieces are being done in the background, when we can, but progress is really slow.
We decide to get together for a Redbook week in November.
Usually, people would go to Rochester. But I (Paul) happened to be in Italy for a week and
I managed to convince Jon and Susan that they should join me for a second week.
We stayed at a villa (www.palaie.com) in Tuscany (near Arezzo) owned by my good friends Rita and Marco (that's us outside the villa in the picture above). Marco was also good enough to provide us with an office and a high speed internet connection at his offices (TESI).
We get to work - full of enthusiasm and bright ideas.
Man, that was one tough week! "Is it worth it?" we asked ourselves.
A lot of progress was made but the work had taken it's toll. It is good to see something concrete after the slow progress over the last few months.
December 2006. Redbook takes a back seat as we try to get ready for System i Developer and RPG & DB2 Summit. But a fair piece of work is written and in review stage.