Leanpub recipe: versioned book backups

Leanpub is a platform for publishing books that gives author control and tools beyond those available from traditional publishers. I used it to test an idea for a Solr Clients book and was able to validate its lack of traction without spending a cent.

One of the great features of Leanpub is that a book can be updated and the readers get notified of the new version. Consequently, it is sometime useful to keep the old versions around for the author and sometimes even for the readers.

This feature is not currently present in Leanpub, but we can add that with a bit of a glue from Zapier - web automation service. This is especially useful if you are using GitHub to edit your book with automatic preview and want a full end-to-end edit-preview experience without having to touch the Leanpub website.

Checking examples in “Solr Indexing” with Solr 4.7 under Windows – part 1

It’s been 9 months since my introductory Solr book came out. It was written for version 4.3. In the meanwhile, Solr kept marching on and is now at version 4.7. There has been quite a number of changes and new features. So I really wanted to recheck that the examples in the book still make sense.  I also wanted to do the tests on Windows to see whether the *nix-centered instructions in the book caused any issues.

This first part covers the issues and supplementary material based on the review of the first five chapters. Later parts will be covered in other blog posts. So far, it seems that the examples survived without any serious issues.

My book on Solr is now published

It is a great moment. After many months of work, my book is finally published and is available from multiple sources. It is called Instant Apache Solr for Indexing Data How-to and it has been published by the Packt Publishing.

There is a number of books published on Solr, but I feel that mine is different. Most of the books try to cover as much of Solr as possible and have a reference-style approach to explaining what different Solr components do. This is useful but - because Solr is so large - it is easy to get over-saturated with all the information and still have no idea of how to put a good Solr setup together.

Spanish read and listen material: Obras de Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

Obras de Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer - Tomo Primero is a collection of stories in Spanish available with recording and text (both plan and PDF). It was produced by Florida’s Educational Technology Clearinghouse that has a lot more audio/text stories in English in its Lit2Go project. MP3 recordings can be downloaded individually, but nice iTunes interface is also available from the home page of the project. (via LearnOutLoud.com)

Free spanish e-book for intermediate learners

(Update for June 2007: The website got reorganised and the link is gone. Fortunately, it was archived by WaybackMachine) It is quite frustrating how often a good material hides so deep in a random website that it can only be found by total accident. Such seems to be the case with Suspense, no suspenso. From what I can tell, it is a complete detective story book written in Spanish for an intermediate language learner and even includes some exercises for the teacher’s use.