Why am I writing the Bailador Book?

I've been working on the Bailador book and the Crowdfunding campaign for more than 3 months now. About 2 of them publicly. The campaign ends in a week and the book already has 68 pages.

It might be time to explain why am I doing this?

It's clear that the money is not good. I could earn a lot more in the time I spend on writing the book. Then why?

Help people like you

Larry Wall has created Perl 1-5 and we all know how powerful it is. We know it was a major paradigm-shift. He also created patch. His impact on the programming world is enormous.

I hear from people I trust who are involved in the development of Perl 6, how powerful the language is. Other people who learn about it also get very enthusiastic.

What I have been missing from Perl 6 was something that makes it super useful for the daily tasks I am doing which boild down to two major things:

1. Helping people get to solutions sooner and in a more reliable way. Which usually boils down to test automation, continuous integration, continuous deployment, and agile-ish development practices.

2. Writing "web applications".

I put "web applications" in quotes because in many cases these applications don't serve HTML pages. They "only" provide and API.

With Bailador, and with this book I primarily try to make the second job easier.

Why Perl 6 ?

Of course I could have picked Python for the language. It is much more popular than Perl and it a very nice language.

But it is not Perl and definitely not Perl 6.

Besides. Just between you and me. Wouldn't you want to learn a cool new language when it is not yet popular? When you can be one of the first people to learn it. When you can provide quick solutions to problems while others are still thinking which module or web framework should they use?

Having a secret weapon?

I know, calling it Perl might a bad idea, at least branding-wise, but you know, if that is the biggest problem with the language then we are in a really good position.

Learning a new programming language once a year is supposed to be important for your programming knowledge. Especially if that programming languages has different paradigms than the ones you already know.

Perl 6 is a major jump in several directions. As I understand it.

I admit, I hardly learned a new language in a decade, but I managed to convince myself that it is worth my time to learn Perl 6.

Primarily because of the people behind it.

I know some of the people who have been contributing to Perl 6 and I value their opinion. A lot.

While we cannot know if Perl 6 will ever be popular, you can be sure learning more about it will be good for your brain.

You know the saying: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

So why web? Why Bailador?

You might not be a "web site developer", but as mentioned earlier what we call "web application development" today is far from building web sites. In many cases we only use "the web" as it provides a standard way to write client-server applications. More specifically it provides a fairly standard way to write the server part of a client-server application.

Today many applications only talk to other applications. Via HTTP.

If you started to humm Microservices then we hear the same sound.

That's just a new term for what many people have been doing 20-30 years ago as well. We just use HTTP requests and pass JSON strings back and forth.

Besides, having a book about web development in Perl 6 might also prove to be one of the key elements in the success of the language.

So writing it seems like a win-win situation.

Writing the book already forced me to invest a lot of energy into the improvement of Bailador itself. Apparently it also encouraged some others to renew their efforts working on Bailador or to start playing with it.

Writing the book also provides a great reason to look at other web frameworks in other languages and to look at the common problems developers encounter in 2017.

API development

Yeah, so actually "web developer" is not a good name any more.

A large chunk of the development is providing APIs for all kinds of services that might not even have an HTML interface. So it is just good old client-server development except the communication is done via HTTP and the data sent over the wire is usually formatted as JSON strings.

The current buzzword, as you already know it, is Microservice architecture.

And that's exactly where Bailador is heading to.

My hope is that we will make it supre-easy to write APIs using Bailador.

And also web sites.

Crowdfunding

I hoped to generate interest and also raise money via crowdfunding.

I was a bit too optimistic with my original goal, but I am humbled by more than 140 people who have trusted me, and backed the project already.

There is one more week before the crowdfunding ends.

Of course you can wait a few more months till the book is ready and buy it directly, but then you'd have to pay more and you'd miss out the show of support.

So if you think

  • learning Perl 6 would be cool
  • or you might want to build a web site
  • or you want to build a client-server application via HTTP
  • or just want to show your support

then buy the book now!.

Published on 2017-07-13 by Gabor Szabo

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