Windows 11 Field Guide Progress Report #1: Four New Chapters

Posted on October 21, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 11 with 1 Comment

Since posting the initial 30 chapters of the Windows 11 Field Guide to Thurrott.com, I’ve posted four more: OneDrive, Storage, Device Encryption, and Backup. Premium members can now find those additions on the Windows 11 Field Guide mini-site if you’ve not seen them yet.

I have a few related topics to discuss.

eBook

I’ve still not yet published the eBook version of the Windows 11 Field Guide via Leanpub, but that version is now well over 300 pages long. Sorry, I was really busy last week with all of the passport renewal nonsense I wrote about in the most recent Premium newsletter, so I wasn’t able to connect with Raphael to get the eBook bit published. I will do that as soon as I can, but we have two friends staying with us in Mexico City this week, so it will be a few more days. I suspect the current book, which now includes 34 chapters, will be what is initially published.

eBook vs. web

Speaking of which, while I would still prefer an even richer presentation in the eBook, it does at least offer a bit more variety than the web version. In the book, we have several “sidebar” styles for callouts like tips, notes, warnings, and more, but it’s not possible to duplicate that on the web, so I just use a standard HTML blockquote for all of them. Not a big deal, I guess.

There are other differences. The images in the book can be scaled to whatever sizes I want—I use 100, 75, 60, 50, and 40 percent for the most part, but the scaling capabilities on the web are very limited because of WordPress. So they’re usually full-sized or half-sized.

But the biggest difference is tied to inter-book hyperlinks. This was something I really wanted for this book, so there are many, many places where you can jump to a specific place in the eBook version of the book now. Which is great, but I can’t do that on the web. It’s just too complicated and time-consuming because I would have to re-do every single link as a normal hyperlink, and it’s not possible to know the exact URLs in advance.

Long story short, each version has its pros and cons, and I love that there’s a web version.

Length

Given the length of the current, incomplete version of the book, I’m concerned that the final version will be too long: there is a lot more to write. So I’m going to look into whether it makes sense to split it into two or three different documents to ease the downloading pain. Maybe something like a “Part 1: System” and a “Part 2: Apps,” or whatever, though the former would be much bigger than the latter. I’ll cross that bridge as the book progresses and figure it out. (This won’t impact the web version.)

The problem with how I write

I think I’ve mentioned this elsewhere, but one of the strange issues I run into once a book is published in progress—via only Leanpub in the past and now via Leanpub and the web—is that I don’t write the book sequentially. This was part of the reason that I had a hard time pulling the trigger on the initial publication: I wanted it to make sense in some order from the beginning.

But now that it’s available (on the web), it’s problematic because I’m working on some chapters that will come much later in the book. For example, I’ve been writing some Microsoft Edge chapters—Edge will get its own section and could likely be a book of its own—and a chapter on mobile broadband since I have a review laptop in-house now that helps with that.

For both versions of the book, I suppose I could just create the sections needed to accommodate these chapters and add them there, and then just fill in the blanks as I go. But this is another thing I need to think about. I’ll figure out something.

(And that Device Encryption chapter might make more sense in a coming Security section than where it is now, in Files. We’ll see, it’s simple enough to move it.)

Interesting update coming up

With Microsoft now (sort of) rolling out the October/November update to 22H2, I’ll have to update some of the existing content soon. This will be a good test of the book’s new organizational structure, as I’d hoped it would make it easier to make that kind of update.

 

Thanks. More soon.

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