Technology is changing faster ever year, and technical book publishers are constantly releasing new versions to keep up with the change. While we continue to see new technical books what we have not been seeing is how technology can be more effectively used to provide a more useful and adaptive user experience. Think of it this way – the content of the books change with each technical release but the delivery mechanism is effectively unchanged. The only significant shift in the technical publishing industry is the addition of eBook formats to provide digital copies of the technical content.
With Microsoft technologies changing and evolving at in faster pace it makes writing a physical book about a technology less viable due to the quickly shifting target which is the book it is written about. However, sometimes people with a new idea can change the rules of the game and this an example of what I’ve seen with the new Mastering Hyper-V 2012 R2 book.
For the Mastering Hyper-V 2012 R2 book John Savill has created a companion application for the book which provides links to relevant content available online including URL’s and videos which John has created for the topic. What makes this even more interesting is that he has built the application so that updates can be made to allow for changes to the content available in the companion application (such as adding new URL’s, and new videos, or replacing obsolete links) allowing the content in the companion application to evolve and adapt over time.
John’s new book has used technology to make it more interactive and more useful – even if you haven’t bought the book. The addition of a companion application is a huge step forward to moving the publishing industry away from a statically developed book towards a more interactive and evolving educational experience.
The application for the book is available here, and the book is available here. If you are interested in Hyper-V or you want to see a new approach to technical book publishing and what this industry can be I recommend that you check this out.