After some 16 months of work, today I had the distinct pleasure of returning chapter 17 of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Inside Out, also available at Amazon.co.uk to Microsoft Press after receiving it late last night from the copy editors. Chapter 17 will now join the other sixteen in becoming set pages, undergoing a final check, and then being published. Despite my disappointment that we’re now looking at a December 1, 2010 publication date, I am thrilled to see the final chapter going back to Microsoft Press as I can now look forward to a quieter life without having to consider chapters, text, and graphics on a daily basis.
Looking back at the copy editing process, I am amused by the insistence of the editors to constantly redefine terms that are commonly known to Exchange administrators. As I looked over chapter 17, I couldn’t help myself by entering a comment to say:
“Is it just me, or would I be bored silly by the constant definition of terms such as ECP, EMC, EMS, SMTP, IIS, GAL, OAB (defined incorrectly in this chapter as the “Online Address Book” – do we need to check the other chapters?) etc. etc. etc. that we have met in numerous previous chapters? Haven’t we hammered a nail into the collective sub-consciousness of the readers by now?”
I guess there is a possibility that someone will get through 1,200 pages to reach chapter 17 before the light bulb goes off and they exclaim “Eureka – EMC means Exchange Management Console! My life is complete…”
The copy editors are also very careful to correct references to any Microsoft product so that they all enjoy the full, officially-approved, and marketing-focused names. “Excel” becomes “Microsoft Excel” and so on. I think this is fine – my writing is sloppy when it comes to spelling out the exact product name. I’m also not allowed to say “Exchange 2007 and 2010” as it’s critical to mention the product name as often as possible. Thus, we have “Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010” instead. Interestingly, the copy editors insist that “Web site” is more correct than “web site” (Apart from the fact that the instruction is probably contained in some style sheet used by Microsoft Press, I see no good or logical reason for the uppercasing of the “W” in “Web”). Finally, I have learned that it is more than important to end the sentence preceding a bulleted or numbered list with “the following:”.
Seriously, the copy editors (and Paul Robichaux, my esteemed technical editor) have done a fine job of scanning my text to detect all matter of small but annoying mistakes (such as the omission of “to” in various places). I guess I can be excused some mistakes in 400,000 words but it is important to eliminate these errors because they compromise the worth of the text to the reader. The editors have also improved my writing by forcing me to avoid starting paragraphs with “While” in favor of “Although” and they have eliminated my habit of using “may” where “might” or “could” is more correct. Overall, I have been impressed at the work and investment that Microsoft Press has put into giving the book every chance to be excellent. I only hope that the text lives up to the support that I have received to date.
Tomorrow is the first day of the second in our Exchange 2010 Maestro Seminars series. We kick off at 9AM in the Sheraton Anaheim. I have stayed in this hotel once before for a family visit to Disneyland. It’s close to the theme park and offers the usual array of facilities that you’d expect from a Sheraton. We shall see how well the hotel copes with the seminar – it can’t do worse than last week’s stay at the Doubletree in Boston where we had the distinct enjoyment of presenting while jackhammers reshaped a bathroom close to the seminar room and the pleasure of seeing Paul’s face when he nearly ingested a cockroach side order for his lunch sandwich on Friday!
I flew from Boston to LAX on Virgin America. This was the first time that I flew on VX and it was a real pleasure. Things didn’t look too good when I checked in as I was allocated seat 17B on the Airbus 319. The original ticket hadn’t been expensive so I took the plunge and spent $110 for an upgrade to an exit row seat. This turned out to be a good move because I had a complete row to myself. VX is recommended – much better than the UA or AA equivalents.
Tomorrow’s seminar attendees includes Emer McKenna, one of the authors of SharePoint 2010 All-in-One For Dummies. The question might cross your mind as to why would a SharePoint guru come to an Exchange 2010 seminar? Well, Emer is a smart cookie (clearly, given her success in writing books about SharePoint) and SharePoint and Exchange form the twin pillars for Microsoft collaboration technology, so it’s a good thing for anyone working in this space to master both technologies. I lost most of my SharePoint skills after SharePoint 2001 was replaced and SharePoint became much more complex, so I won’t ever possess the dual skills… but you can only do so much.
In any case, I am now off to update some decks for tomorrow’s seminar to reflect the feedback we received from the attendees in Boston. No chance (and no desire) to visit Disneyland for me!