"640 Pages in 15 Months"
Hilariously overwrought adventures typesetting a textbook. How about some LaTeX?
I kid. The system seems to work, looks fast, and the results are visually fantastic, so more power to them.
The stuff on metrics is gold:
Oh, and since I ended up writing a 200k+ word book, it’s going to have a high page count. That means a thick book. Thick books need wider inner margins so the text doesn’t disappear into the spine.
All of this points towards a pretty wide page. Most CS textbooks—at least the ones on my bookshelf—are 7.5 inches wide. I tried hard to come up with a design that fit the code, asides, and healthy margins in that width while still giving a text size that didn’t require a magnifying glass. Eventually, I conceded defeat.
Once I tried designing a set of metrics for an 8 inch wide page, everything fell into place. I could have enough breathing room around the text to make it enjoyable to read, a decent length for the code snippets, and plenty of room for the asides. (Using a narrower font for the asides helped too).
(Also, I love the finale where the whole book is converted to a single PNG and then pixel-diffed. Talk about track changes!)