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4th Edition Early Access 11

Published on 27 Dec 2020.

Early Access #11 is now available. Here are the release notes:

The primary focus was on creating answers to the challenges. To that end, all of Part 3 now has solutions (they all got tweaked a little in the process to add more consistency). Part 5 also has answers to the challenges. Other than a few stragglers from earlier in the book, everything is done except the Final Battle–a whole set of challenges right at the end of the book.

The big problem I had this week is that I decided that Final Battle challenge was too hard. I stripped out some of the primary elements and made another challenge, but I decided yesterday that it, too, was too hard. At least this time, I felt it could be tweaked into something that works, rather than having to retool it from scratch. That is still a work in progress, but included in the challenge solution code, I have both the more complex version of the program up and running (‘Level 52 - The Final Battle/ TheFinalBattle’) as well as my beginning attempts to simplify it (‘Level 52 - The Final Battle/TheFinalBattleSimplified’). I’m not done simplifying yet, but you can see it where things stand. Also ‘Level 52 - The Final Battle/Description.txt’ contains an extremely rough description of the challenges–as I thought they might be before simplifying. I’ve included all of that in this update, though I expect it will be cleaned up by next week.

I also fixed a number of small issues that readers found. The typos and grammar fixes have all been addressed, though there are a few suggestions still hanging out that need attention in future releases. (A suggestion to include the Parts as bookmarks, a suggestion to include an EPUB format, and a suggestion to include something about StringBuilder, among other things.)

Overall, I made less progress on these challenge solutions than I had hoped. That delays the final release by a bit. I’m now confident it will not be December, so I am now targeting late January. I think there’s at least of month of work left. I do have all of this coming week off. If things go well, that might change for the better, but based on this past week, I can’t make promises.