From my experience, here is how time is spent when writing a book about WordPress plugins:
Seriously, the brainstorm part is ridiculously important.
Writing standalone snippets only is neat sometimes, but on the long run it might leave the reader with the impression they won't be able to glue the various parts into a functional plugin themselves. The perfect plugin that will illustrate a given topic has to be:
- very short: nobody wants to read 50 lines of add_options_page() and HTML if you just want to show how to add a nonce and verify it
- open and inspirational: the plugin should give the user ideas on where to reuse this code, how to improve a plugin they made in the past. Giving an example of a very focused plugin such as guiding a missile may be neat, but it'll be useful to the reader only if they want to code the same plugin.
- useful: it's always tempting to illustrate a concept with short and near-to-useless code because you're more focused on the concept than on the illustration.
So far, in each of the chapters I wrote for the book, there will be 4 or 5 plugins that, I hope, will meet all these criteria (short, useful, easy to build on), and Brad and Justin are also making a fantastic job with very neat plugin ideas.
And, yeah, I like to draw pie charts :)
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