Over the years I have done a lot of professional writing. From about 1997 to 2002 I went through a huge period of book writing. Eventually it got all too much for me so I gave it away and now just write for fun. Most of the time this writing comes in the form of technical documentation for work or my open source projects. That said, the old fashioned dead-tree programming books are becoming less relevant now that the internet is such a major part of daily life. I can't remember the last time I looked up a paper-based book rather than Googling an answer from somewhere.
Writing technical books, particularly those on programming, is an exhausting task. You have roughly 3 months to put together the first draft of approximately 1000 pages of writing. Then there's another 2-3 months of the edit-review cycle before it hits the shelves another 2 months later. For marketing and sales, they want to release the book at the same time as a major milestone in that software/project's life. If you connect the dots on where I'm going here, that means you're writing something up to 9 months before it is released. During this time, major changes in spec and APIs happen, so often the book goes out with incorrect information. Of course you then get lamblasted by the general readers because of this!
Laura Lemay's Web Workshop: VRML 2.0 and 3D Graphics
Part of the Laura Lemay's Web Workshop series, this came out to co-incide with the release of the original VRML 2.0 specification in August 1996. It is aimed at the complete novice that may have written HTML pages and wishes to spice them up with something new. Now getting a little long in the tooth, it continued to sell reasonably well for a long time.
Late Night VRML 2.0 with Java
1999 Ziff-Davis Press
Co-authored with Bernie Roehl, this has become one of the standard tomes in the VRML programmer's shelf. The book is aimed at the high end applications end of VRML. We assume you can already write a basic static world and build on that by covering event model basics, scripting, external interfaces and build a number of toolkits and applications throughout the book.
Java 2 Networking
1999 McGraw Hill
The book is primarily aimed at the intermediate to advanced Java programmer looking at how to use networking and was my one and only sole-author book. In real world situations, a programmer has quite a few different choices on how to build a networked application. Java 2 adds a whole raft of new features making the choice of the programmer even more difficult. Without knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each API, an informed choice is difficult to achieve. The aim of the book is to walk you through the same project implemented using almost all of the standard Java networking APIs (JDBC and CORBA are not covered) so that you can appreciate how each handles the same task.
Java 2 Bible, 2nd Ed.
The Java Bible series is aimed at the beginner to intermediate programmer. Most of the book is devoted to introducing the various APIs available in the core of the Java library.
Unlike the JDK 1.1 updates (which I was never involved in), the work for Java 2 is starting the book almost from scratch. Many of the original notes have been changed and updated to deal with the very different perspective that the latest versions use. The basic aim is to reduce the number of API lists and increase the amount of working code. To this end, we now cover more on threading, networking and making java run as fast as possible.
Java 2 Enterprise Bible
2001 Hungry Minds
Java Unleashed, 2nd Ed
Chapters 39/40 on Java and VRML
The ever popular unleashed series, I contributed a chapter devoted to VRML and Java combinations. Not really having the room to be able to really get my teeth stuck into it, it is restricted to introducing the basic APIs.
Tricks of the Java Programming Gurus
Chapter 15 on Java with VRML
Not my best effort but the one that got me started in writing. Actually the chapter was a last minute request and was written before the VRML 2.0 spec had even been finalised and only very soon after Java had hit the market.
Web Publishing Unleashed - Professional Reference Edition
Another in the Unleashed series. This time it is the web publishing generic book - actually the professional reference edition, not the standard pleb's version ;). A couple of chapters were contributed dealing with basic VRML and Java scripting.
Pure Java Developer's Journal
2-part series on how to write plugins for Java applications