Posted 2018 October 21
TFW that blog post that was looking like a conference workshop/presentation is probably more of an eBook. #MacAdmins— Anthony Reimer (@AnthonyReimer) October 1, 2018
Sometime while examining existing AutoPkg recipes and developing a few new ones, I realized that someone could easily write an eBook about AutoPkg. “Why not just enhance the Wiki?” you might ask. I’m actually doing that along the way as I do my research — you’ll see at least a half dozen recent edits from me that hopefully make the documentation there more complete. But Wikis should not reflect the personal opinions of the editor as much as possible, in my estimation. A book or a blog post has no such obligation (although you may still choose to be neutral or document multiple approaches).
So I realized I probably have an eBook in me, titled something like AutoPkg for Non-Coders. Unfortunately, once I came to that realization, both my wife and I started experiencing health problems that have really forced me to slow down and prioritize what I do with my spare time (which is when I would write such a book). So what I’ve decided is to use the newspaper opinion columnist book model, where I will push out blog posts about AutoPkg learnings and teachings when I can, and then sometime in the future gather those together into a publication. In this case, I'd use the existing articles as a framework, update those articles, fill in the gaps, and then publish the result. So if I never get to the point where I actually write the book, I’ve still documented things for the community.
For easy reference, I’m going to label all these posts (including past posts) with the package emoji (📦). I hope you enjoy them. I should have a new post in the series soon.
 I struggled a bit with this when I decided I should document the common practice of using Input variables to declare constants. I have a definite opinion on this issue, but I did not think it was appropriate to state it directly in the Wiki. Nevertheless, the practice is common enough that recipe writers should be aware of it and what the pros and cons of that approach are. As you can see through the revision history, the more I learned, the more I refined my message to the point where I think that text I added highlights potential issues, just the like the paragraph that precedes it (authored by someone else). [Return to main text]