First programming product almost done

As I mentioned earlier, I’m preparing a guide to creating Excel files using just code and the Open XML SDK. I’m calling it “Excel Open XML From Scratch” (nice name, huh?). All the source code (C# and VB.NET) had been written and tested. They work! Yay!

So now, I’m writing the accompanying PDF to explain the code and concepts. As mentioned before, I’m targeting a “before Christmas” launch. Now that we’re nearer the date, I can confidently tell you that it’s going to be sometime within the next few days. It will be released on 17 December. This gives you a week before Christmas to get this as a present for yourself or a programmer friend.

The price will be set at USD 17 (see actual price on product page), which I believe is a fair price considering that it will save you hours of work. Think about how much you’re paid per hour. Probably more than the price of this product. Hmm… I might even have to increase the price…

This is my first programming-related product, so I’m really excited by this. If you don’t really care about C#, VB.NET, Open XML or Excel, then I apologise. Just ignore any related posts for the immediate couple of weeks.

Basic guide to Excel Open XML

Ok, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. So it appears that there’s some need to create Excel files using Open XML SDK 2.0. I’m halfway done with my guide to doing that. It will be sold as an ebook (packaged with source code). It’s a consolidation of some of the articles I’ve already written on the subject, together with some all new articles. Included topics are:

  • How to create a stylesheet and use it
  • How to insert an image into a worksheet
  • How to insert multiple images into a worksheet
  • More advanced styling options
  • Setting column widths
  • Setting column and row settings (such as grouping columns and hiding rows)
  • Text alignment in a cell

When I teach, I believe in giving you the simplest explanation and code. This allows you to create more complex functions if you want. If I complicate it for you, you might not know what the individual parts are. It’s like giving you all 26 alphabets and let you play with it. Much better if you learn the individual alphabets and it’s up to you to form words with them.

I haven’t finalised the cost of the product, nor the release date. But I’m planning a “before Christmas” launch, so you should see it in my store soon. This is a heads up in case you’re agonising over a Christmas present for a programmer (or yourself). The price will be fair, considering that I will be saving you tons of hours of research and pain. It will also come with both C# and VB.NET supporting code.

Having worked in a mid-sized company, I understand that sometimes your IT department doesn’t allow third party products (or doesn’t have the budget to buy the license). I don’t consider the Open XML SDK 2.0 to be a third party product. Besides, it’s by Microsoft (and free!). Most companies should be able to accept that. The source code will only need the Open XML SDK (and the .NET Framework of course) to work.

My product license will be fairly flexible, so you can use my code to create commercial products. And the license is tied to the product, not to number of computers or developers or servers (or whatever complicated rule being used by other software companies). You only need to buy 1 copy. (But tell your friends to buy as well because I need to eat)

So yeah, that’s all I have to say. If there’s a particular topic you want me to cover, there’s still some time. Comment below and I might consider adding it to the guide. If this turns out to be popular (as in I get to eat a couple of meals because of it), I’ve got plans to include more Excel Open XML goodness, and even expand to Word and PowerPoint. We’ll see…

Making things happen

This is a short announcement, and a slight deviation from the usual topics (not that the topics are consistent, but … never mind).

Making things happen

I’m excited to say that my Math Wizard ebook is going to be launched in about 9 days. Launch date is 10 February, and the time is

  • UTC 1400 (2pm London-ish)
  • EST 0900 (9am New York-ish)
  • Singapore 2200 (10pm. Because I’m like Cinderella. I have to go before midnight.)

Thank you for reading Polymath Programmer, with the wide (and sometimes weird) variety of topics covered. This ebook product I created is an amalgamation of my interests in math and Dungeons & Dragons (a tabletop roleplaying game). The price will be set at USD 10 (for now).

More product details will be announced on the launch date. For now, you can download a free preview of the Math Wizard, or you can read more on why I created the Math Wizard.

I’m making things happen. Tell me about yours.