As ever, this book involves the work of many people besides myself.
I am deeply grateful to my editor, John Posner, for his continual constructive criticism and innumerable helpful comments. Without them, this book would be vastly inferior. I really can’t emphasize enough how great a help he was. Thanks to Christien Shangraw and Katie Gardner for finding and supplying me with the StarOffice template and for responding patiently to my queries. Thanks are also due to O’Reilly in general, for allowing me the opportunity to write this book.
Thanks and apologies must go to my friends, who put up with me cancelling plans weekend after weekend so that I could get some writing done. Thanks especially to all the people who offered to read through the book before I sent it off: sorry that I never got any of it finished early enough to take you up on your offers!
A small and select group of people have been particularly understanding in the face of almost complete abandonment to The Book. You know who you are.
Thanks to my employer, for allowing me to write the book in the first place and for allowing me time off at short notice when deadlines were approaching.
Finally, a special thanks must go to Leon, because of the quantity of beer he promised me if I’d give him a mention.