From C. Michael Pilato

Special thanks to Amy, my best friend and wife of nearly ten incredible years, for her love and patient support, for putting up with the late nights, and for graciously enduring the version control processes I've imposed on her. Don't worry, Sweetheart—you'll be a TortoiseSVN wizard in no time!

Gavin, you can probably read half of the words in this book yourself now; sadly, it's the other half that provide the key concepts. But when you've finally gotten a handle on the written form of this crazy language we speak, I hope you're as proud of your Daddy as he is of you.

Aidan, what can I say? I'm sorry this book doesn't have any pictures or stories of locomotives. I still love you, son. (And I recommend the works of Rev. W. V. Awdry to fuel your current passion.)

Mom and Dad, thanks for your constant support and enthusiasm. Mom- and Dad-in-law, thanks for all of the same plus your fabulous daughter.

Hats off to Shep Kendall, through whom the world of computers was first opened to me; Ben Collins-Sussman, my tour-guide through the open-source world; Karl Fogel—you are my .emacs; Greg Stein, for oozing practical programming know-how; Brian Fitzpatrick—for sharing this writing experience with me. To the many folks from whom I am constantly picking up new knowledge—keep dropping it!

Finally, to the One who perfectly demonstrates creative excellence—thank You.