Reworked errata page

I've reworked the errata page to use color and fonts to classify the errata into three broad types and two levels of "severity".

One reason that I've done this is because there are by now quite a few errata. Another reason is because I earlier received a couple of inquiries along the lines "Because there are a lot of errata, should I wait for the second printing of the book before I buy a copy?" My response to this was "probably not", for reasons that I give below.

As of today, there are 104 errata posted on the errata page. One reason that there are a lot of errata is because there is a lot of book: 1500 pages. Another reason is that I'm very conscientious about fixing and documenting all errors that I find or that are reported to me (by contrast, a lot of books don't even maintain an errata list).

However, the observation that there are a lot of errata also needs to be tempered with some analysis. The current set of errata can be broken down (see the coding on the errata page) as follows:
  • 5 fixes to significant code problems.
  • 1 significant fix to an explanation in the text.
  • 1 significant fix to a technical detail explained in the text.
  • 10 minor code fixes. The corresponding code problem is minor and its solution is normally obvious to an attentive reader with a good understanding of C. (The most common culprit here was small code snippets that I wrote directly into the text--complete with syntax errors--rather than extracting directly from source files.)
  • 24 minor technical fixes. These are typically obvious fixes to minor technical errors or imprecisions in the text. (In many cases, these issues probably wouldn't have impacted the reader's understanding of the topic.)
  • 25 minor clarifications. These are improvements or fixes to minor details in the text. In many cases, the fix could simply have been omitted (the problem would have been unlikely to trouble most readers), but I took the opportunity anyway to improve the text because it was easily possible to do so.
  • 38 typo fixes. Spelling and grammar corrections and obvious fixes to wording errors.
For most readers, probably only the first three categories of errata will matter--and possibly a few of those in the fourth category. In other words, the number of significant errata fixed between the two print runs is actually quite small, which is why I counseled those wondering whether to wait for the second print run that they probably didn't need to.

PS Meanwhile, we look to still be on target to have the second print run ready and in shops at the start of May.

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