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Programming Minecraft; Remote Pairing; PragPub; Secret Santa!

December 04, 2013

The pumpkin-pie-induced stupor is lifting, the holiday season is well under way, and we've got some great new books and news for you, and the December issue of PragPub magazine.

First up, learn all the tools you need for successful remote pairing in Remote Pairing: Collaborative Tools for Distributed Development.

Next, what better way to learn and teach programming basics than with the incredibly popular game, Minecraft? Learn to Program with Minecraft Plugins: Create Flying Creepers and Flaming Cows in Java is now out in beta.

And finally, since it's better to give than receive, we're giving away free paperback books for our Secret Santa program. See below for details.

Remote Pairing: Collaborative Tools for Distributed Development

Two heads are better than one, but only if they're working on the same problem. When pairing remotely, this requires a specialized environment that you'll learn how to create. We'll use the same open-source tools as the pros to improve collaboration and increase productivity. You'll learn techniques, patterns, and best practices you can apply to projects of all kinds. These tools are so effective that many co-located programmers use them despite sitting side-by-side—you don't have to work outside of an office for this book to improve your programming techniques.

We'll start by creating a secure collaborative editing environment capable of handling the low-bandwidth networks at some coffee shops. Then we'll share your screen using free open source tools and protocols. We'll deploy all of this to a server in the cloud so you can access your development environment from anywhere. Then we'll use one of the most advanced integrated development environments to collaborate, sketch on a virtual whiteboard, and resolve conflicts.

Finally, we'll talk with programmers at Pivotal Labs, Big Nerd Ranch, and other top-notch distributed development firms to learn how they handle the challenges of remote pairing on a daily basis. With their help and advice, you can be productive from any location on the planet.

Now in print and shipping from

Learn to Program with Minecraft Plugins: Create Flying Creepers and Flaming Cows in Java

Expand your Minecraft experience by writing your own plugins. You’ll learn how to write Java code and build plugins for your own Minecraft servers using Java syntax and the Minecraft Bukkit library.

You’ll create plugins that can change blocks from air to stone, or spawn cows and creepers. Write plugins that react to game events, and even schedule tasks that will run later in the game.

Readers from age 9 to 99 will learn how to use variables and functions to build plugins that fling players into the sky, teleport players to their previous locations, and of course, shoot flaming cows.

Along the way you’ll learn real programming using Java, from classes, objects, and data structures (including arrays and hashes) to exception handling and threads. You’ll even earn how to keep code safe with Git and set up and run your own server at home or in the cloud.

A running progress bar shows you how far you’ve come in each chapter, and by the end of the book you’ll have learned enough that you’ll be able to design and code your own plugins from scratch.

What are you waiting for?

Now available in beta from, the book will be finished and shipping in the spring.

December PragPub Magazine

In our digital magazine PragPub, we’re wrapping up the year with Clojure.

One of the interesting things about Clojure is how seamlessly it interoperates with Java. In this month’s installment of his popular series on Clojure, Michael Bevilacqua-Linn takes us on a whirlwind tour of Clojure’s Java interop.

Of course, the best way to learn a language is to have a project to build in it. Dmitri Sotnikov, author of Web Development with Clojure, walks you through a very practical project: profiling your Clojure code using some nice features of Clojure.

Profiling’s useful, but this next application is decidedly cool. Sam Aaron shows off the power of Clojure libraries and tools to take you into the trendy world of Live Coding. Because you know you want to tweak code live on stage before an audience of screaming fans.

But the issue’s not all Clojure. In a guest essay, Robert “Uncle Bob” Martin takes on the US government. Johanna Rothman and Andy Lester continue their career advice column with a look at how to get your boss to do what you want. And John Shade has some thoughts on a new programming language from Wolfram Research. Plus Choice Bits, Antonio on Books, and more.

You can subscribe to PragPub or buy the December issue at or in the Apple App Store or Google Play (just look for PragPub).

Secret Santa — Free Giveaway!

It's the season for giving, and our gerbils would like to help you get started. If you're a previous customer and have an account on our site, then please drop us an email at We'll randomly pick a few DOZEN lucky winners and send you a random paperback book from our store, absolutely free. Your mission is to select a worthy recipient near you and give them the book as a Secret Santa present.

We'll pick random winners every day between now and December 16, 2013. Please note that we can only ship these free books within the continental US. And if you don't win, you're always welcome to buy a book and give it to someone in need any day of the year.

Thanks, and good luck!

Upcoming Author Appearances

  • 2013-12-05 Drew Neil,
    Core Vim Class Online
  • 2013-12-05 Dave Thomas,
    Codemesh, London
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    Coming Soon:

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    • The Agile Samurai—AUDIO BOOK
    • Crafting Rails 4 Applications: Expert Practices for Everyday Rails Development

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