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Algebra-Driven Design


Mystery exists in the mind, not in reality. If I am ignorant about a phenomenon, that is a fact about my state of mind, not a fact about the phenomenon itself. All the more so, if it seems like no possible answer can exist.

Eliezer Yudkowsky


This repository is all of the original source material for my book Algebra-Driven Design. If you're curious about what goes into writing a book, it might be a good place to peruse.

Building this thing is particularly hard; I had to write three separate build tools, and patch a few upstream libraries. You're free to try to figure it out, but I'd suggest just buying a copy instead!

Don't make me regret open-sourcing this.


I learned a great number of things when writing Thinking with Types --- the first and foremost being that liberties constrain. TwT was written directly in LaTeX, which meant I could layout the page however I wanted, so long as that page was a standard print size. No dice when it came to making an epub, only tears.

So instead, Algebra-Driven Design is written entirely in Markdown, and uses a custom Pandoc filter which is responsible for inlining of code, producing annotations, that funky law style, and everything else that is typographically intriguing. As a general rule, I've got NIH syndrome hard, and don't trust software written by other people, so it was sorta nice to have ULTIMATE CREATIVE CONTROL this time around. At least, I'd know whom to blame if there was a bug.

All in all, it was a much smoother experience than TwT, and I don't have any regrets, or things I'd do differently.

People often ask me what the hell this cover is. It's a Lissajous curve, with the metaphor being "sometimes the right perspective can make complicated things seem simple." It worked better in my head, but I still like the thing.


This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, PO Box 1866, Mountain View, CA 94042, USA.

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the algebra-driven-design README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.