This is the fourth edition of a book that has been enjoyed by half a million readers since 1993. At least, we hope they've enjoyed it. It's a sure thing that we've enjoyed writing it.[*]
[*] To be sure, the first edition was written by Randal L. Schwartz, the second by Randal and Tom Christiansen, the third by Randal and Tom Phoenix, and now the fourth by Randal, Tom Phoenix, and brian d foy. So, whenever we say "we" in this edition, we mean that last group. Now, if you're wondering how we can say that we've enjoyed writing it (in the past tense) when we're still on the first page, that's easy: we started at the end, and worked our way backward. It sounds like a strange way to do it, we know. But, honestly, once we finished writing the index, the rest was easy.