I remember when I first started programming in Java many years ago. I used to walk the isles of my local bookstore (remember those brick and mortar things we all used to visit?). The shelves were filled with books on C, a few smatterings of web design, and of course, the trusty O'Reilly In a Nutshell books; but alas, there were no Java books.
Then all of a sudden—-wham! Shelf after shelf of books covering every aspect of Java. I was in techie heaven. When I look back however, the initial books actually trickled in and became the catalyst for much of the future explosion of titles. With my experience writing fiction novels, I know these initial books also serve another very important purpose: to serve as a litmus test for publishers to identify hot markets and trending topics.
I see Force.com at a similar juncture in its evolution. We often forget Apex and Visualforce is only about two years old, and has already achieved remarkable things. Heck, I still remember writing socket connectivity in Java to connect to databases before JDBC was available! Oh how things have changed. Now, we not only take database connectivity as a given, with Force.com we don't even have to write anything to handle scalability, deployment, etc.
Just like Java, we are starting to see some early books on Force.com hitting the shelves. Jason Ouellette recently wrote a great book called Development with the Force.com Platform available from Addison-Wesley, which should be on all Force.com developers bookshelves. Aside from the sample chapters available from the link above, Jason has also provided a great article on Dr. Dobbs with additional information that really gives you a sense of the what Jason's book offers.
Great job Jason. I suspect this book will be the catalyst to many more to come.