The very first paragraph from the acknowledgments section of a computer book:

First, I would like to thank Jim Minatel, the acquisitions editor who put the platform in place to get Beginning Regular Expressions off the ground at Wrox/Wiley. His patience, under significant provocation relating to timetable, and his tact, efficiency, and general good nature made those organizational aspects of the book an enjoyable experience to repeat at a future date.

I don't understand what the author is trying to say.

  • It isn't clear. Something about the author's turning in his drafts late, testing the patience of the editor. The perfect author for a book on regular expressions. Oct 26 '14 at 14:02

The author thanks his editor for patience under provocation—that is, the editor was patient despite the author's actions which might have provoked the editor to impatience.

The nature of that provocation is coyly described as relating to timetable—presumably the schedule for completing various tasks in order to achieve timely publication.

In other words, the editor patiently put up with the author's repeated failure to get his work in on time.

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