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Wikibooks, Open Source Books

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Jun. 24th, 2008 | 09:17 am

One of the projects I am working on right now needs a manual, not just man pages, but an actual manual.

My goals:

  • Online All documentation should be online and editable online. Anyone should be able to edit it. Anyone should be able to extend it. We live in a Wiki world, and the day and age of collaborating via controlled copies is over. (And yes, this is something I very much dislike about the MySQL Manual)

  • Hosted Find a hosted solution that I do not have to maintain. Maintaining software takes valuable time from me. I only keep hosting mailing lists but Google Apps lacks this feature. For a Wiki? Someone else can do it. The solution needs to be non-onerous though.

  • Exportable. Sometimes you want a book in your hands, and for this reason I think books in the "it is a dead tree Jim" are good things. Skip a few years into the future and it is probably going to be an electronic book. People still want to have the book in their hands. In a perfect world they will want to have it in their hands, be able to change it in their hands, and then synchronize the transfer of their corrections back to the main book.

  • Information Should be Free No one should have to pay to access it, and just as importantly I want to make sure that anyone is free to take the book from the website and print it. If an outside publisher can print a thousand copies and sell it, I think that it is awesome. No onerous sign up processes. Anonymous is quite fine.

    So what do you think? Wikibooks? Is there another solution out there?
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    Comments {17}

    Brian "Krow" Aker

    (no subject)

    from: krow
    date: Jun. 24th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)

    With consulting you are paying for someone's time :)

    You are paying to not do/learn something yourself. I can change my own oil, but I just pay someone to do it now a days (this was not always true).

    Communism? I find it about as impractical as pure capitalism. Open source I believe has far more to do with capitalism then communism. Open source is about bringing down costs, and offering up alternative models. We make billions into millions and take a piece for ourselves.

    No market protection :)

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    Egor Egorov

    (no subject)

    from: egorfine
    date: Jun. 24th, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)

    "Open source I believe has far more to do with capitalism then communism."

    Ha! Didn't thought of it like that:) Nice point :)

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