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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}

    Kytty

    (no subject)

    from: kytty
    date: Jun. 25th, 2008 03:59 am (UTC)
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    Electronic books...the means to carry a traditional book with you is as close as the nearest library...electronic books take hardware that is prohibitively expensive. On the other hand, I like that font size can be changed in electronic books and would like to see them come with an application to feed a single line of large print text for reading.

    Sort of like this but with adjustable speed...

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    Brian "Krow" Aker

    (no subject)

    from: krow
    date: Jun. 25th, 2008 04:56 am (UTC)
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    I think we will be down to cheap e-book readers within the next decade, so I am not overly concerned about that. You could condense a lot of text books into one e-reader and that to me would be pretty sharp for school systems.

    Now, what I am after though would allow others to print books, which I think is good. AKA I want the information to flow. If this means someone in China makes a buck on a book I am fine with that.

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