[Geany-Users] Fwd: [Harold], Write a micro book on Geany IDE - Starter for Packt Publishing

Lex Trotman elextr at xxxxx
Sat Apr 20 09:14:39 UTC 2013

On 20 April 2013 18:25, Frank Lanitz <frank at frank.uvena.de> wrote:

> Am 19.04.2013 15:07, schrieb Lex Trotman:
> > Yes, packt exists and publishes books on computing topics.  However I
> > don't think much of their quality.  And their spamming methods to find
> > authors are questionable.  A quick web search shows they do the same to
> > many projects.
> It appears they have some system of generating automatic "reminder"
> mails. I received a number of these during the last days and I really
> lost the last interest of maybe doing a project with them.
> > My concern is the potential impact on the Geany community, unless
> > everyone agrees, if one person writes the book and gets paid, even a
> > little, others may feel that they have been used, answering questions on
> > the ML and IRC.
> >
> > And the benefit to the community is likely to only be greater support
> > requirements.
> I don't see this in that way: Generally putting information into a book
> is a good chance to review current documentation and can bring back
> import for improving the general manual. Also it's a chance to explain
> things in a different way via a different medium. E.g. I got some
> smaller patches for documentation based on just translating them into
> German.

Yes, agree it can be, but only if the author actually does improvements to
the documentation at the same time, and avoids copyright snags with the
publishers.  My experience of publishing deadlines are such that they
almost certainly won't have time to touch the documentation whilst writing.

> Also I don't see the "being used" as very problematic thing. Writing a
> (good) book is not the same as answering on IRC. In fact, putting
> information into a good technical one is much more about writing skills
> and description/explaining skills (and I think most of us are really
> sucking at these).

I'm not trying to belittle the effort a writer would put into explaining a
program, and they definitely should get paid for that, but they have to
understand it first, and if they use a lot of ML and IRC time to do that,
well, thats where those answering can feel "hey we've contributed a lot
here, and we don't get anything".  Thats just human nature I'm afraid :)

> Also if you are not the coder kind of person, writing a book -- given
> that somebody is liking to spent money for -- might be a good way to pay
> the rent on one hand and improve free software on the other hand. (Many
> people just take software serious, if there are books about it.... just
> have a look onto public library and count how many books about $software
> you will find and have a look which software they are about)

And how many you glance at and put back on the shelf :)  A computer book
author might pay a few months rent (for a cheap apartment), but shouldn't
bank on much more.

> BUT of course: if a book just puts content from IRC/manual between two
> book covers, the book is not needed, waste of time for author and editor
> and ppl from community will feel used -- me included.

Ok, so I'm a grumpy old so-and-so for seeing this outcome first :)

But then I have seen it before, so I am just offering a warning.  Geany has
a good community, we don't want to divide it, thats why the community needs
to agree that a particular person should write it and that yes they will
offer support.  Or of course, decide not.

And if the book is successful in bringing new Geany users, we need to
understand that they will need support as well.  The people who would be
using such a book, "Geany IDE - Starter" are not going to add to the
support staff, much less the code, for a long time.

> So... I understand your censors, but I don't agree in all of them ;)

And thats perfectly all right, differing views are what makes life
interesting :)


> Cheers,
> Frank
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