[Fwd: Re: Some Discussions on the goal/direction of the official Ubuntu Book]

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[Fwd: Re: Some Discussions on the goal/direction of the official Ubuntu Book]

Jonathan Jesse-2
Good afternoon,

Jane and I have had several email conversations in regards to the book
that is being written.  I have received permission from Jane to forward
this on.

The dicsusion that she was hoping to start was to figure out some way of
including the book material on the cd, whether in the example content or
some other form.  sabdfl has requested some form of Menu option if
possible.  I'll let Jane chime in and add more content if she would like,
but just wanted to update the doc team on where the discussion is going
on.

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Re: Some Discussions on the goal/direction of the official Ubuntu
Book
From:    "Jane Silber" <[hidden email]>
Date:    Tue, May 9, 2006 10:12 am
To:      "Jonathan Jesse" <[hidden email]>
Cc:      [hidden email]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for writing.  I appreciate your concerns and that of the doc
team.  I think there are a couple fundamental misunderstandings about
this book. I'm hopeful that we can clear those up.  I appreciate your
willingness to try to help get buy in from the doc team and to talk
about the next steps for the book.

The major issues upsetting the team at the moment appear to me:

- the notion that this book is "official" documentation and the doc team
work isn't.  I can understand this but think that the word "official" is
taking on extra meaning.  It is true that the word is in the title of
the book. And unfortunately I and others have started referring to it as
the "Official Book" but in large part that is to differentiate it from
the 8-10 other Ubuntu books on the market or soon to be on the market.
We were using that word as part of the title, not as an adjective in the
sense that "this is official and nothing else (particularly the doc team
work) isn't".  Having said that, I can absolutely understand how that
subtle distinction can get lost in conversation, not-very-careful
typing, etc. and I'm sorry for my role in that.

- the notion that this book competes with the online documentation,
particularly the Desktop Guides.  I think it doesn't. The doc team is
doing a fantastic job of producing and translating the online
documentation. That's fantastic.  This is a book, much like the many
other Ubuntu books.  There is a recognised need for and difference
between online doc and physical books.  Both have existing for a long
time and both will continue to exist.  Being able to include this book
excerpt in Ubuntu is a real coup for Ubuntu and a real bonus for Ubuntu
users.  It brings to life the emphasis that Ubuntu places on open
licensing, practice what we preach, etc.  I do see how it will be
necessary to position it carefully within Ubuntu to provide a good user
experience and not confuse them with the online system doc - that's why
I raised the topic on the mailing list.

- that this book was done in secret, without community involvement.  We
specifically are supporting this book because (a) the open licensing and
(b) that it is written by members of the community.  The book was talked
about publicly on the Fridge (http://fridge.ubuntu.com/node/282) among
other places and there are at least 6 members of the community either
writing or reviewing it, including at least 2-3 members of the doc team.

Ubuntu books are part of the Ubuntu ecosystem - I think that is a bonus
for Ubuntu and Ubuntu users that we are able to provide that content in
an open manner, not a cause for distress.

As for future plans, I know that Debra is already arranging translations
of the book, and we expect that there will be updates (perhaps annual,
but still to be determined) to the book content itself.    Debra -
perhaps you can provide more info on that?

Cheers,
Jane

Jonathan Jesse wrote:

> Deb and Jane,
>
> This morning/afternoon depending on what time zone you are in, the Doc
> Team started having some discusion on the Official Ubuntu Book and I
> didn't know really how to respond to them.
>
> The documentation team is trying to figure out what the next steps for the
> Official Ubuntu Book and more importantly the overall picture of what the
> goals are for the book.
>
> Part of the concern is that the documentation team feels left out of how
> to deal with keeping it up to date and also perhaps merging it back into
> the current documentation that is being used in order to prevent the
> current situation that we have now with the desktop guides and the Ubuntu
> chapters that are shipping with 6.10 being duplicates.
>
> Could you help me understand the next steps after the release of the book
> and how we can get buy-in with the documentation team.
>
> Thanks for your time,
>
>
>



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Re: [Fwd: Re: Some Discussions on the goal/direction of the official Ubuntu Book]

Og Maciel
I think it is pretty clear that there was no "faul" involved here and
that there's no preferences over which document is better than the
other...  Maybe to wrap this up and send us off to our common goal,
would the removal of the work "official" do the job?

Also, as the admin for the Brazilian translators, how is the
translation of the book going to be handled?

Cheers,

--
Og B. Maciel

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Re: [Fwd: Re: Some Discussions on the goal/direction of the official Ubuntu Book]

Jonathan Jesse-2
Og,

I don't know how translations are happening.  Also Official is the that is
the book title, as a way to distinguish itself from the 8 to 10 books
coming out or that are out.  Here is the link to amazon for the book.
http://tinyurl.com/hbnv8

Jonathan

> I think it is pretty clear that there was no "faul" involved here and
> that there's no preferences over which document is better than the
> other...  Maybe to wrap this up and send us off to our common goal,
> would the removal of the work "official" do the job?
>
> Also, as the admin for the Brazilian translators, how is the
> translation of the book going to be handled?
>
> Cheers,
>
> --
> Og B. Maciel
>
> [hidden email]
> [hidden email]
> [hidden email]
>
> GPG Keys: D5CFC202
>
> http://www.ogmaciel.com (en_US)
> http://blog.ogmaciel.com (pt_BR)
>
>


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Re: [Fwd: Re: Some Discussions on the goal/direction of the official Ubuntu Book]

Og Maciel
On 5/9/06, Jonathan Jesse <[hidden email]> wrote:
[snip]  Also Official is the that is the book title, as a way to
distinguish itself from the 8 to 10 books

Right...  I simply meant that the chapters should be included as part
of the documentation and maybe within the chapters themselves, include
a reference to the book...  I was under the impression that the
entries themselves would be under a title of "Official"
documentation...  Apologies in advance for any confusion from my
part...  ;)

Cheers,

--
Og B. Maciel

[hidden email]
[hidden email]
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Re: [Fwd: Re: Some Discussions on the goal/direction of the official Ubuntu Book]

Jordan Mantha
In reply to this post by Jonathan Jesse-2
On May 9, 2006, at 8:11 AM, Jonathan Jesse wrote:

> Good afternoon,
>
> Jane and I have had several email conversations in regards to the book
> that is being written.  I have received permission from Jane to  
> forward
> this on.

Thanks Jonathan for following up with this.

> The dicsusion that she was hoping to start was to figure out some  
> way of
> including the book material on the cd, whether in the example  
> content or
> some other form.  sabdfl has requested some form of Menu option if
> possible.  I'll let Jane chime in and add more content if she would  
> like,
> but just wanted to update the doc team on where the discussion is  
> going
> on.

I personally don't see too much of a problem with something like  
"Excerpts from the Official Ubuntu Book", especially if it was  
somewhere in the example content. I'm really excited to have this  
book and to have it under an open license is really a great boost to  
the Ubuntu and Linux community. Actually, my issue wasn't quite so  
much the "Official" part as much as possible overlap/duplication of  
content. If there are two different places within the Help menu to  
get the same information, I can see where there could potentially be  
problems. This is made worse when the doc team as a whole has not  
seen the content that will go there.

<snip>

> - the notion that this book is "official" documentation and the doc  
> team
> work isn't.  I can understand this but think that the word  
> "official" is
> taking on extra meaning.  It is true that the word is in the title of
> the book. And unfortunately I and others have started referring to  
> it as
> the "Official Book" but in large part that is to differentiate it from
> the 8-10 other Ubuntu books on the market or soon to be on the market.
> We were using that word as part of the title, not as an adjective  
> in the
> sense that "this is official and nothing else (particularly the doc  
> team
> work) isn't".  Having said that, I can absolutely understand how that
> subtle distinction can get lost in conversation, not-very-careful
> typing, etc. and I'm sorry for my role in that.

I can totally understand this use of "Official". My issue has not  
been so much the use of the word "offical" but the lack of inclusion  
of the doc team as a whole. I haven't been with the doc team all that  
long so feel free to correct me here. We are "the" Ubuntu  
Documenation Team and yet I have seen nothing on the mailing list  
about this book until now. It has always been offhand IRC chat or  
asking specific questions of the authors (and most of the time they  
aren't sure either).  I can understand that the publishing world  
isn't "open source" like the Ubuntu community but as far as I can  
tell, no one asked the doc team how the relationship between the  
Official Ubuntu Book and the online documentation is supposed to go,  
no one asked the doc team (as a whole) for feedback or suggestions,  
and no one has given the doc team any way of reacting to the book.  I  
would be glad to be corrected here. This could be just because I  
wasn't in the loop personally. I can totally understand that as I  
haven't touched the Desktop Guides and I doubt the Packaging Guide is  
within the scope of the book, but I really haven't seen anything on  
this mailing list and I really think  there should be discussion  
here. We are past string freeze and yet we have not seen even a table  
of contents for the book. We will have to wait until the book is  
published and then go through and see if we need any changes or  
possibly send suggestions for the book and we will have to do that in  
Edgy instead of Dapper. Oh well, I guess. Better late than never.


> - the notion that this book competes with the online documentation,
> particularly the Desktop Guides.  I think it doesn't. The doc team is
> doing a fantastic job of producing and translating the online
> documentation. That's fantastic.  This is a book, much like the many
> other Ubuntu books.  There is a recognised need for and difference
> between online doc and physical books.  Both have existing for a long
> time and both will continue to exist.  Being able to include this book
> excerpt in Ubuntu is a real coup for Ubuntu and a real bonus for  
> Ubuntu
> users.  It brings to life the emphasis that Ubuntu places on open
> licensing, practice what we preach, etc.  I do see how it will be
> necessary to position it carefully within Ubuntu to provide a good  
> user
> experience and not confuse them with the online system doc - that's  
> why
> I raised the topic on the mailing list.

OK, but I'm seeing a bit of odd logic here. I see "don't worry about  
competition because they are different mediums" and then "we want to  
include the book in the help menu".  My thought is that making the  
argument that they won't compete because books and online docs are  
different things is exactly the argument for not including the book  
in the online docs. If you include two things side by side and they  
have similar content I'm not sure you can avoid some sort of  
competition in the user's mind. Example content seems like a good  
place to put it. It shows off the book without placing it next to the  
shipped docs.


> - that this book was done in secret, without community  
> involvement.  We
> specifically are supporting this book because (a) the open  
> licensing and
> (b) that it is written by members of the community.  The book was  
> talked
> about publicly on the Fridge (http://fridge.ubuntu.com/node/282) among
> other places and there are at least 6 members of the community either
> writing or reviewing it, including at least 2-3 members of the doc  
> team.

Yes, I applaud both Canonical and Prentice Hall for getting the open  
license and seeking community members to author it. However, asking a  
few doc team members to be authors/reviewers does not equate to doc  
team involvement, IMO.

> Ubuntu books are part of the Ubuntu ecosystem - I think that is a  
> bonus
> for Ubuntu and Ubuntu users that we are able to provide that  
> content in
> an open manner, not a cause for distress.

For me the cause of distress (if there is any) is not the existence  
of the book (I'm really excited about it) but how the doc team is  
supposed to deal with it, especially this late in the release cycle.

I really hope nobody takes this badly. I'm not attacking the book and  
I really appreciate how much effort has gone into it.

-Jordan Mantha

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Re: [Fwd: Re: Some Discussions on the goal/direction of the official Ubuntu Book]

Jonathan Jesse-2

> I can totally understand this use of "Official". My issue has not
> been so much the use of the word "offical" but the lack of inclusion
> of the doc team as a whole. I haven't been with the doc team all that
> long so feel free to correct me here. We are "the" Ubuntu
> Documenation Team and yet I have seen nothing on the mailing list
> about this book until now. It has always been offhand IRC chat or
> asking specific questions of the authors (and most of the time they
> aren't sure either).  I can understand that the publishing world
> isn't "open source" like the Ubuntu community but as far as I can
> tell, no one asked the doc team how the relationship between the
> Official Ubuntu Book and the online documentation is supposed to go,
> no one asked the doc team (as a whole) for feedback or suggestions,
> and no one has given the doc team any way of reacting to the book.  I
> would be glad to be corrected here. This could be just because I
> wasn't in the loop personally. I can totally understand that as I
> haven't touched the Desktop Guides and I doubt the Packaging Guide is
> within the scope of the book, but I really haven't seen anything on
> this mailing list and I really think  there should be discussion
> here. We are past string freeze and yet we have not seen even a table
> of contents for the book. We will have to wait until the book is
> published and then go through and see if we need any changes or
> possibly send suggestions for the book and we will have to do that in
> Edgy instead of Dapper. Oh well, I guess. Better late than never.

One thing that might help put you at ease is the amount of technical
review that has been given to the book.  Speaking only of the Kubuntu
chapter, I had 4 people review my document that was requested by Pretince
Hall and then I even sent my chapter to Riddell several times for fact
checking.  I think there will be little that will need to change post
release due to the amount of follow up that has been given.

Jonathan


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