Wikibooks:Collaboration of the Month/June 2005 voting< Wikibooks:Collaboration of the Month
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(Automatically renominated with 4 votes in April)
- Naryathegreat|(talk) 00:42, 1 May 2005 (UTC) Possibly useful and easily contributed to
- MikeBorkowski 21:00, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
- KelvSYC 06:23, 23 May 2005 (UTC) - As I said before, it has serious structure-related issues that needs some addressing.
(Automatically renominated with 5 votes in April)
I would like to get some information about how much stuff is still being developed by the main FHSST group and what actual on-line colaboration can be done by users here with the WikiBooks community. It seems as though this book should actually be a part of WikiSource instead, but I'm not sure. The main page is encouraging people to join their group if you want to contribute, and not add content to the WikiBook side. Is that correct? If this is something that will be encouraged to be edited by the Wikibook community as a fork of what the FHSST group is doing, I wouldn't mind participating. If not, then this nomination should be removed as it is not the nature of this Wikibook to get collaboration in this manner. Rob Horning 02:03, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
Response to Rob: Hi Rob - you are partly right but as always things are more complicated than they seem. We (FHSST) are dedicated to WikiBooks - its a great idea and I support the idea fully. A couple of points that have led to the current situation:
- we started (Oct 2002) before WikiBooks (mid 2003) existed so we had to come up with a collaborative solution
- we have a lot of content that isn't in wiki format - FHSST.
- the new syllabus in South Africa comes into force in 2006 so we have a deadline
- we spent many hours moving the Physics book onto WikiBooks (hours not developing content)
- we will move Maths and Chemistry over as well but we decided that we would benefit more from developing content right now
Regarding our commitment to WikiBooks:
- we recently (this month) started two new books which we want to develop solely on WikiBooks (Biology, Computer Literacy) and any other books we start from now on will be done on WikiBooks
- we only ask people to join our external project because we have mailing lists where there is active discussion regarding the syllabus, structure and how we'll print books etc. so that efforts are coordinated and coherent
- we know from experience that if you have a specific objective (proper syllabus) you had better coordinate contributions
We don't insist that people join our project if they are going to contribute but encourage it because it helps us coordinate and write a book which meets a specific syllabus - quote from the Physics book: "Please consider joining the mainstream development group of FHSST to help get this text complete as fast as possible. We really want to provide a complete set of high school science texts that are freely available as soon as possible." We are happy for anybody to add whatever they want to the Physics book on WikiBooks but what would really make a difference is the Optics and Heat and Properties of Matter chapters as this would help us finish the book off.
Other books on WikiBooks that are developed by random volunteers suffer from a lack of cohesion and coordination. Talk pages and some vague guidelines haven't been able to streamline contributions and most books are developing incredibly slowly. The ones that are quite advanced tend to have been written by a single person (Botany, Cell Biology for example - not really the point of WikiBooks). We have also found that older volunteers who have been interested in helping have really struggled with the technology of contributing. Explaining what a wiki is to them is difficult (its easier than when we were using CVS for sure!). So its easier to work with them via email.
There is one issue that is never addressed on WikiBooks that I have seen - if we developed a book for the South African syllabus on WikiBooks and finished it, if you came back a month later you'd find that all the spelling would have been changed to American English and other such things. People (obviously with the best intentions) have already started "fixing spelling mistakes" in the Physics book. So WikiBooks as I see it will always just be a place for developing content and so the Physics book is there for the random volunteers who might add something useful to our cause or not. Ultimately a fixed edition will have to made available somewhere or tagged somehow, I haven't looked into this yet.
Everything we write will be given to the WikiBooks community to develop further or use to develop other books but right now its difficult because we need specific things to produce a printed text in South Africa.
I hope that something that I have written makes sense, I am very happy to continue discussing things and I am also keen on finding the best way to develop content. We have more books still to start.
Basically how do you best get people to work together in a coordinated and coherent manner?
Marknewlyn 17:10, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
- This book is the current book of the month. I don't know if this is needed. Reub2000 21:24, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
- A book of the month is not the same as a featured article on Wikipedia- the US History book found itself only 75% done- this book is good but needs some editing that I feel a month or so could fix. Anyway- it's votes that count so...--Naryathegreat|(talk) 22:54, 2 May 2005 (UTC)