Sub-page of Wikibooks

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About the feasibility of a Wikibook about Go

Although it is early days, there is every reason to suppose that Wikibooks may be as successful as Wikipedia and become a primary resource for learning. With this in mind I suggest that the Internet Go community may like to start writing some open-content Go books. It may be that much of the material is already present here on Sensei's Library.

Is there a conflict of interest between such a Wikibook and Sensei's Library? They do overlap in some ways, but SL has a sense of work-in-progress, a kind of internet blackboard with very wide scope: go blogs, problem discussion, project coordination and communication (e.g. KGS), as well as a repository for many types of information that just wouldn't fit into any book. A Wikibook, by contrast, should have a narrower focus as a text-book of relatively uncontroversial material. Books are also more structured than SL, leading the reader through a narrative rather than leaving them to find their own path.

A beginner's guide, at least, sounds feasible and useful. Any takers?

GoStone In starting this page I am not declaring my intention to get involved. I am simply pointing out the opportunity.

Velobici: Writing a go book that is worth reading requires expertise in Go, professional level expertise in Go and either professional level writing ability or an editor/ghost writer that can provide such ability.

This is significantly different from Wikipedia. Writing a go book is creating original content.

Does anyone here feel qualified to write a go book (Charles Matthews and a couple others expected ;) ???

GoStone I'm sorry, Velobici, but I disagree! Certainly you would need expertise in Go, but hardly to professional level for a beginner's book. Neither would you need to be a professional writer. One joy of cooperative writing is that content generation and editing can be done by separate contributers.

Velobici: Wikis are not the solution to a number of information problems. Wikis are very good at capturing general knowledge and preserving it....creating a knowledge base. Add to this "editors" that can lock pages or portions of pages on "correct material" and one has a remarkable resource. ;)

GoStone Hmm, it now sounds like we agree that Wikibooks has great potential for locking down uncontroversial go ideas in a text-book format. We probably still disagree on the level of go skill needed to contribute. Only time will tell.

Velobici: I sorry I must be having a blind spot today. I do not agree regarding Wikibooks. I do agree that this Wiki, SL, is valuable. The two are trying to accomplish different goals. SL is not a Go text book, though it does have some parts that are similar (more than similar) to Go books. The Beginner Exercises and Kanazawa Tesuji Series are clearly very book-like.

There is a rather large difference between the wikibooks project and wikipedia that makes wikipedia more likely to succeed; namely, an encyclopedia is composed of a number of focussed articles, whereas most books must be more unified. If you look at the wikibooks that succeed, you will see they typically are in this more fragmented form; the less formal approach in Sensei's is more likely to succeed than a wikibook over go. But go ahead and prove me wrong!

Wikis are not answers to every problem. I agree that wikis are good things, but probably won't create a good general go book. Now a problem book, or maybe even something focused on tesuji, might succeed, since they are probably more easily tackled by short-term/minor contributors. I suggest you begin a book on life-and-death or tesuji, that might work.

--Anonymous Coward

GoStone Anon. It is true that Sensei's Library is a much better place to post original ideas related to Go than either of the Wikimedia sites. I almost said as much in the lead article.

I certainly agree with you about the problems and tesuji books, which would be fun to read and contribute to. But I do think personally that a beginner's book on such a site would be a most useful thing to have.

GoStone I have edited out most of the discussion about Wikipedia itself, which was off-topic and unproductive, and had led to misunderstandings.

About licenses (and unkx80's book)

unkx80: Now, it looks like [ext] How To Play Go is a possible candidate. Right now I don't have the time to really maintain it, nor expand on its contents. Although I have received some "thank you" emails from readers, the contents definitely can be improved on.

I am open to the idea of putting my work in Wikibooks, but before I really want this to be done, I would like to find out what the Free Document License mean. Also, can someone please tell me what is the difference between the OpenContent license and the FDL? Sorry for being dense, but all these legalese makes confuse me. Thanks.

GoStone Well done unkx80. That seems a very good start, though I haven't read it all yet.

I am not a lawyer, but here goes anyway :) You have already stipulated a kind of open-content licence "The contents of How To Play Go can be used by anyone for any non-commercial purposes at no cost". This conflicts with the licence used by Wikibooks, the [ext] GFDL, which does allow commercial use, so long as any changes to the text are also put in the public domain.

This [ext] overview of the GFDL explains that the licence is in some ways more restrictive than yours. Thus it allows you to make some parts of the document invariant, which I think means they must be kept unchanged while other sections can be modified at will. I don't know if Wikibooks supports this. Also the GFDL forbids the application of DRM copy-protection technologies to the document.

By "OpenContent licence" I presume you mean the [ext] Creative Commons Licence which is actually a mix-and-match collection of open-content licences. It is not used by Wikibooks.

Because of the licence conflict you would have to explicitly allow your book to be transferred to Wikibooks. I suggest you [ext] contact the Wikibook team to check what I have said and help you make a decision. One issue you may have is that once on Wikibooks it no longer becomes your sole project and others may start modifying and adding to the content. But I presume you know all that. Good luck! Please let us know your decision.

unkx80: Thanks for the explanation. By "OpenContent license", I mean the same licence SL is using, see SL copyright. However, I would really prefer to release my work under [ext] Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, because I made not a single cent out of my own work. Are there restrictions to dual-licensing? Anyway, I will think about it again and decide later.

unkx80 (2006 September 11): I have, quite a while ago, released my How To Play Go work under a [ext] Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License. I think I am not likely to release it under the GFDL.

Wikibooks/Discussion last edited by on January 27, 2015 - 04:56
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