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#11 2012-12-13 10:03:38

philwareham
Core designer
From: Farnham, Surrey, UK
Registered: 2009-06-11
Posts: 3,196
Website

Re: I'm writing a Textpattern book - what should it include?

Whilst eBooks are all well and good, nothing beats a good printed book IMHO, so I’m glad Pete is considering that option. Maybe that’s my print background influencing me.

Wonder if Kevin Potts has some helpful guidance to give on your new book, since he’s the only member of the Textpattern Solutions book still on the scene.

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#12 2012-12-13 10:12:43

springworks
Member
Registered: 2005-01-06
Posts: 172
Website

Re: I'm writing a Textpattern book - what should it include?

I like your thinking Destry. I think the idea of a series of shortish, clearly-focussed ebooks about Textpattern development could be really useful. Where each one is something like TxP Tips on steroids, with different books perhaps focussing on separate areas of development. From the top of my head:

  • building different navigation schemes (based on section/category/article) plus benefits and examples of each
  • efficient re-use of code with forms and pages
  • making all content editable for clients (use of hidden sections for common content site elements that don’t fit in to main site hierarchy)
  • integrating external services (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps, etc.)
  • ecommerce applications
  • community sites (self-registration, membership, user-submission of content, etc.)
  • writing plugins (best practices, security issues, etc.)

I’m up for getting involved in this in whatever way I can. I’ve got a background in print design and publishing before I got into web design too.

Pete, I think we’ve met before in the pub after an OxMUG meeting many moons ago, when I used to live in Milton Keynes and you were still at Sophos. If I remember correctly we both had bought lifetime accounts at TextDrive and it was shortly after Joyent came on the scene. Anyway, if I can be of any help, please me know.

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#13 2012-12-13 11:09:46

gaekwad
Admin
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 2,509

Re: I'm writing a Textpattern book - what should it include?

springworks wrote:

Pete, I think we’ve met before in the pub after an OxMUG meeting many moons ago, when I used to live in Milton Keynes and you were still at Sophos.

Y’know, I’ve been racking my brain where I know your name from – you’re exactly right.

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#14 2012-12-13 11:13:18

gaekwad
Admin
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 2,509

Re: I'm writing a Textpattern book - what should it include?

Destry: thank you for all your input, I’ll definitely be in touch about this.

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#15 2012-12-13 17:37:49

Destry
Moderator
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,200
Website

Re: I'm writing a Textpattern book - what should it include?

philwareham wrote:

Whilst eBooks are all well and good, nothing beats a good printed book IMHO

Let me clarify my position so it’s understood. If Pete wants to go down the road of writing an end-to-end book, he has my blessing, and especially if he’s looking at this as being a source of income (though tech books are a tough market). It’s not my intention to interfere with anybody on that. Go for it!

What I was introducing was something I’ve been thinking about for a number of months now. I even tweeted some hints to it several weeks ago.

But, apparently, Pete is also talking about an ebook, as I just learned earlier, produced through his own digital publishing business, if I understand correctly. There are certainly many advantages to ebooks, both for the author and the reader. Again, Pete has my blessing for a full ebook, if he writes one through his business.

I still think a series of shorter ebooks on specific Textpattern topics are a good idea. And I think they should be sold individually (a low cost for greater volume of sales kind of thing), and in various partial or complete packages later. Not unlike what A Book Apart does. That aspect of it is for talking about later, but the point now is that they would not be written for free. That’s what the wiki is for (have at it).

Wonder if Kevin Potts has some helpful guidance to give on your new book, since he’s the only member of the Textpattern Solutions book still on the scene.

Kevin is one of the people I’m approaching for one of the ebooks, actually. I might as well out my intentions on that now. (Springwork’s hand up is duly noted!)

Speaking of books, and I’ve never shared this story before, but I set out to write a Textpattern book about the same time the authors of Textpattern Solutions did. Devs at the time (all gone now) could verify this because I talked to them about my intentions and was looking for their technical editing support. As it turned out, they already knew another book was in the works but didn’t tell me even when I was talking to them about it (I remember thinking it was strange they wished me luck on my effort). I found out because I was already arranging a book contract with a publishing outfit who then learned in their circles the other book was already in the works with Friends of Ed. Once they learned that, they backed out of negotiation with me because of perceived competition. I had no hard feelings about the other book. In fact I was happy for their collaborative effort. However, I was disappointed by the secrecy on it from Txp devs and having learned second-hand in an awkward way from the publisher. Voila!

Speaking honestly, I think it would be difficult to write a full book on Txp and have it be different enough from the first book to be worthwhile. Txp hasn’t changed that much. A better full book would probably be a Second edition of the first, just updated to reflect modern builds, new examples and plugins, etc. On the other hand, a series of shorter, focused ebooks on a set number of primary topics/tasks seems like a winner. Like Springworks says… each one being a TXP Tip on steroids. Clear code examples and imagery, beautiful typography and presentation, etc.

We could do articles in the magazine like that, excluded from the web version but included in an ebook version of each issue, and sell the full mag issues with premium articles as ebooks. That could work too. Whatever the case, authors need to get something from it. Doing it through the mag would mean figuring out some kind of split where a part of sales would go to magazine efforts (authors/editors of mag articles need love too) and the rest to the ebook authors.

That’s just one idea. There’s different ways to play an ebook series, with or without the magazine. Just keep in mind that with the magazine it’s with the Textpattern project. Without it is entirely independent effort.

Pete, I’m happy to talk about your side of it anytime, though I’m helter-skelter the rest of this month, so let’s wait until after the new year. If you don’t mind.

Last edited by Destry (2012-12-13 17:45:53)


The text persuades, the *notes prove。

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#16 2012-12-13 17:57:33

bici
Member
From: vancouver
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 1,478
Website

Re: I'm writing a Textpattern book - what should it include?

philwareham wrote:

Whilst eBooks are all well and good, nothing beats a good printed book IMHO, so I’m glad Pete is considering that option. Maybe that’s my print background influencing me.
Wonder if Kevin Potts has some helpful guidance to give on your new book, since he’s the only member of the Textpattern Solutions book still on the scene.

I second the opinion about printed books. I like the option of the ebook and the Printed Book version and will always prefer to obtain both. Even at the cost of paying twice. Of course the power of the eBook version is that i can easily get updated revisions and or additional information.

I believe that Mary is still active with textpattern just not writing/updating plugins, ( i see has already migrated her sites TxP to the new improved TextDrive 2.0 ) and might be also offer guidance.

All the best! and very much looking forward to the Educational Materials that are being worked on.


…. texted postive

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#17 2012-12-13 22:15:26

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 8,672
Website

Re: I'm writing a Textpattern book - what should it include?

Destry wrote:

Btw, a certain smd_ebook plugin is in the works. Maybe that could have a play in things.

As sad as pimping one’s own work is, I’ve used said plugin for creating e-books and it works well. Although the current available version only covers Kindle format, I’ve done some research into ePub and have made strides towards allowing you to publish in either format.

I actually started on MLP integration too so you could write a native language version of the book in Txp, use MLP to hand it over to translators, have the plugin pick up the installed languages and then offer the option to output versions in one or more languages. Work ongoing in this department.

Dunno if this tool is likely to be of use here specifically — people might prefer the InDesign ePub plugin or something because it allows you to output a print version too — but since this is Textpattern and it’s a publishing platform that allows you to write content in Textile, well, what the heck. A series of beautifully crafted e-books about Textpattern created directly in Textpattern: what an advert in versatility!

If anybody wants to help guide development / beta test it, please get in touch. I’ll be in the basement, forging code anyway; virtual beer is in the virtual fridge if anyone wants to join me down here.

Last edited by Bloke (2012-12-13 22:16:36)


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern. Bleeding-edge code available on GitHub.

Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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#18 2012-12-14 06:37:01

mrdale
Moderator
From: Walla Walla
Registered: 2004-11-19
Posts: 2,202
Website

Re: I'm writing a Textpattern book - what should it include?

Bloke wrote: I actually started on MLP integration too…

when does the man sleep? seriosly….

Last edited by mrdale (2012-12-14 06:38:49)

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#19 2012-12-14 09:43:30

gaekwad
Admin
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 2,509

Re: I'm writing a Textpattern book - what should it include?

Bloke wrote:

I actually started on MLP integration too

MLP ?

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#20 2012-12-14 09:54:59

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 8,672
Website

Re: I'm writing a Textpattern book - what should it include?


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern. Bleeding-edge code available on GitHub.

Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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